'Airbnb-effect' cited for intense demand, price hikes in certain Greek neighborhoods; BoG cites lower rents overall

Monday, 11 February 2019 13:19
ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ/Παντελής Σαίτας
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By T. Igoumenidi

A significant spike in rent prices, by as much as 50 percent, were recorded in specific districts in Greece where the so-called "Airbnb phenomenon" is the most pronounced, a trend that was also exacerbated by the fact that very few new apartments have been built in the recession-plagued country over the past 10 years.

Some neighborhoods in Athens record practically zero opportunities for long-term leases, especially in areas close to metro stations.

The situation in the country, in terms of residential leasing, shows a distinct dichotomy: on the one hand, intense demand for short-term leasing (Airbnb etc.) in tourism-laden districts (neighboring surrounding archaeological sites and metro stations in Athens, the Cretan city of Hania (Chania), downtown Thessaloniki etc.), but more prices around the country.

According to an assessment by the president of a national realtors' network (E-Real Estates), Themis Bakas, overall rent prices in Greece have increased by between 8 to 10 percent.

Conversely, the Bank of Greece (BoG), which publishes the only official figures covering the country's often opaque real estate sector, points to a reduction in rent prices over the first 10-months of 2018, pinpointing, in fact, a drop by 3.7 percent on average.

The same source, the BoG, gives reductions in overall rent prices at 2.2 percent for 2017; 2.6 percent in 2016; 4.4 percent in 2015 and 7.7 percent in 2014.

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