By Stathis Kousounis
Although 2013 has been a record one for Greek tourism, a high number of hotel owners, including some on popular resort islands, put their units up for sale at the end of the season.
A Kathimerini survey involving a leading online real estate agency in the November-December period found as many as 125 for sale advertisements for mostly small and medium-sized hotel units at 19 Greek island destinations.
The combined price sought by the owners for the sale of those 125 hotels was 378.5 million euros, with the asking prices for most small and medium-sized units being up to 3 million euros.
Bigger hotels were found for sale on islands with a higher hotel bed capacity: A hotel with 220 beds on the island of Rhodes had an asking price of 22 million euros, while on Corfu two hotels with 110 and 155 beds were for sale for 15 and 16 million euros respectively.
Besides Rhodes and Corfu, the other islands where hotels have been put on the market are Milos, Santorini, Paros, Antiparos, Andros, Tinos, Serifos, Syros, Myconos, Naxos, Sifnos, Ios, Patmos, Kos, Crete, Cephalonia and Zakynthos.
The islands with the highest number of hotel for sale ads during the two-month period were Corfu and Santorini. On Santorini there were 29 units on the market for a combined asking price of 64.5 million euros, while the owners of the 28 units for sale on Corfu are hoping to pocket 134.7 million euros. Paros follows with 15 hotels for sale for a total 32.7 million euros, Myconos with 11 units for 49.6 million, Crete with 10 hotels for 19.5 million, Rhodes with seven units for 29.65 million, and Zakynthos and Naxos with five hotels apiece on the market.
Despite the multitude of options, transactions in the hotel sector have been few and far between in recent years. Market experts say that buyers are waiting for prices to drop further. As Greek tourism is expected to reach a new record in 2014, both in terms of arrivals and revenues, experts believe that hotel transactions will increase considerably in the next few years. They also expect banks to take ownership of indebted units ahead of their resale to the private market.
As for international hotel groups, any interest they have in the Greek market is focused on undertaking the management of local hotel units.