ECONOMY

Property rates are not sliding

property-rates-are-not-sliding

The property market appears to be moving in a direction of its own, unaligned with the reality forced onto the rest of the economy by the pandemic. At a time when anyone would have expected property prices to slip, it appears owners expect a rebound in the coming months, considering this crisis to be all but finished.

The data from the Spitogatos Property Index (SPI) that the online ads platform compiles showed that asking prices posted a 2.7% annual increase in the last quarter of 2020.

More impressively, there was also an increase on a quarterly basis from the July-September period, at an accelerated rate too, as prices rose 0.9%, after 0.12% growth between the second and the third quarter of 2020.

That trend runs across all areas represented in the PSI index. Therefore, in the capital’s northern suburbs, the quarterly increase in the October-December period amounted to 2.07%, from 0.75% in the previous quarter. Even in the center of Athens, one of the few areas to display a slight drop in prices, the quarterly slide was reduced to 1.1%, against 1.65% in the third quarter.

On an annual basis, the picture is even more revealing of owners’ intentions. In the northern suburbs, the rise in asking prices from the last quarter of 2019 came to 4.1%, with the average rate standing at 2,314 euros per square meter, from €2,222/sq.m. a year earlier. In the western suburbs the increase reached 7%, with the asking price at €1,333, from €1,246/sq.m. in Q4 of 2019.

The highest average rate in Q4 2020 was in the southern suburbs of Athens, measured at €2,642/sq.m., up 2.6% from a year earlier.

In the recent intermediary report on its monetary policy, the Bank of Greece noted that the price growth trend had eased on an annual basis. In the first nine months of 2020 prices grew 4.6% year-on-year, from a 7.1% rate in the same period in 2019. However, it added that the impact of the pandemic had not yet been fully priced into property rates. In major cities the rise was even more notable, at 7.6% in Athens and 4.5% in Thessaloniki.