Wednesday, 15 August 2012 9:21 AM
Times are tough in Greece.
That doesn't necessarily mean investing in Greek property is a bad idea though.
Sound like a difficult sell? Well... we agree. Which is why we've taken the opportunity to have a chat with Katerina Katopis, who works in Greek property.
Katopis is a director at Dolphin Capital Partners, the owners and developers of Amanzoe Villas, a luxury brand in the southern Peloponnese, offering stunning villas.
Financial difficulties in the country or not, these homes are beautiful.
Designed by notable architect Ed Tuttle, the handful of elegant villas are scattered sparingly amidst ancient olive groves and terraced hillsides overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf.
Opulent décor, immaculate private pools and bougainvillea lined terraces, owners at this exquisite development can relax in the knowledge that all concierge and lifestyle requirements (as well as all real estate property management) will be taken care of by the discreet and scrupulous Aman team residing on-site.
Sound good? It does to us. Straight on to the trickiest question then...
Is it a difficult time to get people to invest in Greek property?
It is correct to say that people are a bit cautious about investing in Greek property because of the current market conditions; however great opportunities have arisen as real estate assets with prime location and good reputations are available for sale, along with private islands that in other circumstances might be difficult or even impossible to buy.
Are better times on the horizon for the Greek property market?
We hope that we have been through the worst times so far, and we can only wish for better ones to come. In the meantime, we remain focused on our diversified portfolio, and we progress the permitting, zoning and planning of our other projects in Greece in a “business as usual” mode.
What are the potential advantages of investing in Greek property right now?
The obvious advantage is that currently, given the negative economic climate in the country and the shortage in liquidity, one can find prestigious real estate assets, even trophy ones entering the market for sale and most importantly at very tempting prices.
How might a change back to the Drachma affect investors compared to staying with the Euro?
In Amanzoe, the prices of the Aman villas are quoted in Euros. It is standard practice for all Amanresorts to quote their prices in USD or EUR irrespective of their location; hence for our product –which is an international luxury product - prices will remain in EUR regardless of whether Greece leaves the Eurozone.
We're interested in Greek architecture and history, have you tried to recreate that in some of the homes you have built?
Amanzoe’s architecture, as inspired by the renowned Ed Tuttle, has a distinct Grecian influence. Columns dominate several parts of the resort, as the main building and the spa, reminiscent of ancient acropolis albeit with a more clean-cut edge. The villas in particular are made of stone, locally extracted, while in the interior marble and wood complement each other providing a feeling of serenity and splendour.
How would you define Greek style - particularly from an interior design perspective?
Greek style evolution has gone along the lines of minimalistic forms and basic materials, resulting in distinct shapes. Earth tones are key, locally produced marble, stone and wood dominate designs. White is also used in abundance and the main feature of interior design is letting the light in, as we have plenty of sun!
What would you say are the major risks with other developments - and how does Amanzoe Villas differ?
Amanzoe Villas did not happen overnight. It is the result of very thorough consideration, enormous effort and vision to offer Greece a product that was lacking: branded luxury Villas serviced by a 5* internationally acclaimed hotel operator. So basically when you buy an Amanzoe villa you are acquiring an international product that is set in a beautiful setting in Greece. This is the difference and the milestone that the Aman Villas in Amanzoe set for all other developments in the country.
Two bed Aman villas on four hectare lots are available from €3m.
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