Greece’s residential real estate market continues to surprise on the upside. House prices have risen by a robust 14.5% y-o-y in Q1:2023, the strongest pace in more than 30 years.
The turnaround reflects a long adjustment process comprising a sharp drop in residential construction and a significant decline in house prices over the previous decade.
This increase outpaced by a wide margin the euro area average (+0.3% y-o-y in Q1:2023), confirming the different phases of the respective housing market cycles.
A steady pick-up in demand during the past 5 years supported the market rebalancing and is driven by the following factors:
- Strong economic recovery helped to release pent-up demand for property acquisition.
- High liquidity buffers led to the increasing use of own funds and a pick-up in mortgage lending in 2021-22.
- Part of this demand came from FDI in residential real estate (incl. inflows related to the “Golden Visa” program), comprising c. 25% of the total value of transactions.
- Property taxes were reduced significantly over the past 5 years.
- Surging demand for tourism-related short-term renting increased occupancy rates, bolstered rental yields and limited available-for-sale properties.
New residential investment doubled to €3.2 bn in 2022 compared with its 2014-20 average, though it still remains less than 1/5 of its pre-crisis level on an annual basis.
The combination of the market rebalancing and increasing construction costs has added further to house prices, which are expected to rise further by 7% y-o-y, on average, in 2023-24.
According to NBG Economic Analysis estimates, more than €45 bn (in constant price terms) of additional residential investment will be required until 2030 to maintain demand and supply equilibrium in the long-run and meet the targets for the energy-efficiency upgrade of around 10% of existing residential building stock.