ECONOMY

Difficult days for holiday home sector

Prospects for the holiday home market in Greece are looking difficult this year, according to industry sources, as demand in the sector on the part of both local and foreign buyers had already started to ease in 2008. Market conditions in holiday homes, or the second-home market, are more sensitive to the economic downturn than the residential property sector, due to the perception that a second home is a luxury. Experts, however, are reluctant to guess the breadth and depth of the impact caused by the crisis. «It is difficult to forecast the course of the holiday home market in 2009. It will all depend on how prices move, the closer we get to the start of the summer season and developments concerning mortgages,« Yiannis Revithis, chairman of the Athens Realtors Association, told Kathimerini. «What is needed for a boost in demand is low-cost loans and prices to return to normal. The profits of property owners or construction companies will need to be limited, even for a short while, in order to open the way for the sale of properties,» he added. Sources said demand from abroad will play a determining factor in shaping local prices. With a portion of buyers coming from two economies severely hit by the crisis – Britain and Germany – industry participants anticipate demand from foreign buyers being muted in 2009.