One of the biggest problems investors face when looking at Greek real estate is the lack of data.
Credible market figures are hard to come by making the decision making process more challenging in what is often a volatile economic environment.
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Home buyers are forced to make decisions based on hearsay information from real estate agents, the selling prices appearing on classifieds adds and their gut feeling.
Their is no public registry disclosing the actual values at which homes are sold, like in many other countries.
In Greece, the only transactional data on property sales that is published comes from real estate investment companies (REICS), whose shares are traded on the Athens Stock Exchange. They are required to announce the details of an asset purchase or sale due to shareholder disclosure requirements.
In 2009, the Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, stepped in to help shed some light on the market.
The central bank set up its own unit which analyses and publishes real estate market data taken from the country's financial system. This has helped add some transparency to the market though the data is fairly limited.
As a result of this broader lack of data in the market, a number of companies have stepped in to fill in this void, providing their own information on the course of the market.
At Greekguru.net we are publishing a list of the tools that we use when digging for information on the sector. After years of writing about real estate in Greece, these sources rank among the most credible we use when trying to find out what is going on with buyers and sellers.
So, here we go.
This is the first place investors turn to for a credible snapshot of the market.
The Greek central bank comes out every three months with indices showing changes in residential property prices in Athens, Thessaloniki and the rest of the country.
It is based on a actual transaction prices taken from banks showing trends among newer (less than five years old) and older properties (more than 5 years old).
Separately, the bank also comes out with a six monthly commercial property index that reflects prices changes in office and retail assets throughout the country.
Another key source of data that can help in the decision making process is information prepared by the Hellenic Statistical Authority.
Here investors can find data on Greece's construction activity and a cost index for the construction of new residential buildings.
Another great source of information from the Greek stats services that is definitely worth checking out is the Greece in Figures publication it comes out with. It has data on all aspects of the country and economy and is a very useful source of information on getting your teeth into the country.
In regards to sources of information on residential property, we have more for you.
Officials at the European Union's statistics service rely on Greek peers for data but package and re-release the figures in a European context which is very handy for spotting trends, or the lack of. Eurostat has set up a special page "Housing on Europe" which includes info on housing costs and construction.
Spitogatos is Greece's main home classified sites and has been recently developing the statistics it gathers.
Every three months it comes out with a breakdown of selling price averages of homes for sale listed on its platform.
These figures cover 60 parts of Greece, including prefectures and a breakdown of Athens and Thessaloniki in what is a very useful tool. On the downside, this data shows prices in broader areas (eg. central Athens), without going into specific areas (eg. Thiseio).
This is the site for specific areas and neighbourhoods across all of Greece. Real estate platform Indomio.gr provides a per area breakdown of selling prices which is difficult to find.
Here, users can type in the name of a specific area (eg. Halandri or Toumba in Thessaloniki) and the site comes up with selling and rent prices, giving a comparison with year ago levels. What is also helpful is that a graph appears depicting price movements since 2016.
A newcomer to the market, TheHolmi.com uses AI to value your property.
It's Online Property Valuation tool is innovative and what the market needs.
How it works: Users type in the address of the property they want valued plus its characteristics (eg. size, number of bedrooms). The site bounces these features off the millions of data it has in its files and comes up with a range of what you can expect to get if you sell or rent the home. Probably the first site of its kind in Greece.
Real estate agents RE/MAX Hellas comes out with occasionally market views. The reports are not that frequent but they give good insight in to buyer preferences on housing, ownership trends and how it all compares against the rest of Europe.
Global brokers Sotheby's provide info on their blog on the sort of interest that Greece is drawing from investors from abroad on luxury villas and what high net worth individuals have their eye on in the country.
Now that we have looked at the residential side, lets jump into sources of information on commercial assets.
Property consultants Danos provide a source of information on commercial assets, publishing reports on Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, Cyprus and Serbia every six months.
Danos, which is partnered with BNP Paribas, prepares notes that take a look at all market segments (retail, logistics, offices, residential and hotels) addressing issues such as vacancy rates, yields and market trends. Content is in English.
10-Proprius Cushman and Wakefield
Every quarter, consultants Proprius Cushman and Wakefield come out with a market snapshot of the industrial, office and retail sectors of Greece. The reports provide an update on the appetite in the sector, along with key market statistics in that segment. Content is in English.
Valuators Geoaxis cover commercial assets, by preparing reports in offices, logistics, hotels and student housing. They also come out with info on residential housing. Content is in Greek.
Don't forget the banks
Greece's top four banks (National Bank, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank) all have research departments that write about the Greek economy including, of course, real estate.
It's worth keeping an eye out for these reports as the banks often take a deep dive into Greek real estate and come out with forecasts on market trends.
Below are the links to where you can find economic analyses from the lenders.
12-National Bank economic analysis
13-Piraeus Bank economic analysis and investment strategy
14-Alpha Bank Economic - markets research