BUSINESS

House price rally slows in January-March

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Property

Coronavirus slammed the brakes on the growth rate of residential property prices during the first quarter of the year, according to figures released last Thursday by the Bank of Greece.

As the property market started feeling the first pinch of the pandemic, house prices saw their advance slow to 6.9% from the 7.6% rate of the last quarter of 2019. Likewise, in Attica, growth slowed to 10.6% in January-March from 11.2% in October-December.

According to the revised BoG data, prices last year across Greece recorded an annual rise of 7.3%: This is the best performance since the mid-2000s, as in 2006 prices had jumped 13% from 2005.

The pandemic is putting additional pressure on prices, given the fatigue in the market following many quarters of rising steeply, say property professionals, arguing that the absence of buying interest from abroad is unlikely to change until at least the last quarter of the year.

The increase in house prices since late 2017 has mainly been based on demand from foreign investors either for the use of properties for short-term holiday rentals or for the issue of a residence permit through the Golden Visa program.

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