BUSINESS

Property buyers turn to northern suburbs

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property

More and more candidate buyers are turning to the property market in the northern suburbs of Athens because they cannot or will not match the increased demands of apartment sellers in the city center or the southern suburbs.

This constitutes yet another swing in demand within Attica, stemming from the price rally in various districts of central Athens that typically include low-quality and old properties, as well as the southern suburbs, which boast a high number of purchases by non-European Union citizens wishing to obtain a five-year residence permit, or “Golden Visa.”

According to the annual market analysis by Eurobank Property Services, Greek buyers have started shifting to areas such as Psychico, Kifissia and other suburbs with more affordable options, because of the great rise in prices in the city center.

Several areas in the northern suburbs continue to offer relatively good value-for-money rates, as prices there have yet to recover following the 40 percent average decline over the last 10 years. In contrast, the center has seen the rate of sales of old apartments, built more than 30 years ago, soar from 15-20 percent to 90 percent in Koukaki and other central neighborhoods.

The analysis notes that the dominant trend last year was turning apartments into short-term holiday rentals, as advertised on online platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway, because often the potential revenues from such lets are much higher than conventional long-term leasing.

At the same time, some owners in areas of high interest, such as the city center, have taken their apartments off the long-term rental market and are exclusively letting them through online platforms.

Last year there was also a strong rise in the rental rates of the apartments left available in the above neighborhoods, rapidly approaching the level recorded at the peak period of mid-2006 to mid-2008. In some cases, mainly concerning smaller flats, asking rates now match or exceed the record levels seen in the previous decade.

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