Prices for luxury properties falling

By Nikos Roussanoglou

The prices of the most expensive properties in the Greek capital, which perhaps could once only be topped by those of Monaco, Moscow and central London, have returned to levels not seen since 2004.

The sumptuous residences on the Dionysiou Areopagitou walkway at the foot of the Acropolis and on Irodou Attikou, where the Presidential Palace is, may have lost part of their value but this is appreciably less than the average 40-50 percent being observed in the broader market, according to realtor Pantelis Moysiadis.

The same appears to be the case at Lemos, a part of the southern seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni, where rates are somewhat lower (6,000-10,000 euros/square meter).

Nearer the city center, in the plush suburbs of Filothei and Palaio Psychico, prices have fallen significantly in the last two years, receding to 5,000-6,000 euros/sq.m., from 8,000-9,000 euros. If a property on Dionysiou Areopagitou was sold today it could fetch 15,000-20,000 euros/sq.m., depending on the level and the view.

?Due to its exclusive character, the low frequency with which its properties come onto the market and the category of buyers that may be interested in them, prices in this particular street are very sticky, especially as regards penthouses. They are 20 properties in all, most of them listed, whose prices multiplied six or seven times when it was pedestrianized,? says Moysiadis. The apartments are generally large, ranging between 250 and 350 sq.m. By contrast, Irodou Attikou is dominated by detached residences -- most of them built between 1935 and 1955 -- and is not pedestrianized. The remaining features are basically the same as those of Dionysiou Areopagitou. Due to the lack of new properties, few have been sold on either street over the last 10 years.

In the last recorded sale (2010) on Dionysiou Areopagitou, the new owner paid nearly 8 million euros (or 22,000/sq.m.) for 360 sq.m. On Irodou Attikou Street, prices start at 10,000 euros/sq.m. and rise up to 25,000 euros/sq.m.

The prices are approximate, depending almost exclusively on the sum the prospective buyer is prepared to offer to entice the owner.