Monday, 25 May 2009

The cost of living in Greece

A very fundamental issue for everyone thinking to relocate to another country is the cost of living. This index is usually a ratio of various services, foodstuffs, electricity, house rental, etc. But you need to know how expensive live is going to be before considering relocating anywhere.Some will counter this argument by saying you can live cheap anywhere but if relocating to another country means you have to scrap by in a life of misery it does not sound like the best idea in the world to me.

Things have changed a lot in Greece in the 14 years I have been here. But the old idea of the 70's and 80's when the $ in particular would let you live like a king has changed big time. Greece is as expensive (some would say more so) that many other European countries. This is true in terms of food, electricity, housing, pretty much across the board. Indeed proof of this is the fact that many Greek Americans who have returned to Greece and living off their US pensions are finding things much tougher than a few years ago - the causes are obvious. A weak dollar vis-a-vis the Euro and inflation.

One factor I do not understand is that now when the housing market is in ruins in most of Europe, the Greek property market seems relatively unaffected. Here in Thessaloniki, for example, an upmarket appartment on the sea front admittedly will certainly not sell for less that Euro 750K to one million. Any property you would want to live in will cost in the 200K-300K bracket. This applies not just to the urban market - seaside holiday homes are in pretty much the same price range.


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