New Private Club and Luxury Apartments to Open at Ellinikon 

Lamda has just announced a new 70 million euro deal with Greek real estate investment company Orilina Properties for the Ellinikon project, which will include a private club, luxury apartments with sea views, as well as a food court and an entertainment complex. 

One of the most emblematic projects within “The Ellinikon” is the revitalisation of the Coastal Zone, encompassing as key elements the creation of the new freely accessible beachfront and a number of architectural landmarks.

In this context, Orilina Properties announced a new strategic partnership with Lamda Development, where Orilina is acquiring from Lamda two prime land plots next to the marina of Agios Kosmas.

The commercial development will consist of a private club with extensive facilities and state-of-the-art restaurants, as well as a wine and spirits retail store and bar by the marina, which will be accessible to the public and is to offer an impressive range of wines from around the world.

The prime residential development will feature exclusive sea view apartment units, which will be branded and serviced by the club, as the apartment buyers will automatically acquire a life club membership and be able to “indulge, unwind and socialise in the vibrant atmosphere of the club,” according to the press statement.

The development of an estimated budget of €70million will conform to the highest green and energy-efficient standards and will be designed by the prominent global architectural firm Kengo Kuma & Associates, who is also designing the Riviera Galleria constructed by Lamda in the neighbouring area, thus ensuring in this prominent position next to the marina of Agios Kosmas, a unified coastal front of high caliber, and an important addition to the architectural landmarks of the area.

This article was first published here 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru

*Image courtesy of Lamdadev 

Athens’ Suburbs With Below Average Home Prices

With the real estate market in Greece showing continued strength this year, home prices are increasingly moving out of the reach of buyers. Apartment prices jumped by an average of some 6 percent last year in the first nine months of last year with more strong growth on the cards for 2022 while household income levels have barely budged.

Demand has been strongest in Athens where prices jumped more than 8 percent in 2021, according to the latest data from the Bank of Greece.

This is prompting more buyers to search for their next home based purely on price criteria with a preference for older cheaper homes. 

Up until recently, buying interest has been concentrated in specific areas, such as southern Athens and the city center. More recently, however, this has changed, with demand spreading more evenly to a large number of neighborhoods, which means that bargains are becoming increasingly harder to come by.

So took a look at each district in Athens and highlights a suburb where below-average prices can still be found.

Western suburbs: 1,467 euros per sq/m.

Peristeri: 900 to 1,000 euros per sq/m.

The area is still the cheapest in Athens and draws more buyers looking for a good deal. Suburbs, such as Aegaleo are performing strongly thanks to the Athens metro, while another neighborhood where cheaper prices can be found while still being in close proximity to the city center is Peristeri. Here you can find a number of older homes for sale at around 1,000 euros per sq/m. Listings on show one-second level three-bedroom apartment in a building constructed in 1980 being sold for 894 euros per square meter for a total price of 110,000 euros. Separately, another 100 sq. meter first level home built in 1963 in Peristeri is going for 900 euros per sq/m.

Athens center: 1,636 euros per sq/m.

Viktoria Square: 950 to 1,153 euros per sq/m. 

Demand here has weakened recently as the pandemic has prompted a shift to the less populated suburbs, a trend seen globally. This could be seen by some as posing as a buying opportunity as the lifestyle offered by downtown living will always maintain its appeal for many. The area of Viktoria Square has its share of hardcore fans who wouldn’t change the area for anything. Others aren’t so avid supporters of the area but one thing is for sure that prices here are well below averages for those who want to be within walking distance of just about everything. Listings from show a two-bedroom apartment second level apartment being sold for 1,153 per sq/m (built 1980) while a second one is priced at 950 euros per sq/m (2 bedrooms, first level, built 1965).

Northern suburbs: 2,500 euros per sq/m.

Iraklio: 1,133 to 1,167 euros per sq/m.

In the affluent northern suburbs, prices are among the highest in Athens though the area of Iraklio offers some cheaper choices amidst high supply levels. Listings from show one 75 square meter 1st-floor apartment beings sold for 1,133 euros per sq/m (built 1970), while another listing shows a ground-level apartment in the heart of Iraklio going for 1,167 euros per sq/meter (built 1981, 3 bedrooms).

Southern suburbs: 2,873 euros per sq/m

Dafni: 1,027 to 1,474 euros per sq/m.

Prices here have advanced strongly due to the Ellinikon complex that is expected to provide the beachside district with a major boost. The southern suburbs have proven to be very popular with foreign buyers, who prefer homes to be as close to the beach as possible. Prices in areas further inland remain considerably lower, such as in Dafni. Despite the area having its own Athens metro station, prices in Dafni are well off averages for the southern suburbs. Listings from show one 75 sq/m ground level two-bedroom apartment going for 1,027 euro per sq/m (built 1966), while another is selling for 1,474 euros per sq/m (built 1955, 1st level, 2 bedrooms, 95 sq meters).

