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Greek property prices fall 7.5 pct in Q1

Greek property prices continued to fall in the first quarter, even though the economic recession eased, as squeezed household incomes, record-high unemployment and tax increases still took a toll, data showed on Tuesday.

Property accounts for a large chunk of household wealth as Greece has one of the highest homeownership rates in Western Europe 80 percent versus a European Union average of 70 percent according to European Mortgage Federation data.

Bank of Greece figures showed that apartment prices fell 7.5 percent in the first three months of 2014 from a year earlier, after an 8.6 percent decline in the previous quarter.

Higher property taxes to help plug budget deficits, coupled with tight credit from capital-strapped banks and a jobless rate hovering near 27 percent have pressured the market as Athens struggles to emerge from a crippling debt crisis.

Based on the central bank data, apartment prices have plunged 34.7 percent from a peak in 2008, when the countrys recession began.

The property market could start to see some relief if the economy pulls out of a six-year recession this year.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 20, 2014 (19:44)  
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