ECONOMY

Good signs for home market

Buying interest in the residential housing market is showing signs of recovery, with a growing number of buyers applying for home loans, according to industry sources. The increase in interest over the last month is mostly aimed at the lower end of the market. Buyers are also focusing on smaller apartments up to 80 square meters, which indicates that they are trying to limit expenses, according to real estate agents. Sources from banks, which fund housing acquisitions by up to 80 percent of their commercial value, confirmed that buying interest is starting to rebound. Data from the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, showed that new mortgages issued in February grew by 9.6 percent year-on-year to 78 billion euros, versus an annual clip of 10.6 percent in December. Broader credit expansion slowed to a pace of 12.9 percent from 14.6 percent in January.