FINANCIAL TIMES: Athens housing market revival driven by foreign buyers
November 13th 2019 - Madeleine Pollard
“Athens is coming back from the dead,” says Savvas Savvaidis, president and chief executive of Greece Sotheby’s International Realty. This is a fitting sentiment for a city that has risen to glorious heights and fallen to defeat numerous times in its 5,000-year history.
The “death” in question is Greece’s 2009 financial crisis, which caused the economy to shrink by 27 per cent from a gross domestic product of €242bn in 2008 to €176bn in 2015, according to Elstat, the Greek statistics agency.
Residential property transactions across the country fell by more than 70 per cent over the same period, and the government implemented austerity measures to combat a debt pile of 180 per cent of GDP, shaking the capital with civil unrest.
Now, a surge of foreign investors is breathing new life into Athens’ housing market. Estate agent Knight Frank reported annual price growth of 11.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, elevating the capital to the top 10 of its Global Residential Cities Index in terms of growth.
That said, house prices are still below their pre-crisis level.