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Real estate in Attica: Interest from Israelis and others

Featured Real estate in Attica: Interest from Israelis and others

Real estate in Greece and especially in Attica continues to attract foreign buyers and it is no coincidence that funds amounting to around 1.102 billion euros entered the domestic market from abroad in the first half of 2023, according to the latest data from the Bank of Greece, an amount that translates into a percentage increase of almost 40% compared to the corresponding period last year.

In the wake of Israel's war with Hamas, the domestic real estate market is dominated by concerns about how Israelis will move from now on, as they are among the most prolific nationalities of foreign property buyers in Greece and especially in Attica.

It is too early to draw safe conclusions, Mr. Lefteris Potamianos, president of the Association of Real Estate Agents of Attica, told OT.

However, he reveals that in the midst of war conflicts, two important contracts for the purchase of real estate in Athens were signed last week. One from an Israeli and the second from a Lebanese. One of these contracts, amounting to one million euros, concerns the purchase of a plot of land in Neos Kosmos where an apartment building will be built for commercial exploitation.

At the same time, however, the negotiations for the purchase of three different properties "froze" because the prospective buyers from Israel were mobilized by the IDF.

In the medium to long term, however, it appears that the war may create a new surge in real estate demand.

As Mr. Spyros Papagiannakis, general manager of Mapei Hellas, a subsidiary of the Italian giant of building materials, recently stated, the war conflict can also work in favor of construction activity, as there has been great interest from Israelis and Lebanese in housing in Cyprus as well as in Hellas.

The 4 nationalities that stand out

The interest of the Israelis is also recorded by data from Spitogatos Insights regarding the housing searches made during the third quarter of 2023.

In more detail in the center of Athens, the "first place" is held by Americans, followed by the British , while the Israelis are ranked 3rd. In the third quarter, the average sale price of houses in the center of Athens increased by 14.4% compared to 2022, reaching 2,000 euros per sq.m.

Most property searches came from the US and focused mainly on the southern suburbs of Attica where prices in the third quarter, according to Spitogatos data, stood at 3,611 euros per square meter, compared to 3,167 in the third quarter of 2022, registering an increase of 14%.

In second place for the south of Athens are prospective buyers from the United Kingdom, while the Germans follow in third place. The same "series" in terms of nationalities was also recorded in the second quarter of this year.

In the area of Piraeus, where the average house prices are 2,000 euros per sq.m. increased by 14.7% compared to the third quarter of 2022, the United Kingdom emerged as the first market. In 2nd place are those from the USA and in 3rd place are the Germans.

For the suburbs of Piraeus, where some of the largest increases in the average asking price of residential sales were recorded in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year at +23.2%, the Americans were most interested, while in second place were the British. The Germans complete the top 3. In the suburbs of Piraeus, the average price of houses in the period July – September 2023 was 1,714 euros per sq.m.

It is noted that recently the real estate network RE/MAX Hellas noted that Israel ranks among the five most popular nationalities of foreign buyers in Greece, occupying the 1st place, followed by China and Germany in the 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

The "tribes" of Israeli buyers

Based on the data so far, prospective real estate buyers from Israel are divided into four different categories.

Private investors, who are mainly looking to buy small apartments with a total value of 100,000 euros, belong to the first category. These buyers are mainly interested in the downtown areas, seeking to secure a net annual return of 5% to 6% when in their country, as in other mature markets, yields do not exceed 2-3%.

Small and medium-sized companies from Israel belong to the second category. The budget in this case ranges from 500,000 to 5 million euros, while higher yields of 13% are sought.

Large Israeli companies invest more than 5 million euros and seek long-term profits, while the fourth category of investors are real estate brokers who come to Greece in order to expand the portfolio of residential properties that they can dispose of on the Israeli market.