Rising demand for real estate in Greece
The real estate market in Athens is on the rise. The centre of the Greek capital in particular is experiencing a significant upswing due to the growing demand among investors. In 2018, transactions in the real estate sector rose by almost 30%.
The demand for short-term rentals is driven by tourist demand, allowing real estate investors that cater for this clientele to achieve constant, potentially higher returns. The centre of Athens is experiencing a touristic boom. The number of foreign tourists increased from 15 million in 2009 to 32 million in 2018, most of whom visited the capital city of Athens during their stay.
Tourism boom in the Athens real estate market
An end to the local tourism boom is not in sight: according to estimates by Euromonitor International, Athens is the city in Europe with the second fastest growth rate with regard to the number of tourists. According to the Airbnb data portal AirDNA, the number of bookings in Athens on the home sharing platform has increased by 66% per year since 2010, and thus grew more strongly than in other major European destinations such as Paris (30 %), Barcelona (40 %) or Berlin (40 %).
The most popular areas for tourist bookings are the central parts of the city: Koukaki, Akropoli, Plaka, Thissio, Monastiraki, Kolonaki, Lycabettus, Mets and Pagrati as well as the emerging areas around Kerameikos and Votanikos, where modern multi-family homes meet newly renovated neoclassical buildings.
Without a doubt, short-term rentals in Greece's capital city require more effort compared to the classic long-term rental. However, owners can benefit from the continued tourist demand.
Athens city centre: the best prospects for investors
Athens city centre has diverse and bustling smaller "centres", which together represent a tempting attraction both for investors and for buyers looking for a second home.
The demand from foreign investors is facilitated by the low investment requirements of the so-called golden visa: a Greek residence permit can be acquired by purchasing one or more properties valued at at least 250,000 euros. In other markets, the minimum golden visa requirements are higher: golden visa investments start at €500,000 in Spain, €350,000 in Portugal and €262,700 in Latvia, where a mandatory fee applies.
Greece’s luxury real estate on the Athenian Riviera
Not only the centre of Athens, but also the surrounding area offer lucrative real estate locations: only a few kilometres south of the city centre lies the Athenian Riviera. Similar to the French Côte d'Azur, some of the most sought-after real estate locations in the country are found here. For investors, however, this stretch of Greek coastline has a decisive advantage over the French Riviera: real estate here is still much cheaper than on the Côte d'Azur.
However, it can be expected that real estate prices on the Athenian Riviera will rise in the near future. The investment volume will exceed 10 billion euros in the near future, as a number of high-quality resort complexes, villas, shopping centres and marinas will soon be built.
The most exclusive residential locations on the Athenian Riviera
Nevertheless, the Athenian Riviera is already highly popular with anyone who values comfort and luxury. This is mainly due to the picturesque places that await discovery on this stretch of coastline. Many of these places are especially popular with the affluent, international clientele, which is why some of the most luxurious properties in Greece are found along this coast. Potential investors should therefore take a closer look at the following five towns and villages in particular:
Palaio Faliro, a coastal district which is only ten minutes by car from the centre of Athens and one of the most popular resorts of the locals. The vibrant town is also popular with tourists, who like to come here for coastal walks. In addition, this is also the location of one of the most popular bathing beaches in the area: Eden Beach. One of Athens’ largest ports, the Flisvos Marina, stylishly rounds off the maritime flair of the locality.
Glyfada, the largest of Athens’ southern suburbs, is traditionally regarded as the capital’s centre of nightlife and entertainment. Being an international hotspot, this is undoubtedly where some of Greece’s most exclusive properties are found. Glyfada is considered a prestigious neighbourhood and many Greek celebrities – singers, actors and athletes – own property here. One of the most popular places in Glyfada is the local golf club.
Three kilometres to the south of fashionable Glyfada lies the small town of Voula. The suburb is known for its beaches, which meet strict safety and water quality standards and, in addition, are wheelchair accessible. This makes Voula a veritable paradise for water sports enthusiasts.
Vouliagmeni, a leafy suburb with luxurious villas and one of the best hotels of the city, is a 30-minute drive from the centre of Athens. One of the jewels of the suburb is a lake surrounded by rocks, which is ideal for swimming all year round.
Varkiza, just like Voula, is another perfect beach holiday destination. The beaches here have also been honoured for their outstanding water quality and thus attract many water sports enthusiasts. Windsurfers in particular get their money's worth.
Rising demand for holiday houses on Mykonos
Last but not least, we hop across to Mykonos, the probably best-known Greek island. The immense popularity of the island among tourists has ensured that it is no longer a secret, even among investors. In fact, a considerable number of foreign investors own holiday homes on Mykonos.
Most investors come from other European countries, particularly from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and the Scandinavian countries. In recent years, the number of investors from Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia has also increased.
The rising demand from international buyers is primarily driven by the high returns achieved by holiday home rentals on Mykonos. This is further amplified by an especially long classic tourist season from April to October.
Most of the buyers are looking for luxurious single-family homes with modern amenities, spacious garden and direct access to the sea. Real estate in the south of the island in direct proximity to Mykonos Town is in particularly high demand. Above-average real estate prices are achieved especially in Aghios Ioannis, Aghios Lazaros and Aleomandra.
Buying a property in Greece can be a lucrative business for investors. At the same time, such an undertaking could involve a significant amount of effort and expense and should therefore be carefully prepared. That is why we are happy to advise you in this endeavour – from the initial weighing of interests and property search to the completion of the financing and beyond. Contact our real estate agents now without obligation!