ECONOMY

Athens climbs property prospects list

Investment prospects in Athens real estate have improved in the last year despite a «difficult» 2009 expected in the industry across Europe due to the global downturn, according to a survey made public yesterday. Global accounting firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers said in a report on emerging trends in European real estate for 2009 that Athens climbed four places to rank 21st in a list that rated European cities based on their investment market prospects. Munich topped the list of 27 cities, followed by Hamburg and Istanbul. «Opportunities in Athens seem to exist, however, investors can’t secure debt for the big transactions,» the report said. The report, which questioned more than 500 experts from the sector, also cited one investor as saying that «there is a big under supply of good quality logistics that are needed» in Athens. Overall city investment and development prospects dropped in the last year with many investors focusing on safer choices in primary locations. «Investors expect to find opportunities in direct real estate in Europe in 2009. They favor the safety of the larger more liquid markets. However, emerging markets also remain popular because of the long term potential,» it said.