The Athens housing market remains under the strong influence of short-term rentals, as 70 percent of buying interest in small residential units concerns properties destined to be upgraded and leased through websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. As a result property prices posted mild growth in the first quarter of 2019, according to an analysis by Geoaxis chartered surveyors.
The survey of sale prices in Attica identified a 2 percent annual increase in expected sale prices in January-March, compared to the same period last year. The increase in the price of new apartments (those up to seven years old) came to 2.4 percent, while older properties built at least 15 years ago saw a smaller rise of 2.2 percent.
The Geoaxis analysis focused mainly on five districts in the capital that reflect the picture of the entire market. In the case of new apartments, the biggest hike was recorded in Holargos, where rates rose 2.75 percent to an average level of 2,365 euros per square meter. This was followed by Maroussi, which saw a 2.47 percent increase to 1,815 euros/sq.m., Ambelokipi (up 2.4 percent to 1,640 euros/sq.m.), Palaio Faliro (2.35 percent to 2,050 euros/sq.m.) and Peristeri (2.05 percent to 1,365 euros/sq.m.).
Among older apartments, the biggest rise was observed in Maroussi, amounting to 2.8 percent, to 1,025 euros/sq.m. Holargos was next with 2.47 percent growth to 1,275 euros/sq.m., ahead of Palaio Faliro and Ambelokipi, which both climbed 1.92 percent to 1,025 euros/sq.m. and 900 euros/sq.m. respectively, while Peristeri saw the smallest increase, up 1.85 percent to 815 euros/sq.m.
According to Giannis Xylas, head of Geoaxis and chair of RICS Hellas / Valuation Professional Group, “the positive aspects of the market continue to include the constant feeding of demand for the transformation of apartments into short-term rentals, mainly in the center of Athens, as well as for the acquisition of residence permits in the context of the ‘Golden Visa’ program, mostly from Chinese and Turkish citizens.” He went on to stress that this belated recovery of the market is fragile due to taxation and oversupply.