BUSINESS

Affluent Athens suburbs suffer most from property price slump

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property

The biggest drop in house prices since the outbreak of the crisis has been recorded in the northern and northeastern suburbs of Attica, and to a somewhat lesser extent in the south of the region, with rate declines exceeding 50 percent against an average drop of 40-45 percent across Athens, according to Bank of Greece figures since 2009.

A study conducted by property surveyors Redvis Ltd showed that the areas with the distinctive profile of a suburb and a high concentration of properties with a rather large surface area have taken the biggest blow from the slump in demand, as transactions have declined by around 80 percent since the time before the crisis broke out.

In areas such as Kifissia, Dionysos and Penteli, north of Athens, where maisonettes and detached houses are common, property prices have been slashed by half in the last few years. Analysts speak of suburbs “with large houses developed in previous decades in anticipation of large demand for homes with a garden.”

Property prices have slumped around 45 percent in southern suburbs such as Ano Glyfada and Voula, as well as in Paleo Psychico and Filothei, north of the center.

All of the above are parts of the capital that have received a double hit from the reduction of their market value as well as huge increases in property taxation. These two factors are interrelated, since areas with high objective values and properties with a large surface area have become increasingly less attractive to buyers due to the high costs that ownership entails.

The imposition of the supplementary tax to the Single Property Tax (ENFIA), in particular, “has wrought irreparable and multiple damage, as it is being imposed on a commodity that can generate neither income nor capital gains,” Redvis notes in its report.

Another factor has been the huge indirect taxation on fuel, which made commuting a problem, while maintenance and day-to-day costs have made larger properties particularly unattractive in the current decade.

In contrast, central parts of the city where homes are smaller and older – making the cost of ownership more manageable – have shown more resilience since the start of the crisis: Neighborhoods such as Zografou, Vyronas, Kallithea and Tavros have seen prices slip 24-32 percent since 2009, with the drop being slightly higher in Piraeus and Maroussi.

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