BUSINESS

Holiday homes see interest from abroad increase

But many waiting for prices to drop By Nikos Roussanoglou

More and more property buyers from abroad are scanning the Greek real estate market for investment opportunities, although for the time being they only seem to be window shopping, as they expect prices to drop further.

In a recent report on the Greek holiday home market, property services company Savills says there has been a 30 percent drop in average prices compared with the 2007-08 period, just before the start of the financial crisis.

Savills argues that holiday home transactions in Greece remain at very low levels and that the stock of unsold properties is increasing. Luxury holiday homes average at 6,700 euros per square meter, while the average asking price for a modern two-bedroom house is 2,400 euros/sq.m.

These prices concern quality constructions in the most popular areas with a sea view and only represent a small portion of the properties for sale, as in most cases there are discounts if the properties have remained on the market for a year or more.

The most expensive areas are Myconos, Santorini, Corfu and certain parts of Crete and Halkidiki, i.e. spots that have always attracted a great number of buyers from abroad. In Greece?s case, the interest is mostly coming from the British, Russians, Germans, Chinese and Turks, while there is also a small demand from diaspora Greeks. Besides the aforementioned areas, the islands of Paros and Cephalonia are attracting interest too.

Nevertheless most potential buyers have chosen to wait, expecting prices to drop further, which serves to explain the fact that demand for holiday homes in Greece is at the lowest point of the last 15 years, according to Savills.

A few months ago, Savills had conducted a survey in association with Internet site Homeaway among 3,000 British holiday home owners and tenants, which ranked Greece ninth among the most attractive countries for British holiday home buyers -- and that was before the country?s debt was restructured and the new government was formed.

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