Homesharing, tourism driving local property market recovery
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.