Athens has the second-fastest growth rate in the number of tourists. According to estimates by market research company Euromonitor International, in 2017, the number of international arrivals grew by 10% v 2016, reaching 4.8 million. Thanks to property prices in the capital having not yet recovered after the crisis (according to the Bank of Greece, the price per square metre today is 44% lower than in 2008), investors have a golden opportunity to earn more on short-term rentals. Analysts at the Tranio international real estate broker estimate the net yield rate in Athens to be of 5–7 % per annum v the 3% in most large European cities.
So how would an investor choose a property to invest in? The most important criterion is location. In Athens, the most important tourist magnet is the Acropolis. The closer a property is to it, the higher is its price and average daily rate (ADR). According to Airbnb data analytics company AirDNA, the 10 most profitable properties in Athens are located within walking distance of the Acropolis. So now we’ve established location a further question begs: how should an investor strike a balance between the purchase price and the profit margin?
The daily rental rate is highest in the historical centre of Athens, namely in the neighbourhoods of Gazi, Kerameikos, Kolonaki, Koukaki and Thiseio. The average price per square metre is 1.5 to two times higher than on the outskirts, and tourists spend at least €50 a night on apartment rentals.
The most expensive and upscale neighbourhood is Kolonaki. This is where the most luxurious boutiques, cafes, nightclubs and restaurants are concentrated. The neighbourhood is located on a hill, for which reason many houses face Lycabettus Hill and the Acropolis. According to AirDNA, as of May 2018, the average rental rate in Kolonaki was €61 per night. As shown by the Greek web portal Spitogatos listing analysis, the average price per square metre is €3,700.
A more affordable option both for both tourists and investors is the Koukaki neighbourhood. it is located near the Plaka historical neighbourhood - only a ten-minute walk from the Acropolis. Both buyers and tenants spend much less on residential property there. The average property price is €2,120/m², and the rental rate during the high season is €52 per night.
Rental rates are lower in the neighbourhoods located a few kilometres from the Acropolis, for example, Ilisia, Neos Kosmos, Pangrati, Sepolia and Exarchia. To get to the historical centre from there, tourists have to use public transport or take a taxi. However, the daily rental rate is lower at approximately €40–50. The average square metre price ranges from €1,000 to €2,000, depending on the neighbourhood.
For instance, one of the most promising neighbourhoods for investors is Neos Kosmos. It is located in the southern part of the historical centre; a thirty-minute walk away from the Acropolis. The average property price is €1,490/m², and the rental rate is €44 per night.
Generally, the property in this price range is gaining in popularity with tourists. According to AirDNA, by April 2018, the local rental rate had grown by 13%. But the neighbourhood of Sepolia is the most impressive: the daily rental rate for one-bedroom flats has increased by 57% during that period, despite the neighbourhood being located a one-hour walk away from the Acropolis.
ADR < €40
Athens property is at its cheapest in the north of the city, in the neighbourhoods of Ampelokipoi, Attiki, Gizi, Kolonos, Kipseli and Patisia. For instance, Patisia is more than a one-hour walk away from the Acropolis, and tourists are unlikely to find it remarkable, which makes the local rental rate half that in Kolonaki, for example. Only €30 per night.
Another inexpensive neighbourhood, located not in the north of the city, but to the southwest of the Acropolis, is Petralona. Both tourists and investors will find it attractive, as the rental rate and the purchase price are relatively low, even though Petralona is located not far from the Acropolis (only a twenty-minute walk away). Residential properties rent out at an average of €39 per night, and the price per square metre is €1,550.
According to Tranio experts, the properties that are the most profitable for investors are located 2–3 km from the Acropolis. They are not as expensive as those located in the immediate vicinity of the city's main landmark, but still popular with tourists. One- and two-bedroom apartments are in the highest demand. Although, according to Alina Churikova, Tranio project manager for Greece, today's market is oversaturated with studios and one-bedroom apartments, which is why investors should take a closer look at three-bedroom apartments. Athens is a popular family holiday destination, which makes such properties equally popular with tenants.