House prices continue to slide
by Nikos Roussanoglou,, 13 November 2014

Residential property prices remained on a downward course in the third quarter of the year, as according to Bank of Greece data released on Thursday the average price dropped by 7 percent on an annual basis and completed a 7.8 percent total decline in the first nine months of the year.

Property surveys conducted by banks for mortgage purposes amounted to just 4,219 in the July-September period - i.e. 6.1 percent fewer than in the same quarter in 2013. This means that there were even fewer transactions as property surveying concerns not only new mortgage loan issues but also the refinancing of some existing loans.

The central bank has also downwardly revised the data for the first two quarters of the year, as well as figures for 2013, which is evidence of the negative course of the housing market. The revised figures show that an annual decline of 10.9 percent was recorded in home prices last year (up from an original estimate for 10.3 percent), while prices dropped 8.8 percent year-on-year in this year’s first quarter (from 7.5 percent) and in the second quarter the revised decline came to 7.7 percent (from 7.3 percent).

The drop in the prices of newly built homes (aged up to five years) reached 6.1 percent, while older properties saw their prices drop by 7.5 percent in the third quarter. In the year to end-September the prices of new houses dropped 7.1 percent while for older ones the drop was 8.3 percent from the same period in 2013.

In geographical terms Athens has seen a considerably bigger decline than in other main cities, amounting to 9 percent on a yearly basis in July-September, while the drop in Thessaloniki came to 6.5 percent, in other major cities to 5.5 percent and in the rest of the country to 4.6 percent.