The 5 cheapest and the 5 most expensive neighbourhoods in the centre of Athens

Athens

How is the home buying and rental situation shaping up? Demand remains strong, but there are signs of fatigue in some areas

The regions of Attica and Patision-Acharnon are currently the cheapest for buying a house in the centre of Athens, while for interested tenants, the lowest price is recorded in Kolonos and Sepolia.

Even so, anyone looking in the ads to buy a cheap house in the centre will find that the average price in the most affordable Attica and the area of ​​Patision-Acharnon is a little lower than 1,400 euros per square metre (sq.m), number of course that goes up when it comes to newer or renovated properties.

Accordingly, it is the same with rents: For a house of more than 75 sq.m., which is based on relevant research by the well-known real estate network of RE/MAX, what one in two Greeks is asking for, the owners in the cheapest area of in the centre of Athens, Kolonos and Kolokynthos, ask for an average rent of around 600 euros.

The data for the top 5 of the most economical but also the most expensive areas in the centre of Athens, the municipality with the highest demand from prospective buyers and tenants, was collected by the Spitogatos network ( www.spitogatos.gr ), the well-known real estate classifieds website in Greece, with over three million monthly visitors, who view more than 100 million pages per month.

In terms of house sales, the top 5 cheapest areas for the centre of Athens are Attiki, the area around Patisia - Acharna, followed by Kolonos - Kolokynthous and finally, the area around Agios Eleftherios – Promona – Rizoupoli. In all cases, without exception, the rate of increase during the last twelve months, at the end of 2023 compared to 2022, is double-digit, from 12% and above, even reaching 20%.

As for the five most expensive areas of the centre, the priority, with an average price of 4,900 euros per sq.m. and an increase of over 16% on an annual basis, maintains Kolonaki - Lykavittos, followed by the historic centre, Mets - Kallimarmaro, Koukaki - Makrygianni and Ilisia.

On the rental side, Kolonaki–Lykavittos also maintains the lead in terms of the most expensive average rent in the ads for the centre of Athens, with an average price of just under 16 euros per sq m, which means that an average owner is asking for something less than 1,200 euros for a house of 75 sq.m.

They follow, as in the case of house sales, the historical centre, Mets - Kallimarmaro, Koukaki - Makrygianni, with the difference that the top 5 rentals here are closed in 5th place by Pagrati, one of the most popular areas of the centre, with a special demand for families as well.

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Sales in the centre

More specifically, in the area of ​​the housing market at this juncture, for their part, brokers have already begun to record from the second half of 2023 a relative fatigue in demand from the general public, especially for properties of lower specifications in secondary areas.

For properties of high specifications and energy characteristics in the first-line regions, the demand remains high mainly due to the lack of houses in these categories, with a very large, corresponding price gap reaching some tens of millions for unique houses in the historic centre.

Despite all this, the prices in the advertisements remain steadily rising in all categories of real estate, in some cases reaching the limits of the absurd, even if the market itself now finds in practice that the time "window" has increased from the moment an average property goes on the market, until the moment it is finally sold, while the advertisements already show slower rates of increase every quarter, namely in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Nationwide, last year, based on the most official data, those from the Bank of Greece, for residential real estate indices up to the third quarter, apartment prices showed an increase of 13.9% on an annual basis, which is confirmed and from the ads on the Spitogatos network.

But for the fourth quarter of 2023, at least in the classifieds, the growth rates per quarter have slowed, Starting from +2.7% in the first quarter to +3.6% in the second quarter, rising to +4% in Q3 and falling to +1.1% in Q4 2023.

For Athens, especially the centre of the capital, which is consistently at the forefront of demand from both Greeks and interested foreign buyers, the increases are higher even for the most affordable areas, always based on advertisements.

Indicatively, in the region of Attica with the lowest average asking price of 1,363 euros per sq.m., an annual increase of 12.3% is recorded and even greater, at +17.7%, is the increase for Patision - Acharnon with an average price at 1,384 euros per sq.m.

Impressive, more than 20%, is the annual increase in sales prices in Patisia, with an average price currently at 1,400 euros per sq.m., which is more than double when it comes to new construction.

