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Athens Riviera: Beautiful living close to the city centre

The southern edge of the Greek capital Athens, just a 20-minute drive south of the Acropolis, marks the start of the Athens Riviera – stretching almost 50 kilometres along the Saronic Gulf. This picturesque coastline, from the port of Piraeus to Cape Sounion, is famous for its award-winning beaches, rocky bays with crystal-clear waters and elegant, cosmopolitan, but at the same time laid-back flair. “The Athens Riviera is currently undergoing a remarkable renaissance. Vision meets tradition here, with an atmosphere reminiscent of Beverly Hills, only without so many tourists. Many hotspots along this coast are still considered insider tips, even among Athenians, with a great deal of potential to offer. The high pace of construction activity in recent months is reflective of the dynamic development the region is currently witnessing,” says Georg Petras, CEO of Engel & Völkers Greece.

Strong demand in all coastal locations

Facing southwest and enjoying around 300 days of sunshine a year, the entire length of this coastline is known for its sensational sunsets. This makes properties here in beachfront locations overlooking the Aegean Sea especially sought after. The size and diversity of the Athens Riviera ensure an above-average number of property listings and a broad price range, whereby prices are generally more moderate than in the rest of Europe, even in the very good locations. Average square metres range from 6,000 to 7,000 euros. The highest priced areas along the Riviera include Vouliagmeni, Voula and Glyfada. These elegant Athens suburbs are also known as the “Hellenic Hamptons”. They boast a range of shopping and nightlife options, from local shops and authentic tavernas through to designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants and cocktail bars, in addition to charming waterfront promenades and exclusive beach clubs. Increasing popularity on the international stage saw the average price per square metre for apartments rise to 7,000 euros in very good locations in H1 2022 (H1 2021: 5.000 euros). Top prices per square can range up to 10,000 euros. Contemporary villas with premium amenities directly on the coast reach average prices of 8,000 to 12,000 euros per square metre. Luxurious residences with exceptional flair and extra-special features can sell for as much as 6 million euros. 
Rising prices mean that buyer interest is shifting further away from the centre of Athens, to average locations. “The distance from the city centre to the southernmost point of the Riviera, Cape Sounion, is, in fact, only around an hour’s drive. It is still possible here to find properties directly by the sea at very moderate prices. The abundant possibilities on offer, the convenient location, and potential for relaxation and recreation all make real estate in the more southern parts of the Athens Riviera a superb investment as well,” says Mr. Petras. From the region around Lagonisi to Lavrio at the southernmost tip of the Riviera, prices for detached properties range from 600.000 to 700.000 euros. Apartments are priced at an average of approx. 4,000 euros per square metre.

New construction projects boost global appeal of Athenian coastline

Besides existing properties in classic locations, it is the various new construction and regeneration projects in the region that are the driving force behind the strong market dynamics and growing international interest in the Athens Riviera. A prime example of such a project is the new groundbreaking and visionary Hellinikon quarter. Currently the largest urban development in the whole of Europe, it is taking shape on the site of the former Ellinikon Airport, which has been defunct since 2001. The area spans some 620 hectares in total, and a host of dining and recreational amenities are set to take shape here from 2023 onwards, alongside residential and commercial units in a bioclimatic, hybrid architectural design. The new quarter will also boast a marina, as well as a public park spanning two million square metres, with approximately 50 kilometres of cycle paths and walking trails. “The creation of Hellinikon will open up a new chapter for Athens and Greece, and we expect international interest in the Athens Riviera to grow and the location to gain international importance,” Mr. Petras declares. The areas of Neo Faliro and Moschato, along with the port town of Piraeus, directly south of the centre of Athens on the coast, are also up-and-coming regions with particularly high potential for regeneration and new major construction projects. The average price for contemporary newly-built villas is 1 million euros, while existing properties sell for an average of 500.000 euros.

Domestic clients dominate real estate market – international buyer groups catching up

Due to its proximity to the centre of Athens and the international airport, the Riviera is a desirable place of residence among professionals working in the Greek capital, as well as frequent flyers, families and retirees looking to lead an active lifestyle. The property market is still dominated by domestic buyers, accounting for some 60 percent of activity. In the elegant area of Vouliagmeni this ratio is even up to 90 percent. Nonetheless, the region is fast evolving from a local insider’s tip into an internationally sought-after residential area and holiday destination, both in terms of primary residences and investments. The majority of buyer groups abroad come from Central Europe at approx. 40 percent. 20 percent of these international clients are from Germany, 10 percent are from Switzerland, and 10 percent are from the UK.

Outlook: Booming tourism sector set to strengthen real estate market further

In addition to its desirable geographical location and high quality of life, it is the large number of new development projects that are putting Athens Riviera on the map again as a sought-after international hotspot. The region is set to become increasingly important as a market for first and second homes due to the rise in global demand. Engel & Völkers expects prices to increase moderately for the remainder of 2022 and the market to see positive growth in 2023, as Georg Petras confirms: “A new heyday for the region is upon us, with an exciting future ahead. The Athenian coast will continue to play a more central role for the Greek tourism sector, and this will have a positive impact on the real estate market here in the long term.”

Other trends relating to purchase power and property prices in the Athens region can be found (in English) in the “Engel & Völkers Market Report for Residential Property in Athens and the South Aegean 2022”.

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