Looking for the best buys

Suburban sprawl into new areas on Attica’s outskirts is one result of improvements in transport, including the opening of a section of the Attiki Odos, the imminent opening of the suburban railway, and the extension of the Metro northward to Stavros in Aghia Paraskevi and southeastward to Glyfada. Areas that until recently were thought of as relatively inaccessible are now recognized as Athens’s up and coming residential districts. It is now common knowledge that the most rapid housing development is occurring around the new airport. Realtors say that Glyka Nera, and in particular the district of Fourezi, where land is being sold for about 470 euros (160,000 drachmas) per square meter, has particularly bright prospects. Other opportunities are to be found in parts of Glyka Nera (such as Messinias Street and Lavriou Avenue), which are scheduled for inclusion in the town plan. According to Mina Bougonikolou of Intercasa realtors, land values in these areas are expected to rise by over 60 percent in the next two years. Glyka Nera, as well as nearby Pallini and Gerakas, all have good access to the Attiki Odos. They are also close to the airport and other facilities such as the Media Village being developed by Aktor-Hellenic Technodomiki on 12 hectares of land owned by the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization in Pallini, as well as major commercial and entertainment centers and business parks. Lefteris Potamianos of Potamianos-Kloukinas realtors pointed to the Kanza area, particularly the hill, which is considered prime real estate. «Menidi has all the requirements for major development, as it will be a main junction for the suburban railway. It is also close to the Olympic Village now under construction, where there will be a large shopping and entertainment mall, and the road network is being improved. Many businesses are transferring to Menidi, particularly its industrial zone, mostly because of the low land values since the 1999 earthquake,» said Potamianos. Nevertheless, Menidi is still far from being in demand as a residential area, despite the low property prices and positive potential. Another example of the city’s expansion to include what were once considered outlying suburbs, such as Maroussi and Halandri, is Kapandriti. Until recently it was thought of as being out in the country, but is now part of the commuter belt for people working in the northern suburbs. «Proximity to the national highway is the main reason that Kapandriti is changing,» said Bougonikolou. Large tracts of land in the area are gradually being included in the town plan. Another district offering good value for money is Pefkakia in Aghia Paraskevi, very close to the Stavros junction, where a number of properties are available. Keratea is another area considered to be underrated; property values there are low and it is close to the rapidly developing center of Lavrion.

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