ATHENS: The recovery in Greece‘s residential real estate market picked up pace in the second quarter as the economy rebounded after last year’s pandemic-induced 8.2% economic slump, central bank data showed on Tuesday.
Property accounts for a big chunk of household wealth in Greece, where the home ownership rate is about 73.5%, above the euro zone average of 66%, according to European Union statistics on income and living conditions.
Greece’s housing sector recovery has been driven by an expanding economy and foreign interest. Apartment prices rose 4.6% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, Bank of Greece data showed, and the pace was up from a 3.2% increase in the first quarter.
The uptrend benefited all areas of the market – including old and newly built apartments – and in all regions, although price gains in the capital Athens led the way.
Prices rose by 6.4% year-on-year in Athens, where home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and a “golden visa” programme – a renewable five-year resident’s permit in return for a 250,000-euro ($285,000) investment in real estate – have become popular.
Greece’s 180 billion euro economy grew at an annual 16.2% clip in the second quarter, beating forecasts, as consumer spending and investments picked up, data showed on Tuesday. House prices fell 42% between 2008 – when the country’s protracted recession began – and the end of 2017.
The market was hit by property taxes imposed to plug budget deficits, tight bank lending and a jobless rate that peaked at 27.8% in 2013.
Economic prospects improved thereafter with Greece emerging from its latest bailout in August 2018 and now accessing international markets for funding.