Greece is no longer a European Union laggard in terms of the increase in property prices, as the rapid rise of short-term rentals and the Golden Visa program for non-EU buyers have put the local market firmly on the growth path.
The latest Bank of Greece data reveal that residential property prices in Athens rose 3.7 percent year-on-year over the third quarter of last year, while the increase across Greece came to 2.5 percent, up from 1.2 percent in Q2 and 0.3 percent in Q1. This is the highest growth rate recorded since the start of the Greek recession in 2008.
In 2017 property prices took a final dive, falling 1 percent and taking the entire price drop since 2008 to almost 42 percent, per BoG figures.
At the same time prices in the EU rose an average of 4.3 percent, with Greece moving off the bottom of the growth list, above Sweden, Finland and Cyprus.
Market professionals estimate this picture will improve further when the Q4 data come out, as prices were seen growing further toward the end of last year.
The activity of Greek and foreign property development companies, investors, funds and apartments owners is reminiscent of 2004, especially in Athens, and that’s pretty much without the involvement of banks, which rarely issue mortgages these days.