Q1 data indicates end to eight year property downturn

Q1 data indicates end to eight year property downturn

Housing prices continued to drop in the first quarter of the year, Bank of Greece data showed on Tuesday, but the eight year downturn appears to be bottoming out.

Data shows that apartment prices inched 0.2 percent lower in the first three months of the year, following a drop of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 and a 0.8 percent retreat drop in the third quarter.

Prices on the Greek property market have plummeted by some 45 percent during the country's eight year downturn, but the drop seems to be flattening out as the economy enters an - albeit weak - growth cycle.

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Annual price drops for the last few years have been easing, the data showed. In 2017, apartment prices fell 1 percent, in 2016 they dropped 2.4 percent and in 2015 they gave up 5.1 percent.

Despite improving economic conditions in Greece, property experts do not expect any upturn in the market any time soon. High unemployment levels, tight credit conditions and high property taxes are seen keeping the broader residential market under pressure.

In the first quarter of the year, apartment prices in Athens were almost unchanged at -0.1 percent, versus a dip of 0.3 percent in northern Greece's Thessaloniki, the Bank of Greece data added.