BUSINESS

Greek residences among cheapest in Europe

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property

A recent survey of residential property markets in 17 European countries by Statista researchers has found that Greece is fifth in terms how big a property one can buy with 200,000 euros. According to the results of the survey, for that amount in Greece, one could expect to find a newly built three-bedroom apartment of about 120 square meters that could cover the needs of an average family.

Estate agents estimate that the average market price of apartments in Attica currently stands at about 1,650 euros per sq.m., against an average of around 2,500 euros/sq.m. in the years before the financial crisis; at that time you’d be extremely lucky to find a newly built 80 sq.m. flat for 200,000 euros.

Apartments of around 80 sq.m. are now in high demand and are big enough for the majority of home seekers, as the buying public has now reduced its demands due to the crisis and the lack of access to bank financing. Agents add that there has also been a negative impact from the new taxes in recent years, and particularly the Single Property Tax (ENFIA). ENFIA is calculated according to the area of each property, therefore, the larger a residence is, the higher the tax will be. In the past there were no such concerns, with buyers choosing their future homes based on the location, the features of the property and the cost.

The steep drop in prices has made the Greek property market much more accessible to domestic and foreign buyers compared to 2008, and prices are continuing to decrease, having already fallen below those in Spain. Russia is the cheapest country, according to the survey, and Britain the most expensive.

Bank of Greece figures showed that in the second quarter of the year the drop in Greek property prices came to 2.7 percent on an annual basis, compared with a 4.7 percent year-on-year decline in the first quarter. Specific data on newly built apartments (up to five years old) showed prices fell 3.3 percent in Q2, while older flats dropped 2.3 percent y-o-y. In Q1 the decline came to 5.3 percent for new flats and 4.4 percent for older properties.

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