Residential property market recovers despite the pandemic

Residential property market recovers despite the pandemic

The recovery of Greece’s residential real estate market continued in the first three months of 2021 despite the Covid-19 pandemic which caused an 8.2% economic slump last year, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

Greek house prices fell 42% between 2008 – when the protracted recession began – and the end of 2017. The market was hurt by property taxes imposed to plug budget deficits, tight bank lending and a jobless rate that peaked at 27.8% in 2013. But economic prospects improved thereafter with Greece emerging from its latest bailout in August 2018 and now relying on markets for funding.

Property accounts for a big chunk of household wealth in Greece, where the home ownership rate is 73.5%, above the eurozone average of 66%, according to European Union statistics on income and living conditions.

Greece’s housing sector recovery has been driven by a growing economy and foreign interest. Apartment prices rose 3.2% in the first quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, Bank of Greece data showed, and the pace was up from a 2.3% increase in the fourth quarter.

The uptrend benefited all areas of the market – including old and newly built apartments – and in all regions, although price gains in the capital Athens led the way.

Prices rose 5.4% year-on-year in Athens, where home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and the Golden Visa program – a renewable five-year resident’s permit in return for a 250,000-euro investment in real estate – have become popular. (Reuters)

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