Thousands of workers and pensioners with small and medium incomes, who do not own their own homes, are forced to pass through these complexes, while the problem is more acute among young people, who, apart from the very high unemployment rates, are by convention in the lower income brackets. The Prime Minister’s reference to this in his interview with Alpha confirms reports that the relevant ministries are working on solutions specifically for young couples, possibly with loan subsidies.
The latest Eurostat figures show that the home ownership rate in Greece is around 73-75%. This means that 25% of households live in rented accommodation, being exposed to the peculiarities of the Greek real estate market. After a decade-long crisis, where prices plunged by as much as 48%, they are now recovering at a rate of around 9%, dragging down rental prices, which have shown resilience throughout this period anyway.
According to recent research by Geoaxis, the certain inability of a very large proportion of today’s young people to own their own home is shaping the Generation Rent, which is expected to dominate in the coming decades even in countries with high levels of home ownership. It is characteristic that between 1998 and 2019 the inflation-adjusted base salary has slightly decreased, when apartment values have increased by 57% based on Bank of Greece indices. In addition, successive economic crises, tightening bank lending criteria, job insecurity, staying in the family home for a long period of time, declining marriage/ birth rates and the inability of the state to regulate the market through low-cost housing construction programmes, create the ideal context for the complete avoidance of risk-taking in the housing market by today’s young people.
And while, based on the above data, the acquisition of housing is becoming increasingly difficult, the search for houses for rent, which do not exhaust the monthly stamina of a family budget, is becoming a thriller. Indicative of the situation, is Athens is … championship in real estate yields. Specifically, according to a recent ProfitLevel survey, the fastest return on the purchase price for a buyer is to put an apartment for rent in Athens or Valencia, Spain, after having amortized the purchase price in just 17 years!
The ‘mapping’ of the property market
According to Spitogatos’ data, an increase is being recorded in asking prices for sale and rental homes across the country. The largest increases in the average asking price for sale and rent are found in areas far from the centre of Athens and Thessaloniki, confirming the steady trends of decentralisation brought about by the new way of life and work.
In Attica, the largest increases in asking sales prices for residential properties are mainly observed in areas far from the centre of Athens, in the suburbs, as their previously major disadvantage, the distance from the centre, now seems to be one of the secondary criteria for choosing a residence. Indicatively, according to the Spitogatos Price Index (SPI), some of these areas are those of Papagos, Cholargos, Polydendri and Vrilissia.
On the contrary, in the property rental sector, trends of stabilization but also a slight decrease in asking prices were observed in central districts of Athens.