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There has recently been a strong and increasing interest in holiday homes on the island of Crete from mainly foreign companies especially in peaceful locations, such as Agia Pelagia, Hani, Gouves and Stalida, resulting in a number of major investment plans in Crete's tourism development sector targeting to high-income buyers.
One of the biggest development projects on Crete is a €1.2 billion investment plan by a British consortium in the Kavo Sidero peninsula (Siteia region), to build a huge complex that is to include three hotels, two golf courses and six holiday house villages. Another project is a €130 million development at Faneromenis Bay (also near Siteia) in an area of two square kilometers, which will have a five-star hotel, a 500-seat conference hall, a marina (capable of accommodating 85 yachts), 300 holiday houses as well as an 18-hole golf course and a holiday village with 500 homes in the project's second stage.
Most of the prospective buyers for holiday homes come from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany, although there has been an increasing influx of wealthy Russians investing in residential properties. Potential real estate investors are attracted by the wide variety of locations Crete has to offer, including many unspoiled and undeveloped areas.
Although the northern areas near Heraklion city is the most sought after by foreign buyers, Crete's southern coasts and inland areas are at a high elevation offering spectacular views. The other tourism-developed areas such as Elounda Bay (in Lasithi) and Bali (outside Rethymnon) are also attracting buyers’ interest.
Newly-built houses in Heraklion are priced between €1,800 and €3,000 per square meter, while the asking price for housing in Chania in 2007 was between €1,600 and €2,800 per square meter, an increase of five percent from the previous year.