Lee Tokouzis

The Hellenic-British Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Greece, proudly convened its highly successful 3rd Annual Conference. Held under the auspices of the British Embassy in Athens, this year’s event, themed “2024 Real Estate Market Outlook,” took place at the state-of-the-art Experience Centre in Elliniko.

The conference drew a diverse and distinguished audience, including Greek government officials, representatives from the British Embassy and Enterprise Greece, members of the Hellenic-British Chamber of Commerce and RICS in Greece, as well as leading professionals from the real estate sector, institutional bodies, and the media.

Opening speeches were delivered by Anna Kalliani, Greek President, and Kenny Evangelou, British President of the Hellenic British Chamber of Commerce, along with Adamantia Foka, President of the Advisory Board of RICS in Greece, Member of the European World Regional Board for Greece and Cyprus, and Director of Investments at Lamda Development. They discussed the trends and challenges in Greece and internationally, specifically relating to sustainability, the shortage of affordable housing, the integration of new technologies and AI, labor shortages, as well as geopolitical dynamics and economic inequalities.

Marinos Giannopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece, highlighted in his address: “In recent years, Greece, having implemented a bold reform program and adopted a business-friendly environment, is emerging as one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe and one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.”

The event was honored by the keynote speech of international speaker Mark Fidler, Head of Valuation & Advisory Services Continental Europe at CBRE, who, among other things, emphasized: “Over the past two years, high inflation and the rapid rise in interest rates have posed challenges for European real estate markets. As inflation and ECB interest rates decline, the question now is when investors and banking confidence will return and when the markets will rise.”

The second international speaker of the Conference, Peter Cosmetatos, CEO of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council Europe (CREFC Europe), discussed the opportunities, challenges, and regulatory risks presented by the adoption of ESG criteria and financing in Real Estate within an ever-changing environment. He also addressed the significant challenges related to financing the mandatory energy upgrades of existing buildings in the coming years.

Among the esteemed panelists was Mrs. Maria Goumas, Corporate Director of Greece Sotheby’s International Realty, who contributed to a compelling discussion on “Property Market Sectors in Greece: Recent Developments and Innovations.” This session provided an in-depth analysis of the pioneering directions and contemporary trends shaping the Greek luxury real estate market.

Mrs. Goumas addressed the issue of overpricing in Greece’s luxury real estate market, highlighting that overpricing luxury homes deters well-informed buyers, leading to extended market periods and increased carrying costs for sellers. To avoid this, sellers should use professional appraisals, highlight unique property features with high-quality marketing, and adjust prices based on market feedback. Transparency and experienced real estate agents are essential for a smooth, profitable sale.

While acknowledging the inherent appeal of Greece’s luxury homes, she also pointed out areas where the current portfolio could be elevated to align with international benchmarks. She drew comparisons to renowned destinations like Tuscany and the French Riviera, suggesting that Greece’s offerings occasionally lag behind in terms of design, amenities, location, and overall market demand. Mrs. Goumas stressed the importance of consistently meeting these high standards to ensure that Greek properties remain competitive on the global luxury real estate stage.