Obviously, concessions need to be made when looking for a cheap house to buy. However, the large stock of older apartments in Athens, many of which have a poor energy performance, could pose an opportunity for anyone looking to buy low in a property market that is on an upward course.

This article was first published here. 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.

*Image courtesy of Airbnb Greece

Athens’ Iconic Hilton to Become A New Luxury Hotel

Athens’ historic Hilton, which first opened its doors in 1963, as Greece’s first major international hotel is set to receive a 130 million euro redesign to become a new luxury hotel with premium private residences.  

Hilton and Ionian Hotel Enterprises have announced an agreement for the new development, which marks the introduction of Hilton’s luxury brands — Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Residences, and Waldorf Astoria Residences to Greece.

Insights Greece - Athens’ Iconic Hilton to Become A New Luxury Hotel
Hilton Athens first opened its doors in 1963

As of 2024, the Hilton will be renamed Conrad and will include 280 modern rooms and suites, as well as about 50 private residences.  In addition to the luxury hotel, the property will also include a members-only club, a range of eateries, bars, boutiques, entertainment venues, as well as leisure and wellness experiences.

 “For more than half a century Hilton Athens has played a pivotal role in the city’s emergence as a global destination, welcoming international guests, royalty, and captains of industry. We’re incredibly proud to continue that legacy with the introduction of Conrad Hotels & Resorts alongside Waldorf Astoria and Conrad branded residences. With contemporary luxury interiors, seamless service, and stunning views overlooking the ancient citadel of the Acropolis, this is set to be an incredible addition to the portfolio,” said Simon Vincent, executive vice president and president, EMEA, Hilton.

According to Hilton, the new destination aims to introduce a well-curated blend of global and local brands that will inspire the capital’s residents, as well as a wide and inclusive audience, to experience the true spirit of modern Athens. 

Dino Michael, senior vice president and global category head, of Hilton Luxury Brands said, “Athens is a city that perfectly responds to the needs of today’s luxury traveller. Steeped in history, with a thriving cultural and entertainment offering, it’s a fitting location in which to introduce our Conrad Hotels & Resorts brand. Increasingly, we’re also seeing significant demand for branded residences that offer our signature luxury hospitality, so we are particularly pleased to be expanding our partnership with IHE to introduce this exciting concept to Athens for the first time.” 

Images courtesy of Hilton Athens 

Cozy Apartments in Athens to Make You Feel at Home

Back in 2012, four friends decided to renovate a number of properties in the heart of Athens, turning average, everyday apartments into stunning, comfortable and affordable places for local and international guests to feel at home as soon as they step inside. If you are planning on heading to the Greek capital and are looking for self contained apartments with a personal touch, look no further!  

Insights Greece - Cozy Apartments in Athens to Make You Feel at HomeVarnavas, Vassilis, Antonis and Andreas, began designing spaces that were cozier than a hotel and had a more personal touch than an Airbnb, as the guys are there to meet and greet you upon arrival and eager to share local insider tips on the Greek capital- ensuring your stay is one to remember. The journey all started with an empty building in Thissio- a cool neighbourhood below the Parthenon and from there the Live in Athens story continues.

Ten years later, there are now five distinct buildings with 20 stylish apartments in the portfolio- all located in the much sought after neighbourhoods of Plaka, Thiseio and Psyrri.

All four creators are very hands on- from the concept and design through to styling and painting- they work together to ensure every apartment has a unique and personal touch. Part of the process is sourcing old furniture and other decor items that they turn into functional pieces and create spaces that they would like to live in themselves.

What makes each apartment so special is that you feel as though you are arriving at a friend’s home and in true Greek hospitality, there are homemade Greek delicacies including yogurt and fruit, biscuits and other treats in the kitchen for you to enjoy as soon as you get there.

All the apartments are centrally located in the areas of Plaka, Thissio and Psirri- the centre of Athens, where you can enjoy an amazing mix of the old and the new Athens, the glorious past and the diverse present of the city.

Insights Greece - Cozy Apartments in Athens to Make You Feel at Home

“Staying in the center is the best option for travellers that want to explore Athens. Both Thissio and Psirri are next to the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum. They are also in walking distance to the Ancient Agora, the central market, the city’s galleries and hidden bars. There is something for everyone just around the corner,” says Varnavas.

Apart from letting guests know where to wine and dine, they also create tailor made experiences- including private dinners on the terrace and unique tours that cater to individual tastes and preferences.

The guys are also behind the popular brunch spot Spiti Mas, which is located at the basement of one of the Live in Athens apartments. This cool Psirri hangout is known for its great coffee, delicious brunches and mouthwatering homemade desserts. It is an open house for both guests and locals, and here you can take a power nap on a comfortable bed, or sit on your laptop and work away as you enjoy the warm and inviting surroundings.

images @liveinathens

Buying a Flat in Metaxourgeio: the Pros & Cons

Having spent his childhood in Greece, Christopher Nicholas decided to buy a flat in Athens and describes the challenges and the joys.

