Retail spaces on Ermou, Athens’s main shopping street, are being purchased at prices unseen since the outbreak of the financial crisis, as the rebound of property prices in the area (which started in 2016) and the increasing tourism flow to the capital stir memories of better times.
Besides the retail spaces that NBG Pangaea (at 66 Ermou) and Trastor (16-18 Ermou) have acquired in the last few weeks, Kathimerini understands that another store, at 21 Ermou, was recently sold at bank auction, with the winning bid coming to almost 620,000 euros. This was a remarkable 77 percent up on the minimum bid, designated at 350,000 euros.
All this investment activity, in spite of the increase in prices, is due to a series of factors, starting with Ermou’s growing popularity, which appears to be even greater than before the crisis, mainly thanks to the growth in tourism arrivals in Athens. The rapid rise of short-term holiday rentals through online platforms such as Airbnb has also boosted consumption in the city center, with thousands of tourists staying in apartments in the area. Consequently, in the last 12 months, store rents for some of the best spots on Ermou have soared by some 20 percent, while there are no empty retail spaces left. The average rental rate amounts to 230-240 euros per square meter.
The rising trend is set to continue with strengthening demand. The major chains, particularly international companies, are constantly on the lookout for new spaces on Ermou to open stores, beyond their positioning in malls. Therefore, in the last few months, new stores have been opened on Ermou by Forever 21 and Berto Lucci.
Another sign of Ermou’s ascendancy is the return of the concept of “good will” among the advantages of a property that owners cite to raise their asking price.