Following the good performance of the country at the coronavirus front during the summer and slightly after (low number of cases compared to other European countries), the Real Estate Market seems to have picked up in October with at least some transactions and developments after a very quiet summer.
The interest of the investors in quality office buildings and spaces remains, as well as in the logistics centers.
The announcement by the prime minister of the Microsoft investment (3 data centers in the region of Attica and -most likely- specifically in Lavrio) has caused a boost of optimism for the future. Another mega tender that has been running is the one for the use of the Alexandroupolis port authority. Investor consortiums have bided for what seems to be, along with the Kavala gas storage, an energy transfer and storage node.
The investors seem to be focusing on quality assets with good energy performance and even using renewable energy.
On that note, there has been an express of interest and a focus on solar panels across the country.
In Cyprus, since the political scandal with the golden visa providing, (causing the programme to stop) there is a drop expected in the market. Nevertheless, hospitality and high value residential have been transacted, while the investor interest seems to be still high.
More specifically, in Greece:
Renewable energy assets:
As already mentioned, solar panel parks and renewable energy has been in the focus on many buyers. In October, Hellenic Petroleum SA acquired a photovoltaic park in northern Greece. The solar panel project portfolio in the final stage of licensing. The park is located in the region of Kozani. The portfolio is sold by JUWI, a RES project development company, based in Germany. The project, with a total capacity of 204 MW, is the largest RES project in Greece and among the largest photovoltaic parks in Europe. The construction works will last for 16 months, and the project is expected operate in the first quarter of 2022. The total budget amounts to €130 m.
Microsoft also intends to use solar panels to support the three data centers it announced in Attica. Reportedly, the data centers will cover their huge energy needs almost exclusively by panels. This will open in Greece the market of large-scale self-generated energy with photovoltaics. Each of the properties identified by Microsoft is 80 to 100 thousand sqm. The panels will be installed on the roofs of all three facilities and on the ground.
Despite the pandemic crisis, the interest of the investors in quality office buildings remains. In October, PANTERRA agreed the sale of an office space with a total area of 7000 sqm to Generali Hellas. That is half the space in the office building that is under development on Syggrou Avenue. The Generali group agreed to acquire 50% of the office complex under construction developed by Dimand and Prodea REIC over €35 m.
Even though there have not been many actual transactions in the hospitality sector, the has been movement. Xenia Chios, on Chios island will soon operate as a modern hotel unit, as the process for its long-term lease by Tsakos Group was officially completed. The hotel will be revovated and will reopen as a modern hotel unit.
Another big investment is set to begin as the environmental conditions for Rybolovlev’s investment on Skorpios island have been approved. The former Aristotle Onassis island will host a main hospitality complex with a capacity of 84 beds, entertainment infrastructure with a capacity of serving 250 visitors, and infrastructure for the service of 130 staff.
In Athens, Hines has started the development of the new five-star unit on Syggrou Avenue. The hotel is expected to be ready by the end of 2021 and will operate in addition to the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Hines gives a vote of confidence in the hospitality sector of Athens and in the recovery of the industry after the severe blow it has received from the coronavirus pandemic.
In Cyprus, Invel purchased five-star hotel with a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa brand of Marriott International. Invel agreed to buy for about €90 m 100% of the shares of the company Parklane that owns the hotel.