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Greece looks for affordable home solutions as property prices soar

Apartments in Athens, 2023
Apartments in Athens, 2023 Copyright Richard Vogel/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Richard Vogel/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Symela Touchtidou
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One solution would be to free up hundreds of thousands of empty apartments in the capital, according to a government minister.

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Soaring house prices and rents and making it tougher for Greeks to move onto or up the property ladder.

According to the Bank of Greece, house prices across the country rose by 14.5% in the first quarter of 2023, and in Attica and Thessaloniki, prices went up by 16.5% and 16.1% respectively.

Sofia Zacharaki, the Greek Minister for Social Cohesion and Family, October 2023
Sofia Zacharaki, the Greek Minister for Social Cohesion and Family, October 2023Euronews

Sofia Zacharaki, the Greek Minister for Social Cohesion and Family, said the government was looking at a range of options to increase the number of affordable properties in the market.

"Our goal is to make available as many old and closed apartments as possible,” she said. “There are hundreds of thousands, especially in Athens. So we will start grant programmes for renovation projects, energy and aesthetical renovation projects. Such a programme will start in the coming months.”

The Prodexpo 2023, property conference in Athens, October 2023
The Prodexpo 2023, property conference in Athens, October 2023Euronews

At the 2023 Prodexpo in Athens, British property expert Phil Jenkins suggested public-private partnerships could be used as a mechanism to fund the creation of more affordable homes.

"Some of that capital will need to come from private capital markets,” he said. “And it's really a case of governments creating the environment and the frameworks within which private capital can invest into affordable housing."

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