Property sales are crumbling

The property market will take a long time to recover, and even if financial conditions do improve in 2014, as forecast, it will take longer for the sector to stage a rebound, the head of Eurobank Properties told institutional investors and analysts during a recent presentation, echoing the view of other real estate professionals.

Bank of Greece data showed that in the first six months of the year, the number of property transactions conducted through the banking system posted a 52.5 percent annual decline, on the back of a 42 percent drop in the same period in 2011. This happened despite the drop in prices by about 20 percent since the end of 2008, according to BoG data, which market professional actually raise to 30-40 percent.

An Alpha Bank report illustrated that the rate of decline in transactions has been sharper than that seen for construction licenses issued, which in the first half of the year posted a 17.9 percent annual contraction, after a 35.6 percent decline in the same period in 2011.

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