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Greece leads European property rebound
by Ivan Radford, TheMoveChannel.com, 12 August 2015

Greece is leading a rebound in European property demand. The country, which agreed new bailout terms with the European Commission this week, has seen enquiries surge 70% from buyers, as demand reaches a six-month high.

Greece is now the 12th most popular property destination in the world, according to TheMoveChannel.com's latest Top of the Props report. The country climbed four places in the rankings in July 2015, accounting for 1.28% of all enquiries on the portal - up from 0.81% in the previous month.

The country saw enquiries rise for the second month in a row, despite concerns surrounding its ongoing financial situation. In June 2015, worries over a possible Grexit saw overseas buyers lose interest in European favourites Portugal, France and Italy. Greece, though, remained popular, thanks to the euro's favourable exchange rate, the country's attractive house prices and its lifestyle appeal. In July 2015, that interest built momentum, with enquiries rising 70% in real terms month-on-month to reach their highest monthly total since January 2015.

Greece's growing popularity led a wider rebound in demand for European real estate, as investors overcame their caution surrounding the area's economy. Spain remained the most popular destination in July, with its share of enquiries up from 6.68% to 9.36%. Italy climbed three places into sixth place, its share of enquiries expanding from 2.54% to 3.14%. France, after falling to a record low in the Top of the Props rankings, re-entered the Top 10, rising four places to seize seventh spot, with its share of enquiries increasing from 1.99% to 3.06%.

Portugal fell two places into eighth, its share of enquiries shrinking from 3.26% to 3.02%, but in real terms, the country saw its enquiries rise 3% month-on-month. In real terms, Italy's enquiries also rose 33%, France's climbed 67 per cent, while Spain's jumped 51%.

The return of buyers to Europe caused demand to fall for other destinations, including Australia (down three places into 13th), Cayman Islands (down nine places into 16th) and Thailand (down 10 into 14th). Other, more established destinations saw demand remain steady or increase. Brazil held onto fifth place, while Canada held onto third. They saw their share of enquiries climb from 3.42% to 3.66 per cent and from 3.71% to 5.35% respectively.

Turkey and Cape Verde rose four places to fourth (3.99%) and ninth (2.11%) respectively. The USA also retained its second place, with enquiries up by 52% in real terms.

TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson comments: "The Greek bailout crisis has been both good and bad news for European real estate. Greece's struggling economy means that, like many recovering from recession, local demand for property remains low, but the weak euro against the strong dollar and pound has also boosted demand from foreign investors looking to take advantage of bargains. In June 2015, financial uncertainty spread from Greece to other European destinations. With the resolution to Greece's bailout crisis taking its first steps in the middle of July, though, the following weeks saw previously shaken confidence restored among investors, with demand rebounding for Spain, Italy, France and Portugal.

"Greece still has a very, very long way to go for its economy and housing market to return to normal. Enquiries for Greek real estate on TheMoveChannel.com were 17% down in Q2 2015 compared to Q1 2015, but July marked the promising start of an upturn, with the highest number of enquiries received by Greece in six months."

Saturday November 25, 2017
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