The Greek Real Estate Market in March

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The promising year 2022 for the Greek Real Estate market took a step back in March, as a result of the Russian invasion to Ukraine. Not many transactions took place and even less were announced in public, as the market, according to analysts, awaits two things: a cost drop in energy and construction materials, and the next day of the war.

What DID take place in March was auctions of properties that were part of portfolios taken over by Servicers. More specifically, there have been 3,800 e-auctions in March, but only a small percentage of those were “fruitful” and led to an award. Most were cancelled or rescheduled. Some of the properties that have changed hands recently stand out: the Karouzos shopping center in Gerakas, the former ALUSET facilities in Megara, a luxurious residence that belonged to Calle Mare in Mykonos, the facilities of “Athens Ice Rink and Track Center”, in Maroussi, and Mediterra Winery-Creta Olympias SA, in Crete, all of them combined, at the price of €22,5 m.

The hospitality sector kept its thriving pace in March, with hotels in cities and on islands changing hands and opening under new management. Despite the war and the high energy costs, the hoteliers hope for a good summer season, and prepare as such.

Meanwhile, the bank of Greece released data about apartment prices. According to the data collected from credit institutions, it is estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2021 apartment prices (in nominal terms) were on average increased by 9.1% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020, while in 2021 apartment prices increased at an average annual rate of 7.1%, compared to an increase of 4.5% in 2020.

No major NPL transactions took place in March, but the fierce battle for the Ariadne portfolio put on the market by PQH, announced. The portfolio has an accounting value of €5.2 bn – and has led to alliances: The consortium of Bain with Fortress and doValue on the one hand, and the one of Davidson Kempner with Cepal on the other. The offers were submitted, and the joint bid must rival that by Intrum, which has reportedly entered the running in cooperation with Cerberus.

More specifically, regarding RE transactions:

Hospitality

Many new hotels have opened their gates in Athens and on islands, while other regions of Greece also get their fair share. ELTERGA SA, signed a concession contract for the Xenia Edessa for a long-term lease (30 years) with the possibility of extension for another twenty years. Xenia Edessa will reopen as a modern hotel unit that will contribute to the tourist development of Edessa and the wider region of Central Macedonia. The investment proposal amounts to over € 3,5 m. On the island of Paros, a new investment was announced by the family boutique hotel chain Aria Hotels. The company added to her portfolio “Aria Paros Residence”, a luxury accommodation located in the heart of a vineyard and surrounded by gardens of 8 acres. In Athens, it was announced that April 1st the hotel of Omonia Lighthouse Athens would open its gates to the public, after the radical renovation of the hotel La Mirage. In one more transaction, it was announced that the SMERC fund acquired the Aktis Suites & SPA hotel in Patmos. The seaside hotel originally operated as XENIA and today is the only five-star hotel on Patmos.  The opening of the first “green” hotel of Marriott International was announced in Athens. The hotel will ipen as Moxy Athens City and behind the project are Dimand, PRODEA Investments, and EBRD.

Lastly, the tender for the long-term lease of the EFKA property in the heart of Athens, near the Syntagma square, was successfully completed. The property is will be turned into a hotel, and it was leased by the Lampsa hotel group. It is located just a few minutes from Syntagma Square and Kolonaki.

Other

In other transactions announced in March, Centric through its subsidiary, Bright Sky Properties, participated in the e-auction related to a property in the center of Athens and emerged as a successful bidder with a tender awarded to the subsidiary of the said property for €1.9 m. The property consists of a ground floor, 4 office floors, and it also has 2 basements which include parking spaces. The property houses the Tax Office of Greeks who live abroad.

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