Short-term home-sharing for tourism accommodation purposes is set to decline, according the president of the Greek Property Price Observatory, Kostas Georgakos.
Speaking to Athens News Agency Radio 104.9 FM, Georgakos said the so-called Airbnb phenomenon is nearing its peak, with properties gradually returning to traditional use as permanent homes.
Georgakos noted that short-term rentals in Greece, soared within a small period of time given that according to November 2018 data, “the 2,000 declared properties a few years ago, went to 10,000, and in the past two years, the number skyrocketed to 129,000”.
Gerogakos pointed out that the largest number of transactions in the real estate market took place in Athens, propelling growth rates to pre-crisis figures.
Home-sharing practices gained ground in Greece, and particularly in Athens, due to the low cost of operation and immediate returns as well as driven by the country’s golden visa program.Together with the increasing tourism flows, short-term rentals were the obvious choice. “But now,” explains Gerogakos “traditional properties for rent are back in high demand, low-priced homes going for 500 to 1.000 euros per square meter.”
Despite many still hoping to benefit from the immediate returns of short-term rentals, Georgakos says “reality will prove them wrong… since properties initially refurbished to be included on short-term rental platforms – furnished, partially or completely renovated – are now being offered to long-term tenants”.
Georgakos cites the example of Thessaloniki, where according to available data, occupancy levels in 2018 against 2017 are down by 20 percent. Gerogakos went on to conclude that he expects most home-owners particularly in the norther port city to return to long-term rentals of their properties due to lower tourism flows there but also to the fact that returns on investment take longer than initially expected.
It should be noted that the Airbnb trend has led over the last two years to an alarming decrease in the numbers of homes available for long-term rent in Greece and mostly in Athens, particularly as there was no legal framework in place to regulate and tax such practices.