Athens suburbs flourishing
Athens Plus, 10 April 2009

Commercial property values have naturally followed the upward course of those in the new residential areas in Attica that have emerged over the last 10 years or so.

According to a study about to be published, while the number of empty premises in the center of Athens is soaring, other areas are doing brisk business and the number of shops has more than doubled.

These new markets are mostly found in the Mesogeia district, east of the capital, and at the northern and western ends of the conurbation. These include the areas of Ano Liosia, Acharnes, Kamatero, Drosia, Aghios Stefanos, Anoixi, Koropi, Nea Makri, Rafina and Pallini. The increase in the number of shops in these districts since 1998 ranges from 180 percent in Kamatero to 367 percent in Pallini.

The return on investment in commercial property in such areas is more than 7 percent - higher than the average in the rest of Attica.

"Most of these areas have many common characteristics. One is the establishment of new, large businesses, which has contributed to increases in population. Another is the difficult access to other neighboring markets and the center of Athens... Some of these areas are projected to grow even more in coming years and develop into commercial hubs of their own wider districts," said one realty agent. "One thing is certain: The small local markets are less vulnerable both to the economic crisis and the sharp competition among malls."

"They are like small provincial towns, where the crisis has made only a slight impact to date... This may prove especially useful to anyone wishing to invest in commercial property, including office space, " the same agent concluded.