“Greeks can no longer wire or transfer funds in or out,” John Panagakos of Dominion Lending Centres
Home Financial told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “They lost the opportunity but I think their money will be safe in the long-run, but it’s hard to say.”
The Greek government, headed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsiparas, has effectively frozen its financial system by closing banks and the country’s stock market in a bid to curb mass withdrawals.
The move was made shortly after the European Central Bank refused to expand the emergency loan program that has been used to keep Greek banks afloat.
In February, Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist with Dominion Lending Centres
told MortgageBrokerNews.ca that, due to political uncertainty, nationals from Greece were expected to move their money out-of-country and into the Canadian real estate market.
Panagakos received a number of inquiries at the time.
“I’m getting calls and emails from people in Greece that are transferring here and they want direction; how much money is going to flow into here?” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca in February. “We know billions of dollars are leaving the country every week because of uncertainty and where that money is going we don’t know.
“For Greek nationals, the Canadian real estate market is a safe place (to invest).”
However, that never really came to fruition and it seems like the opportunity has passed.
“There was nothing crazy,” Panagakos said. “I had one Greek client who purchased a permanent residence here to park some money, but that was about it.”
The boom that was expected never came to fruition, and with the Greek government freezing its financial system, brokers expecting an influx of Greek money have missed that opportunity.