Hous­ing stock crum­bling

Kathimerini English - - Focus - NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

A con­sid­er­able por­tion of the ex­ist­ing stock of un­sold res­i­dences across Greece is ex­pected to re­main empty and looks set for grad­ual aban­don­ment, a trend likely to grow when the mar­ket fi­nally re­vives.

Char­tered sur­vey­ors es­ti­mate that some 150,000-180,000 homes are be­ing com­pletely ig­nored in the prop­erty mar­ket as de­mand is near zero. What’s more, when de­mand does start to re­cover, it will mainly fo­cus on new or un­der-con­struc­tion apart­ments in­stead of older res­i­dences, even if the lat­ter do have more at­trac­tive prices.

Ac­cord­ing to Gior­gos Lit­sas, head of GLP Val­ues char­tered sur­vey­ors, an in­creas­ing num­ber of res­i­dences are grad­u­ally ex­it­ing the mar­ket and not be­ing sub­sti­tuted. Be­sides the par­tic­u­larly low level of de­mand, an in­creas­ing num­ber of prop­er­ties are be­ing turned over to the state, ei­ther through con­fis­ca­tions or waivers of in­her­i­tance, which in 2013 amounted to 6,079 and last year soared to an es­ti­mated 10,500.

Th­ese build­ings will likely be sub­ject to con­sid­er­able di­lap­i­da­tion. “The dra­matic re­duc­tion in hous­ing in­vest­ments has re­sulted in a far greater vol­ume of with­drawals of homes from the mar­ket [due to ag­ing, dam­age etc] than the num­ber of new res­i­dences built,” ex­plains Lit­sas. A 2014 Bank of Greece study put the value of the coun­try’s hous­ing stock at 400 bil­lion, but 2 per­cent of those homes are lost ev­ery year (i.e. 8 bil­lion eu­ros in value terms), while new houses add up to just 2 bil­lion eu­ros per year.

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