ECONOMY

Housing loan market is strong

The housing loans market in Greece remains robust in 2004. The rate of increase in borrowing, compared to last year, fluctuates between 15 and 20 percent, a positive development according to bank managers. During the past three years, the growth rate of housing loans increased between 25 and 40 percent each year, the highest rate in the EU. The reason for the lower growth rate this year, managers say, is widespread rumors that housing prices will fall after the Olympic Games. Experts do not share that view, and believe the loan market will continue to rise in 2005 as well. Unless there is a steep rise in interest rates, an unlikely