Popularity of maisonettes rises

Detached houses and maisonettes are gaining an ever bigger share in the capital’s real estate market, as more and more people move to more remote areas to find properties at lower costs. A recent survey by Aspis Real Estate of 51,475 prospective buyers found that 34 percent of them are interested in buying a maisonette or a detached house. The eastern suburbs are the focus of maisonette demand, as 49 percent of potential buyers opt for a detached house or a maisonette, up from 47 percent last year. Areas such as Paeania, Pallini, Artemida, Porto Rafti and Rafina have seen great developments, with building restrictions favoring detached houses. As a result, the population flow to eastern Attica has grown steadily in recent years. A similar swing toward maisonettes is being seen in the northern suburbs, too, although prices are not affordable for everyone. Some 41 percent of buyers are looking into maisonette options, up from 28 percent a few months ago. Interest in the southern suburbs has doubled from 8 percent last year to 16 percent now. As for the rest of Attica, outside the capital, maisonettes comprise a commanding 86 percent of interest of the potential house buyers surveyed. There is a notable shift in the buying interest recorded, as two years ago the lion’s share went to flats. However, their soaring prices, particularly in 2005, and to a lesser extent in 2006 have grown closer to those of maisonettes, so that there are many buyers now who are choosing to spend more money to acquire a maisonette, as in some cases the difference in price between that and a flat is negligible. The advantages of a maisonette as opposed to a flat are obvious, as apart from the greater surface area and autonomy it offers, it usually comes with a garden or some plot of land at least. When going to buy a maisonette, one needs to be careful on the final cost, as one of the market’s unwritten laws says that basements are included in the final price even though in the building permit their use is deemed supplementary to the main house. The cost per square meter is not particularly high, thanks to the large surfaces. Yet total costs rarely drop below 300,000, with the average being at 400,000. Among the most expensive areas are Palaio Psychico, Filothei and Ekali, where the cost per sq.m. exceeds -2,500 by far. Rates are lower in other northern suburbs, such as Dionysos and Stamata, where costs rarely exceed 2,000/sq.m. On the contrary, it is much easier to find a cheaper maisonette in the eastern suburbs where there is plenty of supply. A case in point is in Paeania, where the price of a maisonette ranges between 1,700-1,800/sq.m., which means a final cost of 350,000-400,000. This may not be affordable for everyone, but compared to the usual cost of a maisonette, this is considered quite attractive. Paeania has the feeling of a village, as its development is around the existing settlement. Quality of life is improving all the time and is on a par with that of any Athens suburb, as it has all the infrastructure required as well as excellent access through Lavriou Avenue and the Attiki Odos. Buyers come from all over Attica and they usually are upper middle class families. One can find similar bargains in other areas in eastern Attica, such as in Marathonas or Nea Makri, where a maisonette costs just 1,600/sq.m. Little-known gems Other lesser-known areas of the capital are also seeing a significant growth in this type of housing, such as Adames, close to Kato Kifissia, and Ippocratios Politeia, in the foothills of Mount Parnitha. Adames is adjacent to the Athens-Lamia national road, but on the side of Parnitha, so its main feature is its green spaces, while the national road makes access to it easy. The only drawback is the lack of public transport, but that is the price one has to pay for moving away from the city. All Adames plots are split per 400 sq.m. with their cost coming to 235,000-250,000. Newly built maisonettes range between 2,400-2,600/sq.m. Ippocratios Politeia is an area acquired by members of the Medical Association, some of whom later sold their plots. Today there is a modern settlement there that draws significant demand. Access is easy via the Attiki Odos, while a Proastiakos train station is quite near. Newly built maisonettes range between 2,650-3,000/sq.m.

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