Foreign Investors Help Revive the Crisis-Stricken Property Market of Athens
The crisis of 2009 decreased the GDP of Greece from €242 billion in 2008 to €176 billion in 2015. At a certain point, Greece’s debt amounted to 180% of the GDP, and the austerity measures kicked in. At the same time, property sales dropped by over 70%.
Now, things seem to look up with the influx of foreign investor capital. New developments sponsored by non-EU investors reveal a double-digit price growth, showing signs of revival for the Greek real estate sector, even more so in Athens. Property prices still fall short of the pre-crisis levels, yet it’s only the beginning.
Real estate agencies in the capital report a price leap of over 11% in Q2 2019. These growth figures place Athens into the top 10 of Global Residential Cities Index. Global investors are attracted by the surging potential of Athens, the city’s historic sights, the climate and easy access to the natural environment.
One of the key drivers for growth is Greece’s Residency by Investment Programme (RIP) launched in 2013. The scheme ensures residency permits to non-European citizens and their family members who invest a minimum of €250,000 into Greece-based property. From over 5,000 permits granted to investor migrants, almost 3,500 were issued to Chinese nationals. The remainder was claimed by Turkish, Russian and Egyptian citizens.
The most popular districts in Athens are Kolonaki and Plaka that offer prime dwellings starting at €4,000 per square metre. The prices may go up to €8,000 should the apartment provide views of the Acropolis and the ancient sights. In the Presidential Palace area, prices may spike at €12,000 per square metre. That said, these rates are still twice lower than in the prestigious neighbourhoods in Paris, London or Milan.
With the increase of by-to-let sector, the city has also seen an Airbnb boom, enabling more high-end options for affluent travellers.
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