Home­shar­ing, tourism driv­ing lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket re­cov­ery

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

Prop­erty in­vestors are firmly fo­cused on apart­ments in cen­tral Athens and tourism prop­er­ties such as hol­i­day homes and ho­tels, ac­cord­ing to a Na­tional Bank of Greece re­port.

The 200 prop­erty man­age­ment com­pa­nies and es­tate agen­cies sur­veyed for the re­port in­di­cated that in­ter­est in prop­erty in­vest­ments has re­bounded af­ter a decade of de­cline in both de­mand and prices that came to 35-45 per­cent.

The rise of “home­shar­ing” plat­forms such as Airbnb and HomeAway and the con­cur­rent ex­plo­sion of the short-term rental mar­ket have sig­nif­i­cantly boosted de­mand, while the Golden Visa pro­gram – which grants five-year res­i­dence per­mits to in­vestors from non-Euro­pean Union coun­tries who spend at least 250,000 eu­ros on real es­tate – has also spurred ac­qui­si­tions.

How­ever, NBG an­a­lysts note that while buy­ing in­ter­est ap­pears sig­nif­i­cant, 53.5 per­cent con­cerns po­ten­tial buy­ers who are in­ter­ested but are not at present plan­ning on mak­ing a move. A smaller share of de­mand, amount­ing to 37 per­cent, con­cerns ac­tive buy­ers.

In this con­text 70 per­cent of in­vest­ment in­ter­est in res­i­den­tial prop­erty per­tains to small apart­ments in At­tica, as a re­sult of the Airbnb phe­nom­e­non and the op­por­tu­nity it of­fers for im­me­di­ate re­turns. Sim­i­larly, ac­tive in­ter­est in tourism prop­er­ties comes to 60 per­cent, with 57 per­cent of for­eign­ers seek­ing such as­sets – i.e. hol­i­day homes and ho­tels. No­tably, this trend is strong­est in At­tica, where 75 per­cent of com­pa­nies sur­veyed see high in­vest­ment in­ter­est.

By con­trast, in­ter­est in com­mer­cial prop­er­ties is much smaller, both in At­tica and in the rest of the coun­try, cov­er­ing some 20-25 per­cent of the mar­ket; those in­vestors are mainly Greek, who ac­count for 75 per­cent of de­mand for such as­sets. The need for the im­me­di­ate con­struc­tion of high-stan­dard spa­ces is clear, as these only cover 6 per­cent of the stock on of­fer.

Ho­tels are among the prop­er­ties at­tract­ing buy­ing in­ter­est. Three­quar­ters of the es­tate agen­cies and prop­erty man­age­ment com­pa­nies sur­veyed in At­tica re­ported strong in­ter­est in tourism-re­lated as­sets.

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