Property prices that would have caused a buying frenzy had it still been the period before the financial crisis are now appearing in a number of upmarket areas of Attica, estate agency data show, while the uncertainty in the country’s economy leaves no scope for any improvement in the market in the coming year either, real estate experts warn.
As the financial crisis continues, with households being unable to access bank financing, transactions are few and far between, even with property prices as low as they currently are.
According to Yiannis Xylas, owner of Geoaxis Property & Valuation Services, although the rate of the price decline dropped to 2.2 percent on annual basis in the third quarter of the year, the slump is expected to continue for as long as the economic climate shows no signs of improvement.
Xylas argues that the significant delays in the start of major projects in the property market, such as the development of Elliniko and the southern Attica seafront rejuvenation that includes a variety of projects, not to mention the inability of smaller developments such as apartment blocks to obtain financing, have taken a big toll on the housing market, which has been floored.
Furthermore, significant groups within the population, such as young people and economic migrants, who in the recent past had absorbed a considerable portion of the supply of properties, are today unable to contribute toward reducing the stock of unsold residences, estimated at 200,000.
Another problem in the market may stem from auctions of primary residences, as there is a risk of the existing stock of homes on offer increasing further, with prices likely to drop even further from their exceptionally low current level.
For instance, Geoaxis survey data show that in the relatively expensive area of Holargos, north of central Athens, the average asking price for new houses is 2,350 euros per square meter, while in 2008 one would be getting a bargain at a rate of 2,800-3,000 euros/sq.m.