PROPERTY

Rental rates resume their rise

rental-rates-resume-their-rise

Price hikes are not only seen this year in the retail market and in energy, but also in residential rental rates, after the apparently temporary freezing in 2020 due to the lockdowns.

While there have been certain areas with some minor downward adjustments, so as to facilitate the leasing of some properties, the general trend is clearly upward again now, especially in the country’s two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.

Athens-Attica Estate Agent Association President Lefteris Potamianos says that rents have shown an increase of 25-30% in most areas of the capital since 2017.

For instance, the rent for an apartment of 80 square meters that until a few years ago would be no more than 500 euros per month can now reach €650 or even €700. 

For example, during the lockdowns, the tenant of a fifth-floor, one-bedroom apartment in Piraeus was paying rent of €280/month; that rate has now been raised to €350/month – that is 25% higher and with the health crisis still raging. 

Other examples include a 50 sq.m. flat near Pedion tou Areos in central Athens that was rented for €350/month in 2018 and whose owner is now demanding €400/month, an increase of about 15%, and in Kallithea, south of the city center, a 60 sq.m. ground-floor flat has climbed from €400/month in late 2019 to €450/month today.

“Since 2018 we have seen a 10-15% increase in rates, while comparison with 2017 puts the hikes as high as 30%,” Potamianos tells Kathimerini. “The paradox of the matter is that this year there has been an additional increase of 3-5%, or even higher, which is hard to explain given the pandemic,” he adds.

He goes on to note that, besides the demand recorded, state support measures have spared most households from a significant income decline.

During this part of this year, especially, landlords are pushing for higher rental rates as they believe they can capitalize on the accumulated demand from the reopening of universities with the physical presence of students.

On top of that, demand is being boosted by the 11,700 hirings in education.