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Economy

Greece’s Young Can’t Find Affordable Housing, Airbnb Jacks Up Rents

September 17, 2021

ATHENS – Rents pushed up by short-term rental platforms and no real government policies to help them are making it almost impossible for Greece's young – a third of whom are jobless – to find affordable housing.

That was the finding of an urban planner and housing issue researcher Dimitra Siatitsa for a postdoctoral dissertation at the University of Crete, who also cited a lack of regulations in the real estate market, said Kathimerini.

“The leasing sector is limited and there is a lot of competition, especially after the arrival of Airbnb and the shift of investors to residential real estate. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on rents,” she said, mostly in urban centers.

“To date, there has been no organized housing policy in our country, let alone for young people. There are only student dormitories, which are very limited, and the housing allowance for students, which concern only a specific period,” she said.

That has led to young people living longer with their parents which was already part of Greek culture, but now they are staying at home into their 30's and more, some depending on their families for income too.

She said data from the European Union's statistics agency ELSTAT showed that 69.4 percent of Greeks aged 18-34 still live with their parents and that the average age for going out on their own is 29, to the average 25 in the EU.

“This data can be interpreted with cultural and social criteria – i.e. the particularities of the Southern European family. However, it also concerns the underdeveloped welfare state and the lack of support for the independence of young people when they take their first steps in the labor market,” she also told the newspaper.

“There is high unemployment among young people in Greece, while those who work get low wages, are often employed in flexible or part-time schemes, and their working life is characterized by insecurity. That, I believe, is the root of the problem,” she also added.

After short-term rentals plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are surging again after tourists were welcomed this summer and more owners of apartments are turning apartments and homes again into short stay rentals.

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