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Economy

Landlords Seize The Day, Rents Double in Greece During Pandemic

ATHENS – The COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering but landlords eager to recoup losses during early lockdowns – coupled with the return of short-term rentals – are driving up the rents for apartments in the Greek capital.

Oddly, most of the biggest increases aren’t in luxury or multiple-bedroom units, but smaller units of 20-40 square meters (215-430 square feet) because they are more affordable despite hikes, noted Kathimerini in a feature report.

The paper said rent speculation is running amok, with rents doubling in some cases, locking out lower-income people and with more units being taken off tge market and used for vacation rentals, such as Airbnb.

“We observe requested prices, even for semi-basements, corresponding to those that apply to penthouse apartments, while in other cases the average cost per square meter is close to London prices,” a real estate market executive who wasn’t named told the paper.

Many of these properties are furnished and equipped, as their owners had intended to utilize them through short-term leases but those who can’t get vacationers are basing increases on those amenities being added.

Some try to attract students from other cities so they can make the property available for the summer but the rents are now prohibitive for many Greek families and apartment-seekers.

For example, a monthly rent of 1,000 euros ($1058.68) is asked for a 10-year-old 37 square meters (398 square meters) apartment at Ano Sourmena in Elliniko, where an 8-billion euro ($8.47 billion) major development is in its embyronic stages and will make the neighborhood a hot spot.

In Maroussi (Nea Filothei area), the monthly rent demanded for the same size apartment, 47 years old and renovated, is 1,000 euros ($1058.68) while in the center of Athens near Panatheniaic Stadium a renovated 1958 apartment of 40 square meters (435 square feet) is going for 850 euros ($900.)

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