High prices keeping buyers away from new properties

High prices keeping buyers away from new properties

Property buyers appear excluded from the acquisition of newly built houses and flats, even if many have stood unsold for as many as five years after they were built.

Across the country last year just 2 percent of property transactions concerned apartments aged up to five years, with not a single house built after 2013 being sold in Attica throughout 2018, according to the transactions conducted by the RE/MAX network of real estate agencies. None of the network’s clients chose a recently built property, both because of the higher cost compared with older properties and due to restricted access to bank financing.

RE/MAX data showed that the most popular type of property for Greek buyers at this stage is over 30 years old, renovated and in good condition, and with a surface area of up to 90 square meters.

The fact that they usually come with a lower price tag than newer constructions is certainly the main reason why such properties are popular, though constructors do not appear particularly worried about the shortage of buyers and continue to raise their asking prices.

Research data by the estate agency showed that in 2018 the sale price of newly built houses rose 7 percent across Greece, while previously owned properties saw prices climb 9 percent. Seven out of 10 buyers opted for properties aged 30 years or more and 15 percent chose properties aged 11 to 20 years old.

In Attica’s case the price for properties of all ages averaged at 2,500-4,000 euros/sq.m. depending on the district. Even houses up to 20 years old attracted just 12 percent of buyers, while 78 percent of transactions concerned properties aged 30 years or older.

In Thessaloniki last year 63 percent of buyers chose properties that were at least 25 years old and around 20 percent of the houses sold were aged six to 15 years. Just 5 percent of purchases were for new houses.

In surface terms, mid-sized properties performed best Attica, as 41 percent of transactions concerned houses up to 70 sq.m. and another 40 percent of buyers chose houses between 71 and 110 sq.m. In Thessaloniki the 71-110-sq.m. category was equally popular, attracting 40 percent of demand, flats up to 50 sq.m. secured 20 percent of buyers, and houses between 51 and 70 sq.m. were sold in 18 percent of transactions.

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