A terrible decade for property values

A terrible decade for property values

House prices and rents in Greece dropped the most among EU countries in the period from 2010 to the end of 2020, a Eurostat analysis shows.

Specifically, house prices dropped 28.1% and rents 25.1%. However, the trend was not uniform in that period and both house prices and rents have been going up recently, the report, released earlier this week, shows.

In most EU countries, prices and rents went up. Drops in house value were registered, besides Greece, in Italy (-15.2%), Spain (-5.2%) and Cyprus (-3.4%). The highest price rise was in Estonia (112.8%). As far as house rents are concerned, only Cyprus (-4.1%) joined Greece in a decline during the 2010-2020 decade.

Rents in Greece declined 40% in 2010-12, at the onset of the financial crisis, and have been inching upwards since, without making up for that sharp loss. Bank of Greece data on house prices show a steady decline until 2017, with the total drop of nearly 42% and a recovery since: in 2019 prices went up 7.2% and 4.2% in 2020, despite the effect of the pandemic in the latter year. The rise was still lower than the EU average (5.7%)

The decline in prices paralleled the steep drop in household income: Greece’s per capita GDP, adjusted for purchasing power parity, was 67.4% of the EU average in 2018 from 93.3% a decade earlier. Average household disposable income dropped from €24,224 in 2010 to €14,932 in 2016, according to Eurostat.

Among those who rent, 83% in Greece spend over 40% of their income on rent, compared to 25% in the EU.

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