For example, a new house built in 2023, 110 sq.m., energy class A+ with natural gas, is currently being sold for over 3,000 euros per sq.m., or otherwise at 340,000 euros. At 1,600 euros per sq.m. is the average price in the area of ​​Kolonos - Kolokynthos, where, however, for houses even 20 years old, from 2004, which have a terrace and a view, prices are requested... times 3, even over 4,500 euros per sq.m.

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The variation in prices for the expensive areas of the centre is great, where, on the one hand, the average price in Kolonaki in the ads is found by processing the Spitogatos data to be 4,906 euros per sq.m., with an annual rate of increase of over 16%.

On the other hand, however, there are quite a few ads, even with over 20,000 euros per sq.m. -as is the case for a renovated, almost ten-year-old apartment in a 1960 apartment building, under 40 sq.m., which is currently being sold for 750,000 euros.

Prices in the historic centre have increased by 20% within a year, exceeding on average 4,600 euros per sq.m. at the moment. But even in this case, the price variation is huge, with values ​​reaching or exceeding 25,000 euros per sq.m. in unique properties.

A stunning example is an old, unrenovated house from 1965 under the Acropolis, 110 sq.m., with an asking price of 2.7 million euros.

Accordingly, among the top buildings for sale from the portfolio of real estate services company Greece Sotheby's International Realty, which manages very expensive residences, a neoclassical property very close to the Acropolis Museum, 465 sq.m., 100 years old and renovated in 2021, furnished, with a price of 14 million euros.

The rentals

Of the five most expensive areas in the centre of Athens, the cheapest, with an average price of just over 3,000 euros per square metre, is Ilisia, having shown an annual increase of 9.8%, while... surprise, with the smallest increase just 1.5% within a year, comes to the Mets - Kallimarmaros area, with an average price of 3,500 euros per sq.m.

As for rents, the two surprises with a zero or marginal increase of 1% in the last year come in Koukaki - Makrygianni and Kolonaki, where rents have touched the... ceiling.

This is also a reasonable conclusion if it is taken into account that in Kolonaki, in addition to the average rental price of 15.7 euros per sq.m., there are also cases of furnished houses under 40 sq.m. with a monthly rent of 1,500 euros or otherwise over 40 euros per sq.m.

There is zero annual increase in Koukaki, the Airbnb district (note: due to the high supply of short-term rental accommodation).

The average asking rent here is 11.8 euros per sqm. However, given the change of context from the beginning of 2024, former "hosts" are now offering their properties for long-term leases, furnished and renovated, with more than triple the prices, just under 30 euros per sq.m., like a 60 sq.m. house, which is rented for 1,700 euros per month.

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Of the five most expensive areas of the centre, the biggest increase in the last year, of the order of 17.5%, has been noted by Pagrati, where the average asking rent price is 11.8 euros per sq.m. Therefore, for a house of 80 sq.m., which can also be addressed to families, the asking price can exceed 900 euros per sq.m. without missing the excesses, of course, much more since the Pagrati has gained points as a neighbourhood in recent years on the well-known platforms for short-term accommodation rentals.

It should be noted that in rentals, as well as in sales, based on the data of the ads from the Spitogatos network, a milder quarterly increase was recorded nationwide from the second half of 2023, starting from +3.7% in the first quarter and followed by +2.9% in Q2, +1.1% in Q3 and +1% in Q4.

For the centre of Athens and especially in the five cheapest areas for renting houses, the biggest annual increase, of the order of 14%, is noted in Patisia, with the average price being a breath of 8 euros per sq.m. -to be precise at 7.9 euros per sq.m.- as in Patision, with an increase of 12.7% within a year.

However, interesting for these areas of the centre of Athens is the fact that there are very few renovated houses that are offered furnished with more than double the rent, even at 18 euros per sq.m. per month, and some of them also come from former "hosts" of well-known platforms (Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc.).

The latter, precisely because of the general rise and lack of houses for rent in Athens, are turning from short-term to long-term leases to avoid daily work and the difficulties of active management.

Stefania Souki is a columnist for New Money.

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