Sometimes when it seems that most of the world is in the turbulence of one kind or another it feels as if Corfu is still trundling on regardless– possibly this is because life in Greece has always been somewhat chaotic!
Overall we can’t complain about how things are going, there is a reserved air of optimism, which has been somewhat absent in the last year. We’ve been in our ‘new’ office for nearly 2 years, which we love, and it seems to have been a great move with space for people to come and browse, and chat with us about the type of property they are looking for.
In the property business, you can rarely make firm predictions as to how the market will fare from one year to another, and last year we really didn’t know what to expect. Happily, we had an enormous number of inquiries, with many viewings, resulting in a good number of sales of every conceivable type of property.
Property prices are starting to rise (although good properties in good locations have always held their price), tourism projections are good (although as we know anything can change at any time!) – some of the major hotel chains carried out substantial investment programs last year and many businesses are looking forward to re-opening to a good season
The Island of Corfu is a very mixed market with a considerable amount of property available, ranging in price from €30,000 up into the millions, for village ruins, renovated houses, land, holiday apartments, family homes and luxury villas. There really is something for everyone! Last year we sold converted olive presses, total ruins, pristine apartments, rural plots of land, and a few gorgeous villas with amazing sea views.
‘The Durrell effect’ definitely exists, as the series has been shown in so many countries, and many of our clients arrive looking to share in the atmosphere generated by the Durrells. In fact, some of them say they want a house ‘like the Durrells’ or ‘in the same place as the Durrells’. Of course, we also have those who ask us for ‘houses like those in Mama Mia’ – wrong island!
The house that was made famous by the Durrells series is near Kontokali and is actually just a shell …. Locals were also asked to be extras – thanks to Susie Fox and Lynda Bray for the photos!!
‘Airbnb’ type lettings have increased, with many visitors opting for independence and space rather than just a hotel room. This short term let category permits many owners to let their properties without an EOT (tourist let) licence, they register with the tax office, and then declare the income online – this has offered a great option for many property owners who do not make full time use of their accommodation or holiday home.
Corfu Airport has now expanded into an ever-increasing international hub, with a large number of international flights from all regions of the UK and northern Europe, which benefits both the owners personally and their holiday guests. For visitors driving independently, there are extensive ferry links to Italy, and on the mainland, the motorways from Thessaloniki and Athens to Igoumenitsa are making it much faster for people to drive to Corfu.
So now, after an uncertain 2020, 2021 is shaping up to be different again, Covid is still with us, but hopefully under some kind of control, gradually allowing a return to normal life. Brexit is a done deal, it has brought its own challenges, but we seem to have pragmatic clients who really want to buy property in Corfu, know it well, and know that we have all been living here happily for years before there was EU membership or the Euro, so they are not deterred. If enquiries are anything to go by, we are looking at a busy summer, with many people coming to Corfu seeking, and hopefully finding, their dream homes – whether it is for their own holidays, a letting investment, or for a lifestyle change, or for a combination of all these.
And we will do our utmost to help them – Corfuhomefinders is a smallish agency – just 6 of us, a mixed bunch – 3 Brits (Sarah, Sarah Jane and me), a Greek-Canadian (Aphrodite) and a Greek-Brit (Christina) and we all have our favourite areas and our favourite properties which make for interesting conversations! Between us we know the island in detail, have years of experience and can advise on all aspects of property purchase and life in Corfu – and if there is something we don’t know, we will find the right person to ask! Hoping to see you soon!!! …….