Rent is on the rise in Athens for smaller apartments in newer buildings, especially in selected suburbs. Some landlords in Maroussi and Elliniko have been charging as much as 37 euros, or $39, a square meter.
The rental units that are most popular are between 20 and 40 square meters, apartments that traditionally were among the most affordable in the city. Now, a 40-square-meter, fourth-floor walkup apartment can exceed 1,400 euros a month, far above the price range of what an average Athenian can pay, experts said.
As real estate prices around Europe have rebounded from COVID-19 dips, landlords in Athens are trying their luck at raising rents. Some owners who set up fully-furnished apartments, with utilities included, as short-term, Airbnb-type units, have switched to traditional rentals.
Older, renovated buildings from the 1950s and 1960s in the center of the city are rising as well, and can exceed 21 euros, or $22.18, a square meter, a recent scan of units on the market showed.
Kifissia Rent Prices Are Highest
A recent survey in Global Property Guide found that the average 50-square-meter apartment in Athens’ historical center rented for 768 euros a month, or $811, while it jumped to 812 euros in Kolonaki, 757 euros in the Glyfada area and 695 euros in Voula. The Kifissia area of Northern Athens was the highest at 975 euros for the average monthly rent of a 50-square-meter apartment.
While rent has increased in Athens, a survey released in January found they are still 135 percent lower in Athens than in the UK. The same survey found Athens to be among the top cities in the world to move to. This month, the capital moved up nineteen places in the latest Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of the world’s most livable cities but still ranked only 73rd on the list of 172 cities.
A look at Greece’s Price to Rent Ratio, which measures the nominal house price index divided by the housing rent price index, found that between January 2019 and July 2021, the amount rose every six months, according to data from Trading Economics.
Meanwhile, apartment sales have been steadily rising throughout Greece. In the urban areas, prices rose over 2.7 percent in the third quarter of last year, according to recent figures from the Bank of Greece, as cited in Global Property Guide.
It was estimated that in the second quarter of 2021, nominal apartment prices—the type of housing the majority of Greeks buy—increased by an average of 4.6 percent and 3.5 percent, according to Bank of Greece data, the quarter before that.
Greece’s Golden Visa has also contributed to rising housing prices. For a minimum investment in real estate of 250,000 euros, a Greek residence card will grant a buyer full EU rights, officials say.