ATHENS

Property boom on the cards

property-boom-on-the-cards

The upcoming facelift of Athens, through the expected utilization and change in usage of a number of buildings, is set to considerably change the image of the capital, resulting in a property market boom, especially in certain categories. They will likely be affordable apartments targeted at new families, luxury or boutique hotels, bioclimatic office spaces, and furnished apartments for short-term rentals.

Property market professionals, including Dimand Real Estate chief executive Dimitris Andriopoulos, estimate that at least 200 buildings in the city center will see a change in use, users and possibly owners too in the next seven years. He expects funds of 500 million euros to be pumped into the market for the implementation of these plans.

A catalyst for these investments will be the departure of major building users from the center over the next few years: Ministries, banks and big companies such as Public Power Corporation are planning to move to other parts of the capital, freeing up buildings in the city center, many of them quite significant.

For example, Piraeus Bank has agreed to transfer all its administrative offices in Attica, which are currently spread across 18 buildings, to the new development at Elliniko on the southern coast. The deal with Elliniko contractor Lamda Development amounts to €147 million and the relocation is expected to take place in 2025, when the 40,000-square meter office tower will be ready.

The impact of the plan for the relocation of nine ministries from Athens city center to the PYRKAL facilities near Daphni will be even more important. This is anticipated for 2025-26 and will free up 127 buildings with a total surface of 350,000 sq.m., most of which are in the center. They include some emblematic buildings, such those hosting the Finance Ministry in Syntagma Square, which are considered particularly privileged.

The government is examining options for the utilization of all those buildings. Many of them will be transformed into social residences (i.e. affordable housing mainly for young couples), which will be revamped through public-private partnerships and come on the market as of 2023, when the PYRKAL site facelift proceeds.