Photo credit: Tilemahos E
Greece is planning to put its Royal Palace up for sale.
The historic Tatoi Palace, home to the Greek royal family since 1871, was originally designed to provide "the typical charms of both the Greek and English countryside", boasting 40 outbuildings, a swimming pool and a royal graveyard.
The palace, located just outside Athens, was left by the royals when they fled the country in 1967 and has now fallen into disrepair. But the expansive estate will be listed on the market by the Greek government as part of a fire sale to end all fire sales that will clear the country's books of unneeded property. And palaces are just the beginning.
Indeed, airports, roads and marinas will all be put up for sale as Greece discovered last week that the country's economy is projected to fall 25 per cent by 2014. Even state-owned properties abroad will be up for the chop, including the Victorian townhouse in London that used to be the Greek consul's residence.
"There is a decision to lease and sell properties that for various reasons are not being used," Gregory Dalevekouras, spokesman at the foreign ministry, told the Guardian . Indeed, financial officials are now assessing the "market conditions" for each of the properties.
Estate agents in London have reportedly already been contacted regarding the 10,000 square foot property in London's Holland Park. According to the Guardian, neighbour Richard Branson listed his house nearby with an asking price of £17 million in 2011. As part of Greece's EU bailout, the country has agreed to raise €19 billion by 2015. If its London residence can fetch a similar sum, that, at least, is a start.
Greece is not the only European property market selling off its national inventory, though. Only last month, Italy announced plans to sell off 350 historical buildings across the country, including defence ministries and castles, in an attempt to raise €1.5 billion for the country's economy.
But Greek property professionals can take some comfort from recent figures. Greece remained the 11 th most popular property on TheMoveChannel.com in August, just below Cyprus and Germany, while the portal's At a Glance infographic revealed that Google searches for Greek property has steadily increased over the last 12 months, as Greece property prices fell yet again.
Indeed, Greek real estate is some of the most affordable in Europe now, according to Global Property Guide: only Hungary and Ireland have seen property values drop further in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011.
While Greece's future within the Euro may be uncertain, one thing is clear: there's never been a better time to buy a Royal Palace.
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