ECONOMY

Major discounts for newly-built houses in Athens

The summer retail sales may officially last until the end of August — with significant discounts for apparel and homeware — but bargains in the housing market will be around for far longer, as the slump persists.

Price drops in real estate are expected to continue being particularly attractive, given that the acquisition of a home today can cost up to 50 percent less than its original price. There are many such examples in almost every part of the capital, while the phenomenon is gradually expanding to other cities as well.

According to data from estate agents, one constructor in Pangrati near the center of Athens is offering a newly-built apartment of 80 square meters at 1,500 euros/sq.m., against an original price of 2,500 euros/sq.m. — meaning a 40-percent discount. In Nikea, near Piraeus, another constructor is asking 1,200 euros/sq.m. for a newly-built apartment, which is almost the cost of the construction plus the price of the plot, against an original asking price of 2,000 euros/sq.m.

In yet another instance, in Halandri, north of Athens, an apartment built in 2009 that remains unsold is being offered at a rate of 1,500 euros/sq.m. (140,000 euros in total). The average asking price in the area today stands at between 2,700 and 3,000 euros/sq.m., while prices peaked in 2006-2007 at 3,500 euros/sq.m., without any margin for negotiations for buyers.

The possibility to haggle for a lower price is indeed the biggest difference in the real estate market today.

Lefteris Potamianos, head of the Search