Exploring Architectural Masterpieces at Open House Athens 2022

Open House Athens 2022 is a popular annual event during which historic buildings, architectural masterpieces and modern abodes -rarely open to the public- can be explored; as visitors are welcome inside to look around. 

The free event, which is the 9th edition in Athens, will take place on Saturday the 9th and Sunday, the 10th of April- offering visitors public access and guided tours to more than fifty private and public buildings, monuments, residences and offices.

Open House Athens is the perfect opportunity to spend the weekend outdoors exploring normally off-limits places around town- with tours of the city’s buildings highlighting outstanding cultural heritage and contemporary architecture. There will also be interviews with architects, activities, and special popup events. 

This year (both in-person and virtually) visitors have the chance to take a peek at the Allouche Benias Gallery, the Church of Agios Dimitrios Loumardiaris, Prodea Loft, Thissios Lofts, Megaron Music Hall, the Italian Embassy, Zillers-Loverdos Mansion, the B & E Goulandris Foundation, SNFCC Library, as well as some of Athens’ newest hotels including The Modernist, the Marriott’s The Moxy and Brown’s Lighthouse Hotel and Dave Red. Some of the neoclassical buildings that can be seen include the National Observatory of Athens, the National Theatre of Greece, the Numismatic Museum; plus many industrial spaces, offices, private homes, museums, libraries, churches and the former Refugee Houses in Ambelokipi will also be explored.  

What is Open House Athens?

Athenians and visitors alike are able to view the city on a whole new level, as this popular annual event (for one weekend only) allows the public to get a close look at normally off-limits sites and attractions in the Greek capital. The concept of Open House began in London in 1992 and has since spread to 35 countries around the world. Open House Greece is a non-profit organisation, part of the wider network of Open House Worldwide, which consists of 50 cities and hosts festivals and conversations about architecture, design and cities across the globe.

Date: 9-10 April 2022

For more details head to Open House Athens 

Main Image by George Adamos | Open House Athens ©

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 GreekGuru.net 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 Spitogatos.gr 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 xe.gr 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 spiti24.gr 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 xe.gr 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