PROPERTY

Greeks boost housing market

Residential property assets see increase in demand, even entering investment portfolios

greeks-boost-housing-market

The residential property market has entered a new cycle of growth, without suffering any serious problems as a result of the pandemic. The main feature is the return of the Greeks to transactions.

Property experts report that demand is being observed at multiple speeds, both regarding newbuilds and older homes. What is certain is that after more than a decade of low transaction volumes and the domination of foreign investors, Greeks are making a more dynamic entry into the frame.

Buying interest is not the same across the market and does not concern a large number of households. Realty professionals say buildings aged up to 15 years are easily absorbed by demand, with interest in Attica focusing on the northern and southern suburbs and in the 250,000-500,000 euro price range.

Obviously such assets are not in the price range of the majority of salary workers, but mainly freelance professionals such as doctors and lawyers, the self-employed and entrepreneurs. The fact that these people appear to have the necessary capital to buy a house does not necessarily go hand in hand with the picture stemming from tax revenues; that should worry the Finance Ministry which should look to avoid the creation of a new price bubble inflated by undeclared revenues.

On the contrary, the bulk of interested buyers make more affordable choices, eyeing older and smaller properties in less privileged areas. Those seeking to buy a house or apartment are usually able to afford assets up to €100,000-€150,000, given that they must provide at least 30% from their personal money (the banks lend them the rest). Consequently their choices will typically be properties of at least 20 years in age, in more central areas and with the prospects of renovation and energy upgrading being essential for improving the quality of life of the new owners.

Nevertheless, housing has also started entering the investment portfolios of major property and construction groups, as besides the residential option, blocks of apartments could also be used as tourism accommodation.