ECONOMY

Experts are gloomy over prospects for real estate market in Greece

A tendency to stagnation projected for the real estate sector is certain to be aggravated further after the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, market experts say. According to a recent study by Property Ltd., prices and new investment in the sector will stabilize, largely as a result of a steep rise in recent months. The market is looking for equilibrium, with prices reflecting actual conditions and prospects, said a market expert. Not a few of his colleagues, Greek and foreign, consider the market is overvalued. Residential areas in the upmarket Athens suburbs of Psychico, Filothei and Glyfada are expected to continue attracting interest in the short run as they have traditionally done. The first two have been helped by the Metro station at Panormou which has improved access to the center of the city. Nevertheless, the strong demand cannot be matched by supply due to the lack of unbuilt land plots. Kekrops construction company, with traditional ties to Psychico, whose first town plan it laid out in 1923, is currently completing two luxury residence complexes in Palaio Psychico. About 65 percent of both complexes has already been sold. As regards commercial estate, the areas of Pallini, Spata and Pikermi near the new Athens airport and Glyfada near the old airport are forecast to attract the strongest demand. Kolonaki, in the upmarket center of Athens, is also expected to remain a strong and steady focus of interest. Demand for office space is projected to be strongest along the arterial routes of Kifissias, Mesogeion, Marathonos and Vassilisis Sofias. Mesogeion is favored by 63 percent of market experts, surging ahead of the traditionally strongest Kifissias. The stagnation forecast for other areas is partly attributable to the fact that many real estate firms are in the process of either being set up or being restructured on more modern lines, resulting in possible investments in real estate being rolled back. Another important negative factor is the failure of many construction companies to obtain town-planning licenses for large real estate projects announced in the last two years.