Construction licenses have soared in Attica, as a large number of companies have resumed their activity in the housing market, primarily thanks to the high demand from foreign buyers and secondly as a result of interest from some Greek buyers.
The figures that the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) published on Wednesday for September showed that private construction activity in Attica recorded a 432.8 percent yearly increase in planned volume, a 200 percent expansion in surface to be covered and 17 percent growth in permit numbers. In the first nine months of the year 2,521 new permits were issued for Attica, up 18.5 percent year-on-year, concerning 651,000 square meters of surface (an increase of 47.5 percent) and 2,017 cubic meters of volume (i.e. 45.4 percent more than last year).
Besides the increase in demand, mostly driven by investors seeking a five-year residence permit under the Golden Visa program, construction permits have benefited from the significant expectations created by the new government: This is because one of the main measures of the new tax bill is the suspension of the 24 percent value-added tax on new buildings. This concerns properties built with permits issued from January 2006 up until the end of 2022 – i.e. for another three years.
On the other hand, there is always the risk of excessive enthusiasm that may lead to new phenomena of oversupply: Dimitris Kapsimalis, the president of the Federation of Building Constructors of Greece, told Kathimerini that, “according to the data we have from our colleagues, in the southern suburbs alone more than 3,000 new building permits have been issued, which means that in the coming years it is likely there will be as many as 10,000 new homes up for sale, with the majority of them aimed at high-income buyers.”
There has also been an increase in construction activity across the country, though not at the same pace: In the January-September period permits increased 7.9 percent, the surface covered grew 5.4 percent and volume expanded 8.8 percent year-on-year.