he investment prospects of the Athens property market are looking up after four years. According to the latest annual survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Urban Land Institute, the Greek capital has climbed 15 spots in the chart for 2019 prospects, making it the 14th most attractive city for investment in properties among the cities surveyed around Europe.
The chart is compiled from the scores that dozens of investment funds and institutional investors give every city surveyed concerning the prospects for investment and the development of new properties in the following year.
Fourteenth place is the highest Athens has secured since landing in fifth spot in the survey for 2015 – i.e. before the SYRIZA/Independent Greeks government was voted into office. In the survey for 2018, Athens was 29th among 31 cities, only above Moscow and Istanbul.
This year’s report highlights the country’s exit from the bailout mechanism and its possible return to the money markets; these are seen as positive developments that may gradually benefit the property market as long as they are combined with an acceleration in the economic growth rate.
According to one of the investors who analyzed the domestic market, “Greece is an emerging market with a hard currency. It has been through a difficult period and has a big distance to cover. In a way the hard currency is an advantage, as it offers investors a certain stability and confidence. On the other hand it does not allow the economy to find its new balance.”
In this context investors appear optimistic about the office market, which is estimated to offer the best prospects for future capital gains and rental rate increases. Several professionals note that the opportunities mainly regard the sector of new office development, as there is a major shortage in modern spaces given that in the last eight to nine years the supply has been minimal. Therefore even a slight rise in demand could generate a considerable increase in rental rates, which are already recording a rise.