home market still in free fall
Plus, 17 September 2010
The Greek economic crisis and subsequent recession have seen the prices
of holiday homes fall 15-25 percent this year compared to 2009, according
to realtors' estimates.
The areas that enjoyed particular buoyancy in the sector in previous
years, especially the 2004-07 period, such as Crete and the Aegean
islands of Myconos and Paros, are now the hardest hit.
"At times of economic crisis, the first property sector to be hit is
that of holiday homes. This is because that particular segment is seen
as a manifestation of the luxury one enjoys when finances are on the
the upside," said property consultant Nikos Giannoulelis.
Giannoulelis notes that up until two years ago, some 800 houses, of
which around 750 were newly built, were sold annually on Paros. This
year has dwindled to less than 100, of which only about 10-20 were
new. Sale prices on Paros range between 2,000 and 2,500 euros per square
The picture is similar in Crete, where prices now stand at 1,700-1,900
euros, against around 2,500 euros/sq.m. two years ago. The number of
transactions has dwindled and demand is minimal.
On Corfu, where properties are the most expensive in the Ionian Islands,
prices average at around 3,000 euros/sq.m. The ratio of Greek to foreign
buyers is 30:70, due to the island's airport and proximity to Italy.
In the Northern Sporades, off the coast of central Greece, prices average
at 2,000-2,500 euros/sq.m., while on Myconos they have dropped from
about 7,500 euros two years ago to around 5,500 euros/sq.m. today.
In general, there are three types of foreign prospective buyers: Those
looking for a home for all their summer holidays, those looking for
retirement homes and those who want to invest with a view to reaping
The majority of holiday-hole seekers are British, followed by Germans