Piraeus Tower to Become Greece’s First “Green” High-Rise Building 

The iconic Piraeus Tower is undergoing a major redevelopment that will see it become a contemporary, bioclimatic landmark of Athens and Greece’s first certified “green” high-rise building. 

Located along the starting point of Athens Riviera, Piraeus Tower is a 34,600 sqm, 22-storey building that rises 88 metres above sea level. Once completed, the sustainable building that boasts panoramic views will host the first “green” retail, food and beverage space in Greece, along with luxury office spaces and a terrace overlooking Piraeus Port. 

The original tower was completed in 1975 but except for the first three floors, the interior has never been occupied. In 2020, Dimand SA and Prodea Investments came to an agreement with the Municipality of Piraeus to transform the tower into modern offices, retail, and restaurants, with architecture studio PILA redesigning the façade of the building. 

According to officials, the Piraeus Tower “will consist of a structure that is visually intriguing and incorporates strategies in order to drastically reduce the energy consumption of the building. The façade is conceived in order to integrate the structure into the daily life of the city and to enhance the lives of citizens and the users of the building.

“The design mediates the scale of the city and that of the tower, engaging the prospect of offering amazing exterior spaces and sharing breathtaking views. A shading structure consisting of vertical and horizontal overhangs clads the volume of the tower. Each vertical fin is horizontally displaced from one floor to the next and creates a spring pattern that wraps around the building.” 

The rejuvenation of Piraeus Tower is expected to be completed by September 2023.

Apartment Prices in Greece Increase Due to Demand

Real estate prices in Greece jumped by 9.1 percent in the last quarter of 2021, driven by strong demand in Athens and Thessaloniki, data from the Bank of Greece shows.

“According to data collected from credit institutions, apartment prices (in nominal terms) are estimated to have increased on average by 9.1% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, while in 2021 apartment prices increased by an average annual rate of 7.1%, compared with an average increase of 4.5% in 2020,” the Bank of Greece said in a statement.

Apartment prices in Athens raced ahead 10.5 percent in the last quarter of the year and 8.3 percent in Thessaloniki.

More specifically, in the fourth quarter of 2021 the year-on-year rate of increase in prices was 9.8% for new apartments (up to 5 years old) and 8.6% for old apartments (over 5 years old). 

For 2021, prices of new apartments increased on average by 7.4%, against an increase of 4.9% in 2020, whereas prices of old apartments increased by 6.9% in 2021, against an increase of 4.2% in 2020.

Broken down by region, in the fourth quarter of 2021 apartment prices increased year-on-year by 10.5% in Athens, 8.3% in Thessaloniki and other cities and 7.1% in other areas of Greece. For 2021 as a whole, prices increased on average by 9.1%, 6.9%, 5.4% and 4.6% respectively in the above-mentioned areas. Finally, as regards all urban areas of the country, in the fourth quarter of 2021 apartment prices increased by 9.7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, while for 2021 they increased at an average annual rate of 7.5%.

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 Sotheby’s Greece 

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

Greek Artist’s Home Turned Into Holiday Villa in Hydra 

Onos Residence is a stunning three-level holiday villa located on the beautiful island of Hydra. 

Once home and art studio to renowned Greek postwar and contemporary painter Christos Karas, this captivating property recently received an extensive makeover and has now opened its doors as a holiday house – welcoming guests to a touch of luxury overlooking the Aegean Sea.  

Ideal for large groups as it can comfortably host twelve people (or up to seventeen with sofa beds); the holiday villa can also be rented out as three separate suites, with each floor featuring its own set of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchenette and other facilities. 

Blending the charm of Hydra’s traditional stone houses with the island’s artsy character (Hydra is famous for capturing the heart of writers, musicians, painters and more) the carefully thought-out renovation has given the property a fine, modern touch.

Each level opens up to a breathtaking terrace with casual lounges and alfresco dining areas- the perfect spot for a morning coffee, or dinner under the stars while overlooking the coast of the Peloponnese and the enchanting port of Kamini.

Inside you will find original artworks that are displayed throughout the bedrooms and living spaces; while impressive sculptures are carefully placed outdoors on the terraces- inspiring a genuine connection with the roots of the residence. 

