February 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

"Battle" for obsolete housing stock


In the Greek housing market, a price range of 15% to 25% is recorded between the requested and the final price, real estate market experts say.

According to them, such a significant difference arises mainly due to the excessive expectations of many sellers, especially when it comes to older apartments, the modernization of which requires corresponding costs.

“Indeed, we find that on average there is a discrepancy of 15–20% between the price that can be seen in the advertisement and the one at which the transaction is ultimately completed,” emphasizes Mr. Lefteris Potamianos, President of the Athens Association of Realtors – Attiki.

This mainly applies to older properties, as new build prices are obviously harder to bring down as they are more stable (mainly due to construction costs and contractor profits).

“The problem arises when asking prices for older apartments, for example those built 30-40 years ago, are not reduced. And it happens that their price is very close to a newly built property located in the same area,” notes Mr. Panos Charalambopoulos, head of property valuation company Solum and member of the RICS Advisory Board in Greece. According to him, in these cases, the owner must make significant concessions to complete the sale.

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Many properties remain unsold for years due to excessive demands from their owners. An old apartment in Kolonaki was recently sold for €900,000, compared with the original asking price of €1.2 million, a 25% increase. In fact, this the apartment needed serious renovation. Thus, for The sales price had to be significantly reduced because the seller actually included the cost of repairs in the asking pricealthough the corresponding work was not performed.

Accordingly, in many advertisements for apartments for sale in the northern or southern suburbs of Athens prices are inflated. Those. an amount is requested that does not correspond to the real value of these objects. For example, for an apartment of 105 sq.m., 35 years old, on the ground floor in Marusi they are asking €350,000 and they advertise it as refurbished, although the only thing that was done was cosmetic repairs.

In fact, such a property will only find buyers if the final sale price drops to around 300,000–310,000 euros. And in case no extensive repair work is required.

It is worth noting that most properties over 20 years old that are currently available for sale will become unsuitable within a few years if the recently adopted Community Directive will be adopted without changes.

It is envisaged that those homes that are currently in the two lowest energy certificate categories (mainly properties without insulation and/or natural gas) will not be able to be rented or sold from 2030 unless they are energy upgraded). This means additional costs for today’s interested buyers if they want to invest in their property in a few years.

Sources in the real estate market also talk about cases where owners, as soon as they realize that there is interest in their property (for example, through phone calls from interested buyers wanting to see her in person), rush to immediately increase the asking price of the saleapparently thinking that they valued it below its true value.

In fact, they inflate the price compared to the commercial value of the property, killing demandas potential buyers become disappointed and look for other options.

As explained by the head of the brokerage bureau New Life Real Estate, Ms. Anna Mokakova, “the main factor contributing to maintaining prices at a high level is the tendency of many owners to make an independent assessment of real estate using the Internet. As a result, property owners often price homes based on their financial needs and expectations for the sale. Thus, unfortunately, many of the requested sales prices arose not as a result of a certified appraisal, but as a result of the above-mentioned improper actions.”



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