Athens real estate prospects good but well below EU average

Athens real estate prospects good but below EU average

Real estate investment prospects in Athens for 2020 are good but trail behind most other major European cities that are benefitting from improved infrastructure networks and liquid property markets.

A report titled "Emerging trends in real estate. Europe 2020" put together by PwC and Urban Land Institute shows Athens in 28th position on a list assessing the overall real estate prospects of 31 European cities.

"Greece and its capital city are not out of the woods yet, but a slow recovery is underway," says the report.

Investors see offices in Greece as offering good prospects due to the limited availability of grade A space and the deterioration in the quality of existing stock over previous years. Yields have compressed to 7 percent, and are seen heading further southwards in the central business district and the northern suburbs.

Views on tourism are more mixed, points out the report, that cited experts as saying that the market appears to be saturated amidst comebacks by competing destinations like Turkey.

Paris topped the European list, followed by Berlin, Frankfurt, London, and Madrid. The Grand Paris project, Europe’s largest transport scheme, is widely seen as a game-changer for the French capital. It is a 26 billion euro project that aims at transforming the city into a 21st-century metropolis and includes a fundamental redrawing of the public transport network.

Real estate across Europe faces strong political and economic headwinds.

Sentiment is clouded over by the threat of a global recession, escalating trade tensions between the US and China, and continuing uncertainty over Brexit, the report points out. However, the industry draws comfort from a decision from central banks to maintain or cut interest rates – a significant change in direction from last year’s report.

At the same time, rising labor and material costs have added to the risk associated with development. "The primary industry concern for 2020 is the cost of construction," the survey adds.