BUSINESS

Coastal Athens attracts bulk of investor interest

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property, Focus

The Athens Riviera represents about 80 percent of demand for property purchases in the broader area of the Greek capital. Coastal locations stretching from the city’s seaside southern suburbs all the way to Sounio are attracting most of the interest, while buyers are also focusing on Artemida (Loutsa) and Rafina, according to data provided by online real estate platform Spitogatos.

Property price levels in all these areas have held steady over the past year, despite the Greek recession, as local and foreign buyers, especially from within the European Union, have expressed a growing interest in seaside properties that can be utilized commercially.

Real estate market officials have pointed out the distinct emergence of a group of non-EU buyers looking to purchase property worth at least 250,000 euros. This would enable the buyers and their family members to meet criteria concerning residency permit applications.

Another category of foreign buyers comprises individuals seeking to acquire property with sea views. This group’s aim is to lease properties short-term via online platforms such as Airbnb.

This category of buyers is focused mostly on the areas of Varkiza, Lagonissi, Vouliagmeni, Anavyssos, Saronida, Voula, Kato Glyfada and Sounio, the Spitogato data showed.

It is anticipated that the wider region south of central Athens will represent the main focus for property investments at professional, educational, commercial, tourism and cultural levels over the next few years, assuming investment plans in the region are completed. The redevelopment of the former Athens airport at seaside Elliniko, a flagship project, is seen as pivotal. Residential units, offices, shopping centers, a casino-hotel complex, one of Europe’s biggest parks, as well as culture and entertainment spaces are all seen being incorporated into this major investment project.

Besides Elliniko, renovations at the Astir Palace luxury hotel complex are expected to be completed within the next year. According to market analysts, these are expected to trigger wider development in the area stretching from Varkiza to Sounio, currently relatively less developed and including areas such as Lagonissi, Saronida and Anavyssos.

Property values are seen rising over the next few years along the capital’s southern coast all the way to Sounio, as long as the Greek economy rebounds and secures a path of steady growth.

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