ECONOMY

Empty retail property a growing phenomenon

Vacancy rates in the retail property sector have risen to about 20 percent in Athens and are even higher in other major cities in Greece, such as Thessaloniki, according to international consultants Southeast Real Estate. In its second-quarter report, the consultant agency said that the decline in private consumption has had an impact on the country’s retail activity, ‘forcing rental values into a downward spiral even in prime high-street locations.’ Looking ahead, the report said that it expects a further decrease in rental values for the rest of 2010 and upward trends for prime retail yields.