BUSINESS

Greece has the most affordable homes in Europe

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property

The Greek homes market has the lowest rates among 18 European countries according to an international survey by the RE/MAX Europe network of estate agents.

In 2016 a 100-square meter apartment in a Greek city cost 92,200 euros on average, or 922 euros/sq.m., while outside urban areas the average price of a house of the same size stood at 67,000 euros (670 euros/sq.m.).

The price of city residences endured a further decline from 2015, when the average had come to 940 euros/sq.m. while country homes posted an increase from 650 euros/sq.m. in 2015. That increase reflects the increased buying interest in holiday homes last year.

For this year RE/MAX stresses that the residential property market is expected to stabilize as a result of the attractive sale prices, the increase in domestic demand and some signs of growth in the Greek economy. The intention of the banks to issue some mortgage loans, if under strict conditions, could also make a positive contribution.

According to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures, residential property transactions in Greece posted an increase of 25.2 percent in 2015, although the details remain unknown as most transactions are made exclusively in cash.

Greece has the cheapest homes in Europe thanks to the considerable drop in prices, which amounts to 45 percent since end-2008, according to the Bank of Greece.

In contrast, the highest prices in Europe are to be found in Luxembourg, where a 100 sq.m. city apartment costs an average of 797,500 euros. In Switzerland a similar house averages at 754,100 euros.

Prices of properties in Greece for use as holiday homes are particularly competitive when compared to rival destinations: In Italy the average price of a 100 sq.m. apartment in a city came to 210,000 euros (120,000 euros in the countryside) and in Spain the equivalent prices were 172,000 euros in cities and 117,000 euros in the countryside. They are therefore approximately twice as expensive as Greek properties, while the price trend across most European markets is upward.

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