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The center of Athens changes hands

Athens Change Review, Investor Fight Johannes Röll Visitors: 222 ★★★★★

 The center of Athens is steadily becoming more beautiful, more popular, but also more expensive, because, despite the pandemic, it continues to attract the attention of investors, both from Greece and abroad.

Interventions made in terms of infrastructure and renovations, expectations of increased tourist traffic, the transformation of Athens into a 12-month destination and high demand from foreign investors have made the historic center of the capital - as well as the surrounding areas within it - extremely popular after many years.

This popularity has a clear and direct impact on property prices, which in many cases have even doubled since 2015. In fact, according to real estate market players, the growth will not only be temporary, but with the end of the pandemic, we will see a new cycle of demand growth that will pull prices along.
The result of all of the above has been and remains a sharp increase in transfers to objects of all types. In other words, the center of Athens is "changing hands", passing to a large extent into the possession of foreign investors. It is significant that over the past five years alone, investments from China in the purchase of real estate in our country have reached 2.5 billion euros, most of which went to the center of Athens.

In addition, investments of hundreds of millions of euros, mainly in hotels and other commercial real estate, were made with funds from Israel and Lebanon. In fact, of particular interest is the fact that in addition to hotels and other tourist facilities, there has recently been a lot of interest in commercial real estate - shops and some office space - which currently offer satisfactory returns.

At the same time, there is also a strong movement from private buyers looking for apartments in the center of Athens, either for owner-occupied housing or for exploitation. Rising rental prices, coupled with falling home loan interest rates, are turning many tenants into buying on credit. At the same time, high rents and the prospect of profiting from short-term rentals make the option of buying a property to rent attractive.

In fact, there are many cases where old apartments are bought, even older than 40 or 50 years old, refurbished and then rented out, at much higher prices.
Evidence of the great interest is also the fact that potential buyers are now turning to areas other than the traditional center in search of new investment opportunities there. Thus, there is demand in Kypseli, Patissia and other nearby areas where property prices have not risen. However, since areas such as Plaka, Koukaki or Exarcheia have "escaped" in many cases, those looking for more affordable solutions and perspectives are ready to move a little further away from the "traditional" center.

Buyers and property profile

As Mr. Lefteris Potamianos, President of Athens Realtors of Attica, explains, there is currently an increased demand for properties located in the historical center of Athens. Stakeholders are looking for properties for exploitation and mainly for tourist exploitation, while in terms of their demographics, investors from abroad are mainly Chinese, Israelis and Lebanese. There are, of course, buyers from other European countries and the USA, but there we are talking about isolated cases, and not about bulk purchases or organized funds.

As far as the real estate profile is concerned, interest is usually focused on residential properties, tourist properties, as well as offices or other buildings to be converted into hotels. At the same time, in recent times - and despite the pandemic - investors are also looking for commercial real estate with the aim of starting a business.
In fact, high interest and limited supply have led potential buyers to open the upper and lower limit, now choosing more expensive solutions, as well as smaller properties (such as studios) that were not so popular in the past.

Likewise, areas such as Kypseli and Patissia are also targeted, with stakeholders expanding their areas of interest. Indeed, as Mr. Potamianos points out, the fact that prices have not “broken” during the pandemic keeps the atmosphere of optimism for the property market, especially when the pandemic crisis has ended.

Johannes Röll
Johannes Röll

Johannes Röll was born 1978 in Brilon,Germany. Graduated RWTH Aachen University. Over the past ten years he worked as Head of the plastic card team, where he was mainly responsible for the development of the distribution, Head of sales Department and Financial Analyst,where he got experience in planning and support sales figures for branches. For the present he works as freelancer

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