By Christopher Nicholas

Buying a place in Athens was an easy decision to make. I went to school in a suburb of the city and have been returning ever since, always happy to reconnect with friends on my way to the islands. Most of all I love the ever-evolving array of the city’s cultural and culinary options, and its energy and chaos are the perfect antidotes to my quiet life in Geneva where I live, working for the Red Cross.

Why Metaxourgeio?

You may be wondering why I chose to create my Athens base in an area that could be described as a little sketchy. It’s artistic and edgy, with happening places, but definitely not one of the capital’s most attractive neighbourhoods.

In fact, it largely came down to budget and convenience. I wanted something central and properties in the historical centre or one of the trendier areas like Mets or Pangrati were not in my price range.

Discovering the Charms

However, I have become increasingly enchanted by my new neighbourhood. I’m discovering a community steeped in a rich and fascinating history. “Metaxi” means silk, and the area got its name from a silk factory built here in the 19th century, which put Metaxourgioon the map. It quickly became a bustling working-class community, home to artisans and small business owners, and suffered a severe decline in the 1970s. It’s had several stop-and-start waves of regeneration since and today the working-class spirit lives on, with old community favourites such as Gefstiki Gonia souvlaki place or Akrovatis kafeneion jostling side by side with alternative cafes, and artists’ studios in disused workshops.

I love the look and sounds emanating from the printing workshop downstairs and hope that the old manual 1960’s presses do not end up as accessories in a new hipster café. But if hipster is what you are after go to Platia Avdi with its sprinkling of achingly cool bars and eateries, like Seychelles and Blue Parrot. 

Flat-Hunting for Beginners

I first flirted with the idea of buying a place three years ago. I found the best way to get an idea of prices and neighbourhoods was the Spitogatos app, which meant I could shop around from the comfort of my sofa in Switzerland. While friends were swiping left and right in search of their perfect partner, I flicked through Spitogatos compulsively looking for my match. After visiting about a dozen places during short trips over, this one felt right immediately – it was bright and airy, on the top floor, with two bedrooms, a large terrace, on a quiet street and near the metro.

Sealing the Deal

With the seal of approval of two trusted friends, one of whom is an architect, I put in a cheeky offer. Initially, it was turned down. Then we struck a deal. However, the owner stuck close to his asking price. Six weeks later I was back in Athens for a 24-hour whirlwind tour of banks and tax offices. Eventually, with all paperwork duly stamped, I arrived at the solicitor’s office for the final exchange. Note: None of this would have been possible without my brilliant conveyancing lawyer, Alkis, who accompanied me every step of the way. Without him, I would have been lost, and it would have taken a year to do what we achieved in a day. 

Not Buying Out

Athens is bursting with wonderful shops, markets, and artisans and there really is no need to set foot in Ikea. I bought local and Greek wherever possible – a good quality bed from MediaStrom, a stylish made-to-order sofa from Fabrica, and curtains from the traditional fabric shops in Aiolou street. I also bought one or two quirky secondhand pieces from Reto, a social enterprise run by people recovering from substance abuse. And one day I hope to be able to splurge at MOFU, a gorgeous vintage design store, in Psyrri.

Always A Catch

People say that buying property in Greece can be complicated, but overall, the process went pretty smoothly. However, there was one small sting in the tail. Despite assurances from the estate agent to the contrary, it turned out that the “Doma” (room) on the roof above my flat was inhabited. Worse still, the tenant had put beds on the roof and was charging 5 Euro a night as a place to wash and rest!

Love Thy Neighbour?

During subsequent visits, I crossed tired workers/roof renters in the elevator and had to put up with noises like scraping furniture above, and wafts of late-night souvlaki dinners blowing down on to my terrace. I work in the humanitarian sector and initially let it go until I discovered that the rogue landlord was unduly profiteering. The actual landlord (of the  property above) sent him packing and the space is now rented to a more responsible tenant.

Happy End

Essentially, I have no regrets and am thrilled to be a homeowner in the city that I love. In this new era where working from home becomes the new norm, I’m hoping to spend more time here. In the long term, I see this as an investment – one that perhaps I can trade-in for a more idyllic spot by the sea when I come to retirement!

Insights Greece - Buying a Flat in Metaxourgeio: the Pros & ConsChristopher’s Top Tips:

  1. Make sure you have a good conveyancing lawyer.
  2. Support Greek Shops and suppliers!
  3. Don’t rush into things – take your time & use apps like Spitogatos & Chryssi Efkairia.
  4. Re-visit the property and take a careful look around before completing the sale.