Fitch sees further growth of Greek mortgage market

LONDON – Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, says both Greek residential mortgage-backed securitizations (RMBS) and residential mortgage market are set for further expansion, according to a new study published yesterday. The report examines the principal features of the country’s residential property market, some of the key legal issues associated with Greek RMBS and contains a summary of the Greek securitization law. The Greek mortgage market has experienced one of the fastest growth rates in the EU, recording average annual growth of 31 percent at end-2003. Between 1994 and end-2002, average annual property prices in Athens and other urban areas increased by 13 percent and 9 percent respectively. «The market has developed in response to a benign economic environment, supported by falling interest rates and declining unemployment. As a result, the impact of an economic downturn on delinquencies and defaults has yet to be tested,» says Lara Patrignani, director at Fitch’s European Structured Finance team.