The villa also boasts a charming garden where guests can read their book under a blossoming lemon tree, enjoy their full continental breakfast, or from here take a two-minute stroll and arrive at the scenic beach and beach club of Castello.

Whether it’s a special getaway with family and friends or a much-needed holiday for two, Ornos is the perfect base to explore the entire island.  


The residence is situated in Kamini, guaranteeing easy transportation to and from the residence via Kamini port (cars are not allowed on the island.) The town of Hydra is a 15-minute walk while Mandraki beach is a short and scenic boat taxi ride from Kamini. Other points of interest nearby include the Profitis Ilias Monastery, which is 1.5 km away, as well as George Kountouriotis Manor and Leonard Cohen’s House. For dining out, guests can head to Taverna Christina, which is a 5-minute walk away.

Onos Residence

A: Kamini, Hydra 

Real Estate Prospects in Southern Europe on the Rise in 2022

Real estate prospects in southern European capitals are seen improving in 2022, according to the latest report put together by PwC and Urban Land Institute, though volatility in the sector remains.

Based on a ranking of 31 European cities included in the annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate – Road to Recovery” report, the outlook in Spain, Italy and Greece improved in the last year. Topping the list is London, followed by Paris and Berlin.

“Madrid has moved up two places to sixth, with a score that now rivals the leading German cities. Interviewees point out that it offers good opportunities across sectors, such as residential and logistics, as well as a strong office market,” says the report.

Rome climbed to position number 21 (from 23rd) and Athens advanced to 23rd place (from 28th place).

On a second-ranking assessing expected changes in rental and capital values in 2022, Athens took first place.

“Relatively few survey participants are active in the Athens market, but they believe the city offers some of the strongest growth prospects anywhere in Europe. This relates not just to the potential recovery of tourism, but also to Greece’s relative political stability compared with Turkey,” says PwC and ULI.

The report goes on to cite one private equity investor who says: “Greece, for the first time in decades, has a stable, pro-business government. This stability is set against a contrasting situation in Turkey.”

In terms of broader property trends in Europe, the annual review points out that there is a clear upturn in confidence but that volatility and uncertainty continue amidst high inflation and supply chain problems.

“The biggest current uncertainty relates to inflation and supply chains, impacting mostly construction prices and delivery schedules, just at a time when the industry wants to resume delayed developments or advance repurposing initiatives,” it says.

“As a consequence, we are seeing strong sentiment swings, as the industry struggles to interpret the potential impact of supply chain disruptions, surging energy costs and labor shortages on real estate, and how long these issues might last,” it adds.

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 Sotheby’s

Greece’s Largest Shopping Mall is Coming to Athens

Vouliagmenis Avenue, on the glamorous Athens Riviera is set to become home to Greece’s largest shopping mall!

According to Lamda Development who presented its new project to the public last week, the estimated amount of investment for the new development is between 335 to 410 million euros and is set to be completed by 2025. 

The mall that will be constructed on Vouliagmenis Avenue, will span 130,000 sq.m., making it the largest and most modern shopping centre in Greece; offering a multifaceted, round-the-clock experience for its local and international visitors.

Featuring popular and up-and-coming Greek and international brands, as well as eateries, entertainment, and wellness facilities; it will also house exhibitions, concerts, gyms, gaming corners, cinemas, children’s recreation areas, and more.

At the 30,000 sq.m. commercial park, which is set to be developed at the Commercial Hub in collaboration with the Fourlis Group, visitors will find big-box stores of international home and sports equipment brands; and the hub will also feature modern office spaces of 27,500 sq.m. that will house the headquarters of Piraeus Bank.

“In the same area, a state-of-the-art 150 m high mixed-use tower will be developed that will house a hotel, offices, and apartments. The state-of-the-art Business Center to be created at The Hellinikon in the coming years will become the heart of Greece’s commercial and business life, bringing significant benefits for the area and the entire Attica region,” announced Lamda.

“The Ellinikon Commercial Hub is a destination of the future. This will become Greece’s most modern commercial and business hub; a popular attraction for citizens from across the country and, of course, for the one million tourists that will be visiting The Ellinikon every year,” said Lamda Development CEO, Mr. Odisseas Athanasiou, during the fourth online presentation held by the company on the major regeneration project at The Hellinikon.

