ECONOMY

Houses in older suburbs of Athens often cost more than in newer ones

Filothei, Palaio Psychico and Kefalari are the capital’s most expensive areas for buying a house, overtaking in many cases Ekali and Politeia, the traditionally exclusive areas in Athens. The same applies to the few plots available. Trailing them, but still exclusive, are Kolonaki, Drosia and Glyfada, according to data by Cityscape Investment & Property Services SA. «In Psychico and Filothei, especially in certain neighborhoods, plots are larger and have a distance from neighboring properties,» says Daphne Priovolou-Georgantzi, housing director of Cityscape. «A few of them, particularly in Filothei, have an excellent view of the eastern part of Athens.» Newly built houses in Palaio Psychico and Filothei cost between 5,500 to 6,500 euros per square meter. Prices in both areas refer to their most «privileged» spots. In Kefalari, the few new houses on sale start from 5,000 euros per sq.m. and can reach 5,500 euros per sq.m. The small number of new constructions is keeping prices at high levels. «Kefalari’s total permissible built area is comparatively smaller, so its houses are fewer and farther between, literally, which favors detached houses,» explains Priovolou-Georgantzi. There are more advantages in these areas, pushing house prices higher. The houses on offer are quiet, surrounded by green spaces, located in safe areas and often come with amenities such as swimming pools and elegantly designed sitting rooms. However the houses available are very few, since not many people can purchase them. This translates into very limited sales and purchases. Plot prices are also high. For example, land prices in Psychico and Filothei start from 2,800 euros per sq.m. up to 3,000 euros per sq.m. In Kefalari plots in the «good» spots range between 2,000 and 2,500 euros per sq.m. Yet one can find some adequate and buildable plots outside the main urban zone, whose prices start from 750 euros per sq.m. for land over 4,000 sq.m. Obviously the cost of plots combined with the small total permissible built area there do not allow constructors to compromise in construction quality or in house surface. Most houses on offer cover large surfaces, usually exceeding 200 sq.m., raising the price to 1.5 million euros. On the other hand, architecture, construction materials, the surrounding area and other provisions push prices further up, as these houses have a high-income target group. According to Priovolou-Georgantzi, prices and demand in these suburbs have not recorded a decline. «This makes these areas high-added-value suburbs, as one can find there the best and rarest houses,» she says. «Other significant factors for the interest expressed in these areas include their proximity to the center of Athens as well as the presence of many private schools there.»