Real estate prices follow on their own track, defying the economic crisis amid a pandemic. So, instead of showing a decrease in 2020, they recorded a significant increase.

Specifically, according to the data of the Bank of Greece, during the whole of 2020 the average increase in house prices amounted to 4.2%, compared to an increase of 7.2% in 2019. During the fourth quarter of the year, the increase amounted to 2.6% on an annual basis, while in the third quarter of 2020, the annual growth had reached 3.2%.

It is worth noting that house prices are rising for three consecutive years, or 12 consecutive quarters, a sign of the diversification that has taken place in the real estate market.

During the fourth quarter of 2020, the annual increase for the older apartments was 3%, while for the newly built ones, the increase reached 2%. In the whole year, the newly built apartments increased by 4.7%, compared to 7.7% in 2019, while the average annual growth rate for the old apartments was 3.9% in 2020, compared to an increase of 6.9% in 2019.

Regarding Athens, the price increase during the last three months of 2020 amounted to 5.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2019, while in Thessaloniki the same period, the price increase reached 4.1%. On the other hand, prices in other large cities (-0.5%) and in other parts of the country (-0.3%) decreased slightly. Overall in 2020, the average sale price of properties in Athens increased by 7.4%, while in Thessaloniki by 4.6%.

In conclusion, at least so far, there do not seem to be any signs of strong pressure on house prices, although, according to the BoG, it is common to observe a time lag of a few months until the prices reflect the reality in the housing market.

Finally, according to the annual report of the BoG, the housing market maintains relative resilience, which is confirmed by both the annual growth rates of prices and the course of construction activity and other elements, such as that investment in housing has increased by 15.6%, compared to a small increase of 0.4% in 2019, even if they still do not exceed 1% of GDP.