The remarkable come-back of Athens Real Estate

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
Last Update: 13:19
Athens is staging a remarkable come-back, we can now state this with some certainty. I have previously (2014) diagnosed some green shoots of GRecovery and predicted that they were endangered by political uncertainty and decisions. I was proven correct on both counts, unfortunately for the latter. Those green shoots of 2014 have mostly wilted under the hot winds unleashed by the hellish economic environment of the emergency situation and capital controls of 2015. Not all of them, however.Niche markets survived and continued their upward move, slowly but surely through the tough times of closed banks. Indeed, driven by foreign capital through short term leases of the Airbnb type and the Golden Visa projects, some areas genuinely thrived. Hence, the buildings and apartments of the old Athens city center that used to sell for a few hundred euros per square meter have now doubled or more their lowest prices. Although still a bargain by most international metrics, we can safely say that these areas are safely out of the crisis woods.

Like the pebble thrown in a stagnant lake, the ripple effect arrives slowly in neighboring areas with rental prices the first to feel the pinch. The relevant indicators are surely on the positive side for about a year now with some areas significantly overshooting. Does that mean that the whole market has turned?

The answer is still no, not the whole of the market. It΄s mostly the areas that attract foreign interest that move upwards but it΄s a matter of time as the economy improves for the remaining areas to stop falling and stabilize before the prices there too head north.

As I wrote previously, the market is still full of bargains. Having said that. some areas are well past the worst point, although some others hover close to their all-time lows. For sure, the climb towards all time highs is long and steep and will present further opportunities for capital gains. However, I f you really want to put a foot on the Athens property ladder at rock-bottom prices, the window of opportunity gradually closes.

 

Kosmas Theodorides

Dipl. Ing. Agr., MSc (DIC), PhD, Vice President, Greek Real Estate Brokers Federation (O.M.A.S.E), Head Broker of Polis Realty, a network of eight Brokerages in Attica.

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