Images Courtesy of Lamda Development

40 Million Euro ‘Small Hellinikon’ Project Signed for Crete

Greek company REDS S.A. has been awarded the development of the former U.S. base in Gournes, Heraklion, Crete, for 40.2 million euros, the country’s privatizations agency announced.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) said that the sale was conducted through the process of electronic auction and that the board will soon convene to ratify the e-auction result.

Dubbed the ‘Small Ellinikon”, after the development of the former Athens international airport, the asset is considered to be a key item in the country’s privatizations agenda.

The real estate property of Gournes consists of a beachfront land plot of 345,567 sqm located 13km from the airport “Nikos Kazantzakis” and 16 km from Heraklion. During the last 20 years, land plots neighboring the property have been developed, the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, the Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos, the International Exhibition and Conference Centre of Crete, etc.

The tender, which follows years of delay, comes amid an emerging investment and building boom on Crete, the Mediterranean’s fifth-largest island.

Long one of Greece’s leading tourist destinations, Crete welcomes more than 5 million visitors a year and boasts several world-class tourist attractions like the Minoan era Knossos Palace, the legendary site of King Minos, and the Minotaur. Over the last two years, foreign investors have engaged in a number of deals and resort projects on the island.

In 2020, Hines acquired five hotels on Crete and Russia-based developer Mirum began work on its long-awaited Elounda Hills resort project in the summer. U.S. investment fund Blackstone recently acquired the Elounda Blu hotel in Crete – its sixth hotel property in Greece – through its Spanish subsidiary Hotel Investment Partners.

At the same time, the Greek government is investing billions of euros to upgrade Crete’s transport and power infrastructure. Work has recently begun on a new 1.5 billion euro international airport in Kastelli — located about 20 kilometers from Gournes – and is expected to be in operation by the end of 2023.

Also, underway is a 2 billion euro highway project stretching along the north coast of Crete, said to be one of the largest public works projects in Europe.

This article was first published here. 

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

Greece Among Top Destinations in the World for Hotel Investors

Greece is among the top destinations for investment funds and companies active in the hotel industry and in general in the field of hospitality and tourism. In fact, leading representatives of international brands revealed their intention to increase their presence in the Greek market while speaking at the 22nd Prodexpo conference held in Athens.

On the occasion of the Melia group’s recent agreement with the hotels of the Papakaliatis family, the Zeus Hotels group, Maria Zarraluqui, Global development VP, Meliá Hotels International, stated that in Greece not only are opportunities identified, but the right partners, with knowledge and experience in providing high-quality services, are on offer.

According to Zarraluqui, the Meliá Group expects a further recovery of the hotel and tourism industry in Greece, adding that there are plans for expansion in Mykonos, Thessaloniki and Santorini. Greece is among the top markets seen by foreign investors, along with Spain and Portugal. The challenge for the Greek market is the gradual detachment from tour operators and their replacement by new sales methods, with digitization as the main tool.

On his part, Ian Di Tullio, and Chief Commercial Officer Southern Europe Accor, predicted further development of the Greek tourism market, with the hotel industry transforming and passing from the level of overnight to the level of service and upgraded experience. Given these trends and the national strategic framework for growth, Greece 2.0, Di Tulio said that Accor is going to strengthen its footprint in Greece by 50% in the coming years.

The importance of upgraded and quality consulting services to enhance the inflow of foreign investment in the Greek hotel market was referred to by Nikos Hantzos, Consultant, International Hotel Development – Greece & Cyprus Marriott Intl. Taking as an example the recent Marriott agreement in Greece, he presented how crucial it is to converge and transform into a strategic investment the presence of five institutional investors, an international hotel manager, Domus, and an international brand like Marriott. Therefore, for Hantzo, experienced and capable executives of the hotel sector who can play the role of advisor to investors, are a “key” for new and more investments in this sector in Greece.

Thomas Doxiadis Founder doxiadis + Architects shared on the panel his experiences from the importance of designing big brands in Greece. Indicatively, he referred to the Four Seasons, which operates by international standards. However, as he explained, in addition to the standard guidelines, current design trends place great emphasis on the issue of “in-depth” quality of the overall experience offered by a hotel.

