* Residential property prices rise 4% y/y in Q1
* Economic recovery, foreign interest drive uptrend
* Home prices had plunged 42% since 2008 peak
By George Georgiopoulos
ATHENS, June 12 The recovery in Greece's housing
market gained speed in the first quarter, central bank data
showed, with an expanding economy and growing foreign interest
likely to keep the uptrend intact.
Property accounts for a large chunk of household wealth in
Greece, which has one of the highest home ownership rates in
Europe at 80 percent, versus a European Union average of 70
percent, according to the European Mortgage Federation.
Apartment prices rose 4.0% in the first quarter compared
with the same period a year earlier, Bank of Greece data showed,
accelerating from an upwardly revised 2.6% increase in the final
quarter of 2018.
More specifically, prices rose by 5.8% year-on-year in
Athens, where home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and a "golden
visa" programme - a renewable five-year resident's permit in
return for a 250,000-euro ($285,000) investment in real estate -
have grown very popular.
Greek house prices fell 42% between 2008, when the country's
protracted recession began, and the end of 2017.
A similar trend is seen in Greek prime office prices, which
rebounded 7.0% last year.
"Real estate prices are tracking the positive path of
economic activity, with Athens outperforming," National Bank
economist Nikos Magginas said on Wednesday.
The uptrend is also supported by a sharp decline in home
building in previous years, which curbed the supply of new
"The stock of unsold properties is slowly being absorbed.
The price recovery will likely continue as long as the economy
stays on a recovery path and fire sales of repossessed homes by
banks are avoided," he said.
The Greek market has been dampened by property taxes imposed
to plug budget deficits, tight bank lending and a jobless rate
still around 18.1%, the highest in the 19-nation euro zone.
But economic prospects have improved since 2015 when Greece
signed up to a third bailout package worth up to 86 billion
euros ($107 billion). The country emerged from its latest
bailout in August last year and is now relying on markets to
cover its financial needs.
Greece's 180 billion euro economy expanded in
January-to-March, but at a slower annual pace than the quarter
before, mainly driven by consumer spending and a pick-up in
Following is a table on Greek apartment prices from the
Central Bank of Greece:
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Q1
Index 69.5 64.3 61.1 59.6 59.0 59.9 61.6
Change y/y % -10.9 -7.5 -5.1 -2.4 -1.0 1.6* 4.0
New (up to 5 years) 71.4 66.8 63.0 61.2 60.7* 61.8*63.6
Change % -10.9 -6.5 -5.6 -3.0 -0.8* 1.8* 4.0
Old (older than 5 years) 68.3 62.8 59.8 58.6 57.9 58.8*60.4
Change % -10.8 -8.1 -4.7 -2.0 -1.2 1.4* 3.9
source: Bank of Greece
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Susan Fenton)
ATHENS Greek lenders Alpha and Eurobank reported a drop in profit in the first quarter on Thursday, hurt by lower trading gains and a fall in net interest income.
ATHENS, May 27 Greek Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras was left struggling for his political survival on Monday
after his Syriza party, stung by austerity and a bitter rift
over an accord with North Macedonia, got hammered in European
ATHENS Greece unveiled draft legislation on Sunday intended to provide relief to millions of Greeks with tax and pension contribution arrears, offering discounts to amounts owed and stretching out payment plans by up to 120 monthly installments.
ATHENS The Greek parliament voted on Wednesday to launch a diplomatic campaign to press Germany to cough up billions of euros in damages for the Nazi occupation of the country in World War Two, an issue Berlin says was settled long ago.
* Greek banks eliminate emergency borrowing from Bank of
ATHENS Fashion magazine Vogue hit the newsstands in Greece on Sunday, relaunched after a seven-year absence as publishers bet that the country's economic recovery after a debt crisis will revive an appetite for glossy fashion and lifestyle prints.
* Alpha Bank swings to 0.4 mln euro loss in Q4
(Adds details, CEO comment)
ATHENS, March 8 Greece's largest carrier Aegean
Airlines has raised 200 million euros ($224.20
million) from an oversubscribed bond offering, the banks leading
the deal said on Thursday.
ATHENS Greece's third-largest lender Eurobank on Thursday reported lower full-year 2018 net profit as operating income declined, but said it was on track to deliver on a plan to transform its business by year-end.