ECONOMY

Property prices shrank by 7 pct in July-September

Greek property prices posted the biggest drop in the entire European Union in the third quarter of 2014, according to Eurostat figures published on Wednesday in Brussels. The data reflected the picture shown by a Bank of Greece survey, which pointed to a 7 percent yearly decline in the July-September period.

Slovenia ranked second, with a 5.4 percent slide, while Cyprus ranked fourth, as its property prices dropped 1.7 percent cheaper last summer. In the first nine months of last year Greek property prices fell by 7.8 percent on a yearly basis, according to Eurostat.

The Greek housing market remains negative even though there has been a clear slowdown in the rate of decline since end-2012, when prices had posted a 13 percent fall. The BoG’s downward revision of the original data it had issued for the first half of last year and for the whole of 2013 illustrate the negative conditions: The latest figures show a 10.9 annual decline in 2013 (against an originally foreseen drop of 10.3 percent), an 8.8 percent drop in the January-March 2014 period (from 8.5 percent) and a 7.7 percent fall in April-June 2014 (from 7.3 percent originally).

The recent intermediary report by the central bank stressed that the deepening of the crisis in the property market and the significant fall in demand are due to the major tax burden on real estate in recent years.