June 24, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Office rental… hourly


As data from the housing search platform Spitogatos shows, rents for commercial real estate are constantly rising. At the same time, in the center of Athens it increased to 13% during the period alone from March to April 2024 compared to 6% in the same period last year.

Trying to find a place for their first professional steps, young self-employed people grab any “loophole”opening on the real estate market, for example, subletting offices on a monthly or even hourly basis. Others resort to services day office complexes (workspaces) and even hotel lounges or cafes.

Unsatisfied lawyers…

“In Athens, finding real estate for professional housing is more difficult than in the provinces”, says NEA lawyer Katerina Papadimitraki, emphasizing that rent starts from 300 euros, which is an exorbitant amount for a young lawyer, especially after the recent introduction of imputed income. Many therefore resort to renting accommodation or paying by the hour, as did the IBA's Athens Ombudsman Training and Education Center (AKKED) last month. This is the “Fidius No. 18 our common home” program, which, as AKKED President Anna Zurnatzi explains, “addressed to lawyers for their professional meetings, at a time when mediation training is not provided”. The fee for 1 hour is 10 euros plus VAT, which is “about half that of work centers.” The premises have equipment: computer, printer, scanner, etc.

Financial difficulties have forced thousands of lawyers to declare their residence as their place of work. According to Dimitris Vervesos, President of the IBA, in 2023 this percentage will be 30% of lawyers throughout the country and 38% in Athens.

Others, as Lefteris Potamianos, president of brokerage Athens-Attica, told NEA, are resorting to subleasing space in the offices of third parties. The necessary conditions are that the original lease must provide for the right to sublet and the code of conduct of the relevant professionals must allow for co-occupancy.

The phenomenon of subletting, continues the president of the brokers, has been growing rapidly over the past five years and is observed mainly in the center of Athens. This is due, on the one hand, to the upward trend in rents, and on the other, to the poor financial situation of many independent professionals. As for the cost of subleased premises, it depends on the area. “I’ve heard of people asking only 500 euros for a room in Kolonaki,” – says Lefteris Potamianos.

…and psychologists

If lawyers' method of subletting involves monthly rent, then in other professions subletting develops on an hourly basis. Psychologist E.P. resorted to this solution in order to obtain premises in which he could take his first professional steps. The specific premises in the southern suburbs of Athens were found through a Facebook group where advertisements are posted by users, usually anonymously, since the agreement concluded is not always formally legal.

“I thought of it as a practical solution for getting started professionally.”a young psychologist tells NEA, explaining that the hourly subletting model is only beneficial in cases of extremely limited use. “This is only beneficial for those who need the premises for one or two days a week”, he notes, since the rental price is 12 euros per hour. He notes that this practice is gaining momentum among young professionals in disciplines such as psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc. Unaffordable rents are also the source of this new subletting model.

Workspaces

The oldest and probably most common form of rental professional space today is the day office complex. This is a workspace sector that Lefteris Potamianos notes is growing dynamically, as it offers the opportunity to obtain a tax domicile and a place to work and meet without the high costs associated with long-term office rentals. While many people associate the makerspace phenomenon with the post-pandemic period and the widespread adoption of telework, in reality such spaces have existed in Greece for 20 years, with most of the facilities located in the center of Athens.

More modest is the assessment of Yannis Xilas, founder and owner of Geoaxis, who notes that this market “expected very big growth after coronavirus, which did not come, thanks to the return to the office and the fact that some employees have mastered remote working.” As for the audience for workspaces, he notes that it ranges from students and digital nomads to corporate executives.



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