Pre-lockdown, housing prices jump 6.9 pct

Residential property prices in Greece jumped 6.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, before the country went into shutdown mode due to the pandemic, according to latest data released on the sector.

Figures from the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, showed that prices of new apartments (those up to 5 years old) jumped 7.9 percent, whereas prices of older homes advanced 6.3 percent in the first three months of the year.

Demand was strongest in Athens, where apartment prices jumped by an annual pace of 10.6 percent year-on-year, versus an increase of 5.5 percent in Thessaloniki and 2.9 percent in other cities.

Second quarter figures are expected to reflect how the real estate industry is surviving the country’s new economic reality. Apart from the broader plunge in the economy, Greek property prices are seen as taking a massive hit from the drop off in the country’s Golden visa program that had been drawing solid buyer demand from countries such as China, Russia and Turkey.