House prices steady despite crisis

Property developers managed to keep the price of newly built homes steady last year despite the economic crisis, due to a slump in construction activity limiting the number of new apartments being sold on the market, according to Alpha Bank. The bank’s economic report said average prices of newly built homes fell 3.8 percent in the first nine months of 2009 versus a 0.9 percent slide in construction costs for the first 11 months of the year. Price fluctuations, however, differ across the country. Athens apartment prices fell by 5.1 percent in the first nine months of the year, compared to a 6 percent drop in Thessaloniki.