Oct 19, 2018
As Greece officially exited its international bailout on Aug. 20, one indicator of confidence in the country is its tentatively stabilizing real estate market — especially in the capital, Athens.
Overall, the residential property market saw a 65-percent dip in the eight years prior to 2015, when a modest recovery began, particularly in Athens’ historic city center.
In 2008, 100-square-meter apartments in the Piraeus districts of Keratsini, Perama and Drapetsona were selling for around €120,000; now similar properties are going for around €40,000-50,000.
Other investment options include the purchase of fixer-upper properties, particularly in the central districts. Some properties are retailing for only €3,000-4,000 – “less than the price of a second-hand car, in some cases”.
The central district of Koukaki — within striking distance of the Acropolis. It is not exclusively expensive and has become a patchwork of different prices. One apartment can go for €150,000 for 50 square meters while, three streets away, the same type of property can go for €40,000-50,000.
Districts like Elliniko – the site of the city’s former airport – as a place where foreign investment and infrastructure spending is spurring price growth. More central areas seeing rising prices are Koukaki, Exarchia, Kalithea-Fix and Gazi, with seven-out-of-ten sale customers paying in cash. Many of these buyers are foreign, mainly from China, Lebanon and Russia, availing of a Greek government ‘golden visa’ scheme for investors.
On the flip side, the district of Patissia is seeing a downturn amid a problem with crime and drugs in the area and whole apartments going for as little as €4,000-7,000.
There is a rising real estate scene in Athens as the market has already bottomed out during the crisis. With tentative signs of growth in the economy, even some construction has begun again.