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GreecePhiloxenia: Realtors note spike in Balkan interest for properties in Thessaloniki

Philoxenia: Realtors note spike in Balkan interest for properties in Thessaloniki

Hellenic News of America
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The number of Balkan nationals looking for real estate to buy in Thessaloniki has risen exponentially, realtors told Philoxenia’s 3rd Forum “Tourism, Real Estate, Transport & Infrastructure in Greece and SE Europe” taking place in the northern city on Friday.

Realtors noted that potential investors were willing to pay up to 1 million euros, at the same time that Israeli investors were freezing their plans because of the energy crisis and market uncertainty, and despite losses incurred by draft agreements.

Golden Visa

The majority of realtors participating in the 3rd Forum on took a stance against raising the investment level in the Golden Visa program, from the current 250,000 to 500,000 euros. The program provides investors of property at such amounts with a multiple-year residence permit that include their close relatives, and realtors said on Friday that the upcoming changes in criteria for the visas do not reflect the low supply of luxury homes in Greece.
As Kostas Georgakos, Greek-Serbian Chamber of Northern Greece president and CEO of Georgakos & Parthenon RE explained, “It is no secret that the dream of Balkan people is to own a property in Thessaloniki and Northern Greece.”

He attributed the rise in interest to the rise of their living standards and the low property prices in the city compared to the Balkan ones. In Belgrade, for example, one square meter cost 12,000 euros, he noted, compared to 3,000 euros per square meters for a newly built apartment in Thessaloniki. He added that the city will keep attracting higher-income buyers, especially from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.

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Airbnb’s role

Georgakos also revealed that short-term leases by Airbnb did not affect hotels. “Those who come to Thessaloniki and stay at Airbnbs would not have come if it did not exist,” he underlined. Market estimates show that nearly 2,200 properties are rented out short term in Thessaloniki, many of them previous office spaces of 40 square meters each.

Realtors also saw a drop in traditional home ownership by Greeks, from 84.6% in 2008 to 73% at present, a rate that continues to drop. President of the Association of Athens-Attica Region Realtors Lefteris Potamianos said there are currently 3.9 million homes today.
The real estate experts also agreed that online transactions did not threaten their role, as long as it adapted to changes and made extensive use of electronic tools.

Speaking of Katerini, an hour south from Thessaloniki and a popular summer destination for Balkan tourists, architect and property investment consultant Giorgos Kantziouris of Ergodomissi said that demand was “massive”, especially by middle-class Balkan nationals purchasing homes worth 70,000 euros. “The shore of Katerini is the Mykonos of the Balkans,” he said. For Serbs, he explained, the city’s market is ‘mature’, particularly in terms of hotels that they want to transform into Airbnbs.

SOURCE; ANA-MPA

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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