May 18, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Real estate: what foreigners buy in Greece


Foreign investor interest in real estate in Greece remains brisk this year. The Greek real estate market continues to be an investment destination for foreigners as it develops dynamically, thanks to economic recovery, tourism growth or government incentives.

International investment interest in the Greek real estate market is concentrated from luxury properties on the Greek islands and Athens Riviera to old apartments in Attica.

Lamda Development CEO Odysseas Athanasiou says many foreigners are looking to buy property in Greece, including citizens from Middle East: Lebanese, Israelis and Egyptians buy houses for different reasons, as do Saudis and Syrians. Representatives of the Greek diaspora are also interested, for example, second or third generation Greeks living in the United States, or Europeans. This pushed the market and prices rose. In addition, Hellenikon has contributed to this direction, as people are beginning to realize that there is a project in Greece that will change the entire Athens Riviera.

Real estate
After a long period of investment stagnation, real estate is again becoming an object of interest, especially for foreigners looking for opportunities to make high profits. Bank of Greece (BoG) data on foreign direct investment in Greece is indicative, according to which the real estate sector absorbed more than 40% of the total flow, which is also explained by the activity of funds and service organizations in the Greek economy.

In particular, the inflow of funds for the purchase of real estate amounted to 2.13 billion euros in 2023, which covers 42.5% of the total inflow of FDI. This amount increased by 8% compared to the 1.98 billion euros received in 2022 for the acquisition of real estate. All estimates agree that the real estate market, across all individual categories, has a positive outlook in 2024, as it has for the past two years.

The changes announced in early 2023, which sparked a buying frenzy, also acted as a catalyst for increased foreign investment. Interested parties rushed to purchase properties at the €250,000 threshold before it doubled to €500,000 in areas such as central Athens and the northern and southern suburbs. The result was a sharp increase in the number of transactions as the limit expired on August 1st.

Explosive Growth
Of particular interest is the “map” of the most attractive areas for real estate investment. According to RE/MAX Hellas, the Greek real estate market continues to be one of the main pillars of the economy, and after a period of economic instability and recession, it is in the recovery stage.

The return to economic stability and positive growth rates, coupled with the growth of tourism and the attraction of foreign investors to the country, gave a powerful impetus to the development of the market, which greatly contributed to the growth of interest in real estate and also influenced prices.

The largest volume of real estate buyers are residents of Greece, while foreigners are not limited to buying real estate only in tourist areas or in Athens and Thessaloniki, but are extending their interest to other areas that until recently were not in great demand. This proves that Greek property is a key player in the global property market and competes with traditional markets such as Spain, Portugal and Italy in terms of interest from foreign buyers.

Prices
In the Prefecture of Attica, the price increase for new buildings less than 5 years old averaged 10.6%, while the price increase for used properties over 5 years old averaged 13.1%. In particular, in the center of Athens, prices for new buildings under 5 years old increased by 4.9%, and the average sales price was 3,439 euros per square meter.

The upward trend is due to an increase in prices in all areas of the center, with the greatest changes occurring in the Ampelokipoi and Zografou areas. At the same time, a significant increase of 9.9% was recorded for properties aged 5 years and older, the average sales price was 2,299 euros per square meter.

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According to completed sales of the RE/MAX Hellas network in Athens, the Zografou and Hilton areas recorded the largest change in price per square meter for properties older than 5 years. In the northern suburbs, both new builds and used properties saw even greater growth compared to 2022. In particular, an average increase of 7.6% was recorded for new buildings and 11.4% for used real estate. This resulted in average prices of €4,255 and €2,828 respectively.

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High prices were also recorded in the southern suburbs, where prices for new buildings increased by an average of 15.8%. In particular, the greatest increase per 1 sq.m. showed the areas of Vari, Glyfada and Elliniko. In used properties, growth averaged 17.2%. The largest increases in purchase prices were observed in the areas of Vari, Voula and Elliniko.

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In the western suburbs the average price per 1 sq. m in second-hand properties increased by an average of 20.1%, with the greatest growth observed in Heraklion and Nea Ionia, where the average price was 1,561 euros. In new buildings, the average price per square meter reached 2,675 euros, which is 17.3% higher than in 2022.

In Piraeus and surrounding areas, the average price per square meter in new buildings was 3,303 euros, and in old properties – 2,490 euros, an increase of 9.8% and 9.9%, respectively. In the rest of Attica, prices for new buildings increased by 7.4%, averaging 2,900 euros per square meter, and for second-hand properties by 12.7%, averaging 1,850 euros per square meter.

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Based on the above, in all areas of the Attica prefecture, prices for second-hand properties have increased more than prices for new buildings compared to 2022.

In the prefecture of Thessaloniki, the average sales price for new buildings is 2,449 euros per square meter, which shows an increase of 9.6%, while for older properties it is 1,690 euros per square meter, which is 12.6% higher. With the exception of the eastern part of the city, in all other areas the greatest increase in prices was noted for real estate aged 5 years and older.

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In particular, in the center of Thessaloniki, the average sales price of second-hand properties increased by 11.7% and reached 2,528 euros per square meter. It is noteworthy that the largest price increases were observed mainly in the historical center of the city and in the Faliro area.

New buildings recorded an increase of 9%, and the average sales price was 3,522 euros per square meter. In addition, corresponding price fluctuations were observed in the northern and western parts of the city. In the west, the average price increase for properties older than 5 years was 14.2%, with the highest growth observed in the areas of Stavroupolis and Oriokastro. In new buildings, the average increase was 7.1% compared to 2022.

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In the east, the average sale price of new buildings was 2,556 euros, and the largest price increase, by almost 20%, was observed in the Panorama area. The average price for older properties was €1,636, an increase of 10.9% compared to the previous year.

In the rest of Greece, equally significant price increases were observed in both new buildings and second-hand properties.

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In particular, the average price per square meter for real estate under 5 years old was 2,561 euros, and for used real estate – 1,635 euros, that is, an increase of 13% and 13.5%, respectively.



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