Athens is a vibrant hub of history, archaeology and urban vibes. It expands in all directions around its centre, the Acropolis, all the way to its northern suburbs and to the south joining the seaside on a unique frontline of almost 30km. Long gone are the days of Athens in a constant blue mood especially in the height of its financial crisis, almost 6 years ago. Athens is back, joyful, more alive and attractive than ever: Scenic cobbled streets, smart boutique-lined avenues, cosy piazzas, colourful street art, gastro eateries or Michelin star restaurants, trendy bars and a feeling of living in the moment make the Greek capital a lively metropolis which continues to be an all-time classic destination.
Blessed by the sun for the most time of the year and at less than a two hours flight from Geneva, Zurich, Milan, Rome, Munich, Vienna, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Beirut it gradually establishes itself as a significant city break destination in Europe.
During the last 5 years, Athens has evolved aesthetically in a gracious manner combining modern architecture within its millennial urban landscape:
New architectural masterpieces illuminate the Athenian skyline as a symbol of the city’s dynamic re-introduction to the world.
Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation Center, an inspiring complex of Athens Opera and National Library around a set of a long park heading and pointing to the sea, a meeting point for thousands of visitors per day.
In the city centre, the Goulandris Museum of Modern Art hosts one of the world’s most important private collections of international class impressionists, modernists and post-war art: people lineup every day to admire works of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Chagall, Monet, Miró, Picasso, Pollock and many others.
The National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Athens (EMST) has now moved to the former brewery Fix in Syngrou Av building reconstructed for this purpose. Opened on February 2020 the massive building is another new Athenian landmark with a total built area of 18,142 m2 in direct vicinity to Athens city centre.
The Museum’s constantly growing collection is formed around a very important nucleus of works by Greek and international artists, such as Jannis Kounellis, Stephen Antonakos, Gary Hill, Vlassis Caniaris, Chryssa, Mona Hatoun, Emily Jacir, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Kim Sooja, Nikos Kessanlis, Shirin Neshat, Lucas Samaras, Costas Tsoclis, Bill Viola, Joseph Kosuth, Pedro Cabrita Reiss, Costas Varotsos, George Lappas, Oliver Ressler, Gulsun Karamustafa a.o.
Further South, Athens Four Seasons has opened its doors for the first time in Greece and in the Greek capital following a multimillion-euro investment.
Soon the regeneration of the Faliro Area will be providing not only an additional much needed large green area but most importantly will shift part of the city towards the sea!
At the same time the completion of Athens National Gallery a modern architectural marvel next to Athens Hilton scheduled to be delivered within 2020 will be adding another monumental structure, a true beam of Athenian Culture and lastly the largest Mixed development in Southern Europe, Hellenikon Project.
Hellinikon Project is without a doubt the most notable new development not only in Athens but in the entire country. Inspired by Lamda Development and designed by acclaimed architectural firms such as Foster + Partners, Arup ARUP Engineers, Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture (USA) the Hellinikon Project is an €8 billion investment that is estimated to create more than 75,000 jobs in total. Extending on an area that it is three times the size of Monaco is yet to be Europe’s largest urban regeneration project.
At the heart of the Project, the Metropolitan Park will be an oasis in the city, one and a half time the size of Hyde Park London.
A marina, an aquarium, an athletics precinct, cycling and walking paths exceeding 50km, an observation tower, facilities for environmental education, cultivated areas, a sculpture park, a multifunctional events centre and free access to the beach are some of the attractions that visitors would enjoy. More than 20,000 people will be living on its residential developments such as towers, seafront villas and luxury buildings.
On the eastern side of Athens waterfront, Piraeus one of the largest ports in the Eastern Mediterranean is under redevelopment. One of the landmark projects in Piraeus is the regeneration of St Dionysios neighbourhood and in particular, the redevelopment of three entire abandoned and decadent city blocks once the industrial premises of the ex-tobacco company Papastratos. Dimand in joined venture with Eurobank’s real estate arm, Grivalia are transforming this area of the city to a vibrant business, logistics and hospitality hub made of a total built area of 77,050 m2 already delivered partially to its new tenants. Piraeus Port Plaza as it is called is already partially delivered (3 years ahead of schedule). Within 2020 more than 10,000 people will be working there while the addition of an athletic centre and a park will further increase the appeal of the area in a radical transformation that will remind London Docklands albeit in a smaller scale.
Along with Athens spectacular regeneration rises the demand for modern apartments to rent and to buy. Due to the complete hold of any building activity since the start of the crisis 10 years ago developers and private individuals are rushing to meet the booming demand. Prices will be on the rise in both Athens Centre as well as its beautiful verdant coastline neighbourhoods such as Voula, Glyfada or Vouliagmeni and are expected to keep on rising on an average of at least 5% per year for the next 5 years. Maybe more.
At the same time, the outlook of the Greek economy is very promising. It is growing at an average of 0.5% quarter-on-quarter and heading for a 2,4% or more yearly in 2020 way above the 1,5% average prediction for the eurozone. At the same time, the Greek 15-Year bonds in January 2020 attracted record orders raising 2.5 billion euros at levels below 1.9% while the 10- years bonds are now at levels below 1%!
The significant tax reduction in many fronts (corporate tax is now at 24%) while further tax cuts are expected in 2020, reduction on property taxes and incentive of 40% reduction in the cost of renovating or upgrading buildings, are already having an effect in the real economy and make Greece and its capital an interesting base for economic activities. A non-dom flat tax law based on a €100,000 taxation on the program’s user global income has already been approved by the Greek parliament and is expecting to attract Ultra High Net Worth Individuals in Athens. The Golden Visa Program has been very successful and will continue to bring in the city an influx of private and corporate investment in real estate.
With prices in premium areas such as Akropolis, Plaka, Kolonaki, Athens Riviera starting at €5,000 per square meter up to €10,000 for rare Parthenon view penthouses or seafront villas in its southern suburbs, well below prices in other prime real estate destinations in the Mediterranean, Athens is decisively establishing itself as an appealing real estate investment and lifestyle destination.
The future couldn’t look brighter for the Athenian Real Estate Market!