Rents, demand for Athens, Thessaloniki stores up-report

Investor interest in retail space in central Athens and northern Greece's Thessaloniki, is helping breathe life into the country's hard hit real estate market, according to broker Themis Bakas.

Bakas, president of E-real estates, said that investors are turning to commercial retail property in areas like Ermou st in Athens and Tsimiski in Thesssaloniki, due to low maintenance costs as each tenant underatkes the renovation of the premises, depending on their needs. These properties are also seen to be a safer investment due to low turnover rates of tenants, in comparison with other properties, adds Bakas in an interview to Greek website

Properties that accomodate bank branches are in high demand, as are bakeries and cafes, he added.

Data shows that rent prices picked up again in 2016 after having dipped in the last fews years amid Greece's severe economic problems. The cost of renting a store in Ermou street jumped in 2016 to 150-190 euros per square meter, from 60-100 euros in 2013. In the affluent central Athens area of Kolonaki, rent prices picked up to 60-90 euros per square meter, from 40-85 euros in 2013.