*Maria Zarraluqui, Global development VP, Meliá Hotels International: “We plan further expansion in Greece.”

*Ian Di Tullio, Chief Commercial Officer Southern Europe Accor: “We will increase our presence in the Greek market by 50% in the coming years.”

*Nikos Hantzos, PhD, Consultant, International Hotel Development – Greece & Cyprus Marriott Intl: “It is important to find the right consultants and partners for new investments in the hotel sector.”

*Thomas Doxiadis, Founder doxiadis + Architects: “Architecture now enters the design of brands based on quality.”

This article was first published here. 

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

Daily Cost of Living in Greece

Greece is cheaper to live in than many other places in Europe. But those planning to work in the country need to be aware that incomes are super low, which means that getting by on a local salary can be challenging.

According to livingcost.org, the average monthly salary after taxes in Greece is $879, which is enough to cover living expenses for 0.9 months.

The cost of living in the country is $1,008, the site says, which is 1.05 times more expensive than the world average. Greece ranked 65th out of 197 countries by the cost of living and the 40th best country to live in.

Numbeo.com points out that the living expenses in Greece are, on average, 18.21 percent lower than in the United States, with rents also 69.42 percent lower.

Get out the pen and paper, below are some indicative daily costs (in euros) when living in Greece. The complete list from Numbeo.com can be seen here.


Meal at an inexpensive restaurant- 10.00 euros

Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course- 37 euros

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 4 euros

Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 4 euros

Cappuccino (regular) 2.86 euros

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.74 euros

Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.50 euros


Milk (regular), (1 liter) 1.19 euros

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 0.87 euros

Rice (white), (1kg) 1.66 euros

Eggs (regular) (12) 3.10 euros

Local Cheese (1kg) 7.96 euros

Chicken Fillets (1kg) 6.74 euros

Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 9.11 euros

Apples (1kg) 1.57 euros

Banana (1kg) 1.54 euros

Oranges (1kg) 1.07 euros

Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 4.60 euros


One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.30 euros

Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 30 euros

Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.50 euros

Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1 euro

Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 12 euros

Gasoline (1 liter) 1.61 euros

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 19,850 euros

Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 19,038.97 euros

Utilities (Monthly)

Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 152.77 euros

1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.42 euros

Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 33.23 euros

Sports And Leisure

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 34.92 euros

Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 16.27 euros

Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 8 euros


Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 318.60 euros

International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 6,245.18 euros

Clothing And Shoes

1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 69.28 euros

1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 29.86 euros

1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 69.81 euros

1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 88.06 euros

Rent Per Month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 341.37 euros

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 288.44 euros

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 579.64 euros

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 482.82 euros

Buy Apartment Price

Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,595.92 euros

Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,343.01 euros

This article was first published here. 

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

Rents Rise in Piraeus and Northern Suburbs of Athens

The price of renting an apartment in the port area of Piraeus has jumped 14.7 percent, while demand for homes in the northern suburbs of Athens pushed rents 10 percent higher, according to third-quarter data collected by classifieds site Spitogatos.

Data shows that rent prices were unchanged in the city center at 9 euros per sq/m despite being one of the capital’s most popular areas. 

In the suburbs of Piraeus, surrounding the country’s largest port, the price of renting a home rose to 6.88 euros per sq/m, from 6 euros previously. Demand for Piraeus has been increasing recently amidst improving infrastructure projects in the district and stronger public transport links. The construction of new office buildings in the area, which have drawn large multi-national tenants, is also boosting housing needs.

In the northern suburbs, which include areas like Kifisia and Marousi, the cost of rent hit 9.47 euros per sq/m, versus 8.57 euros per sq/m in the same period last year. 

It is important to note that Spitogatos assesses the asking prices for rents, as published on its site, not the prices at which rent agreements are made.

In the northern city of Thessaloniki, price hikes were more moderate. The cost of renting a place in the center of the city inched ahead 0.3 percent to 7.80 euros per sq/m, while in the broader Thessaloniki area it rose by 6 percent to 5.83 euros per sq/m. Figures for the prefecture of Thessaloniki showed that prices dipped by 3.8 percent to 3.33 euros per sq/m.

In a glance at the rest of the country, rents plummeted by 23 percent in the Cycladic islands, which includes Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos and Paros, to 15.38 euros per sq/m. On the Sporades islands, including Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros, rent prices soared by 24.2 percent to 7.81 euros per sq/m.

