ECONOMY

Demand returns for new houses in Athens center

The very satisfactory transport access, the facelifts, the compulsory parking spaces in every new construction and lower prices have reversed the trend in recent decades away from the Greek capital’s city center, as housing demand for newly built constructions is heating up again in areas like Kypseli, Ano Patissia, Polygono, Ambelokipi and Exarchia. «The demand is mainly coming from young couples, single-parent families, professionals seeking office space, as well as wealthy Athenians who give an investment character to their purchase,» says Michael Hatsios, president and CEO of the Hatsios property development company. He notes that in the last few years there has been great demand from foreigners who have stayed in Greece for several years and are now incorporated into Greek society. «Most of them purchase older houses, but an increasing number absorb newly built houses,» he said. Properties in demand range between 40 and 110 square meters, while sale prices range from 1,600 euros to 2,500 euros per sq.m., depending on the area and the house’s site. «These prices can be met by a large section of the people,» says Hatsios. «We invest in the greater Attica region, but place emphasis on the densely populated areas of the center, such as Kypseli and Pangrati, as we believe a good investment can be made anywhere,» he explains, adding that «once the demand for city center housing goes up, by offering what is missing, such as quality houses with a fireplace, large balconies, storage space and parking combined with credited construction and guarantee, we can diminish risks considerably and maintain satisfactory sale flow.» In the next three years, Hatsios Development will construct 90 apartments, most of which will be in central Athens. OIKO Development is also opting for houses in the center. It is currently developing 390 houses and 35 commercial spaces in various areas in Athens, along with 65 country houses on Santorini, Cephalonia and Evia.