ATHENS – Face with jumping food and energy costs, residents in Greece are backing away so fast from skyrocketing increases in rents that landlords could be soon forced to cut the asking prices.
Rents had soared as much as 40 percent during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic that saw many Greeks and others hit hard in the pocketbook over lockdowns of essential businesses that led the New Democracy government to provide subsidies for workers and businesses.
With inflation spiraling and the economy trying to recover from the pandemic – growth estimates have been lowered – more apartments were going empty because people couldn’t afford them, said Kathimerini in a feature.
Lefteris Potamianos, head of the Athens-Attica Real Estate Agents Association, told the paper that, “We are already seeing the first pressure on certain areas of the capital, in the form of the significant delays in finding tenants, precisely due to the high asking rates. A decisive factor for tenants is electricity costs that are factored in to rental rates.”
He said if the electricity prices – which jumped 189 percent in 12 months – remain at those levels that rental rates have to come down or places won’t be able to find tenants for them at some point.
He also said “We will start seeing a new wave of unpaid rents, especially concerning contracts signed over the last few months, with rental rates at particularly high levels. What is certain is that the energy factor has a negative effect on rental rates.”
The report said that rents in the fashionable Kolonaki neighborhood in the capital now are some 1200 euros ($1309) for a 13o-square meter (1400 square feet) apartment that used to go for 850 euros ($927) when the pandemic hit in 2020.
The Spitogatos Property Index data also show a rise in asking rents by up to 17.2 percent across Attica, peaking in the eastern suburbs, where the average rate is 7.5 euros ($8.18) per square meter from 6.4 euros ($6.98) in 2021.