This article was first published here. 

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

*Image of Kifisia property courtesy of Sotheby’s 

Vacation Rentals in Greece Soared Over Summer

Bookings for vacation rentals on platforms such as Airbnb soared by 200 percent in Athens this summer, versus 2019 levels, as the Greek capital ranked among the best performing cities globally, according to Rentals United Data Studio. 

In Italy, the market is also recovering though taking more time to do so, while data for Madrid shows that bookings moved higher, rising some 8 percent from two years ago when the pandemic first hit Europe.

The gradual resumption of international travel helped boost crucial tourism sectors in Europe’s south this summer on the back of strong demand from European and US travelers.

The figures provided by Rentals United do not show not cover the month of August where tourism was particularly strong in markets such as Greece.

“Demand for vacation rentals in Greece has been huge this summer and that includes Athens too. Vacation rentals in Greece are especially popular among travelers from Spain, France, and Italy,” says Rentals United in a statement.

“Thanks to their open borders and relaxed restrictions, compared to 2019, Athens has seen an average percentage increase of more than 201.01%,” highlights the company.

The best performing platforms for short-term property rentals in Athens are Expedia, Airbnb, Booking.com, Ostrovok, and Agoda, it adds.

In Spain, the country’s two largest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are showing a mixed bag of results.

While Spain is bouncing back, Barcelona is taking a little longer to get back to pre-pandemic times. The spike in Covid cases in Barcelona in July clearly took a hit with reservations.

“Barcelona is starting to look a little more positive in terms of bookings but we still see an average percentage decrease of 28.4 percent compared with 2019,” highlighted the company.

Tourism in Spain performed well this year supported by travelling Spanish residents though the pandemic continues to weigh on the number of foreigners visiting the country. Some hotels owners report experiencing a better season than in 2019 as the sector heads towards pre-pandemic levels.

In Italy, trends are similar with growth largely supported by domestic travellers. 

“Italy as a whole is bouncing back tremendously well, thanks to its popularity with French travellers who are able to drive across the border. Italian cities, on the other hand, are taking a little longer to bounce back,” Rentals United says.

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   

Building Activity Goes Through the Roof in Greece

Building activity in Greece shot up by nearly 100 percent in May with construction in western parts of the country picking up the most, data from the statistics office show.

The construction boom comes despite a sharp rise in the cost of building materials that is weighing heavily on markets, as seen in Cyprus, while in Italy the government has decided to subsidize infrastructure projects to avoid the risk of companies dumping the contracts.

In Greece, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said that total building activity, based on volume, reached 2.4 million cubic meters, up 97 percent from a year earlier. The highest growth rates were seen in Epirus (480 percent), in the north-west, and western parts of Greece’s mainland  (259.7 percent). In Attica, where Athens is located, there was a 123 percent rise.

Insights Greece - Building Activity Goes Through the Roof in Greece
Image courtesy of The Greek Guru

For the same month, the total number of building permits issued by authorities nationwide rose 62.9 percent to 2,222.

A recovering economy in Greece is helping fuel demand for homes as prices on some islands have gained as much as 26 percent amidst easing travel restrictions. Real estate agents say that buying activity from foreign nationals has mostly focused on southern Athens, along the coastal area called the Athens Riviera and the islands.

Among the recent measures introduced by the Greek government that has helped push the real estate market – and prices –  higher is the suspension of VAT payments on new building permits and unsold properties built after January 1, 2006, and a reduction of the single property tax (ENFIA).

The rising cost of building materials is causing major headaches for the industry that is seeing a post-pandemic boom globally, raising fears of bubble markets emerging in Europe and elsewhere in the world. In the first quarter of the year, housing prices in Turkey recorded the highest gains in the world, jumping 32 percent. 

The cost of basic construction materials, such as copper and timber, has soared by as much as 70 percent since the start of the year on the back of an improving global economy. In Cyprus, building officials estimate that the cost of constructing a home has risen some 20 percent recently, with some builders refusing to complete contracts unless they are covered for the price hikes.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the government is putting aside 100 million euros to help building firms working on public projects as construction costs go through the roof.

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 314 Architecture Studio