ECONOMY

Older properties grow more popular

House and apartment prices are slowly but steadily on the rise, as shown by a recent study conducted by the statistics faculty of the Athens University of Economics and Business for the month of June. The study is based on the processing of data collected from classified ads for houses and apartments in the Attica basin. The largest increase in the price of residences was seen in the eastern Attica region of Mesogeia, especially in coastal locations, reaching up to 7.3 percent year-on-year, driving the average price up to -2,257 per square meter. This increase is attributed primarily to the fact that during the month of June demand for the purchase of older homes is especially high, as many families look for a holiday home which can also be used as a permanent residence. Home buyer interest is particularly high in certain popular areas of Mesogeia, such as Porto Rafti, Saronida, Rafina and Nea Makri. However, the area of Pikermi, according to professor Epaminondas Panas, who headed the survey, is the most expensive location in the Mesogeia zone with the average price climbing to -3,035 per square meter. The lowest prices were recorded in the coastal Lagonissi area, at an average of -1,555 per sq.m. One interesting finding to emerge from the study is that as much as 25 percent of the total number of properties for sale in Artemida are put up for less than -1,490 per sq.m. Athens’s northern suburbs still retain the title of Attica’s most expensive area in terms of house prices, although they remain very close to the highest prices in the southern suburbs. As Panas notes, the two areas are the most expensive, jostling for top place in the list of property prices each month depending on supply, as well as on the prices asked by owners. In June 2007, the average price around the northern suburbs was -2,758 per sq.m., up 3.46 percent compared to the same month a year earlier. The top selling prices were seen in the Papagos suburb, at an average of -3,629 per sq.m., although starting from -4,000 per sq.m. for 25 percent of the places up for sale. A more economical choice is certainly the quite exclusive suburb of Aghios Stefanos, situated in the northern part of the Athenian plain (approximately 24 kilometers from the city center), where a house can be bought for -1,666 per sq.m. Houses in the southern suburbs are offered for an average of -2,750 euro per sq.m., up 4.52 percent year-on-year. One should consider, however, that at 4,166 per sq.m. (coastal Vouliagmeni), the top price here is considerably higher than its corresponding price in the northern suburbs. Apartments sold at the lowest price in the greater area of the southern suburbs can be found in densely developed Kallithea, at an average price of -1,648 per sq.m. However, here, again, better-quality homes cost more. Demand for houses in the center of Athens is steady, according to real estate agents, with the average price at -2,380 per sq.m., up 3.52 percent compared to June last year. The top average price of properties in central Athens were around the Acropolis (at -3,644 per sq.m.), but experts say supply in that area is highly unusual for the standards of the Greek market. In contrast, properties at the lowest prices in central Athens can be bought around Amerikis Square, at an average of -1,144 per sq.m. In the port city of Piraeus, the increase in the prices of residences rose 5.7 percent year-on-year, standing at an average of -2,114 per sq.m. Central Piraeus is the Attica region’s cheapest choice for a place to buy, with average values not exceeding -1,940 per sq.m.