The massive redevelopment of Athens’ former airport, Hellinikon, has already resulted in a great deal of interest in real estate along the Athens Riviera, the shoreline along the Saronic Gulf just outside the Greek capital city, according to Greek real estate experts.
The Hellinikon project, the largest redevelopment project anywhere in Europe at the present time, includes hotels, casinos, and high-end restaurants and boutiques as well as many other amenities.
Gargantuan Hellinikon development will be spark for Athens Riviera
Asked what part this gigantic development would play in the Greek real estate world, Ana Vukovic, the Managing Director for Collier’s Greece and Serbia, who also covers the markets of Cyprus, FYROM and Montenegro, was expansive.
Vukovic, who has successfully led a number of large-scale mixed-use properties and portfolio projects from concept stage to completion, has a multi-faceted background in real estate consulting and commercial real estate law.
“The development of real estate in Elliniko, which is considered the largest urban regeneration project in Europe, will have a significant impact on the real estate market, especially in the southern suburbs of Athens, further raising prices for both rental and buying real estate,” she replies.
“Large hospitality projects” on the horizon
“The southern coastal zone of Attica, also known as the Athenian Riviera, is becoming a pole of attraction for home buyers from abroad and investors who are heavily investing in residential complexes which are mainly aimed at buyers from abroad, with an emphasis on those with high income.
The real estate expert goes on to explain “As Athens has become a popular tourist and investment destination, large hospitality projects are also in development and in the construction phase.
“Other areas along the coast, such as Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Voula are also under high demand from investors resulting in increased values in the southern suburbs for both offices and residential assets.
Athens Riviera will become “landmark” area
“Demand, though, for housing in the area is also expected to increase,” she adds, “since the developments will transform the image of the Athens Riviera, offering leisure, wellness, shopping and entertainment activities of a high standard, creating a landmark where people will want to live and work.
“Especially now with the Covid situation where distance working will become the new norm,” Vukovic explains, “we expect demand for residential properties to increase since buyers will be able to combine their work with a new lifestyle.”
Another expert in the world of Greek real estate, Antonis Markopoulos, the co-founder and CEO of Prosperty, a growing company of real estate experts, engineers, business, operations and marketing specialists, says that since the end of 2019, the real estate market in Greece has had a very positive momentum, especially from foreign investors.
Markopoulos also spoke exclusively to Greek Reporter about the many opportunities at the moment.
He notes that, indeed, the upswing in real estate prices along the Athens Riviera has already begun.
“The prices are quite high at the moment there. I think the project of Ellinko drives the market in those areas, so the prices are quite high but also the demand is quite high because a lot of foreign investors see the southern suburbs of Athens as the ideal destination to buy a property in Greece. So, we see both an increase in the prices and also in the demand.”
Markopoulos adds that for the most part, he has noted that it is foreign individuals who have expressed serious interest in these properties. “Certainly, the profile of buyers for those areas is more high net-worth individuals from different countries, such as the US and Germany, but we also see interest from other countries like Russia, Israel, and Lebanon.”
He notes that, of course, “These kinds of assets in these areas are not for the average investor.”
Athens Riviera development driving up prices on the Greek mainland, Peloponnese
Overall, he says, there are a variety of asset classes in Athens and in Greece, adding that “We do have those who would like to buy something in Voula or Glyfada overlooking the sea, enjoying the life in those kinds of suburbs.
However, Markopoulos states, “we also have other buyers looking for smaller apartments just to stay in during their vacations or to use them to rent out through the rest of the year.”
And it isn’t just on the Riviera itself that the prices are going up. The gargantuan development has led to more interest all around the mainland and the Peloponnese as many Europeans desire a drive-to destination for their holidays.
“I think the project of Ellinko drives the market in those areas, so the prices are quite high but also the demand is quite high because a lot of foreign investors see the southern suburbs of Athens as the ideal destination to buy a property in Greece,” the real estate expert points out.
“So, we see both an increase in the prices but also in the demand.
“Certainly, the profile of buyers for those areas is more high net-worth individuals from different countries, such as the US and Germany, but we also see interest from other countries like Russia, Israel, and Lebanon. So these kinds of assets in these areas are not for the average investor.”