Decline in home rental rates keeps slowing down


The decline in house rents in Greece has slowed down to an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the year to end-August, according to figures released by the Bank of Greece on Monday.

The deceleration began last year, when home rental rates fell 4.4 percent, against 7.7 percent in 2014 and 6.8 percent in 2013. Since 2012 when the slide started in earnest, the average annual decline rate has come to 4.8 percent.

The latest RE/MAX national survey showed that rents in Greece fell just 1 percent in the last 12 months.

The relative improvement in the picture recently is attributed to a revival of demand, mainly from visitors from abroad, thanks in part to popular rental websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. The absorption of a significant amount of houses into those platforms has buoyed rental rates across the home market, particularly in areas with a strong interest from abroad. Kolonaki, in central Athens, for example has seen its rates climb 5 percent this year.

The vast majority of interested parties nowadays turn to renting rather than buying, as even those who can afford to purchase prefer renting either before access to bank funding is possible or because they believe prices will continue to slide, or even because they do not want to deal with the constant insecurity of more taxes that come with property ownership in Greece.