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Greece: Koukaki Case Study

24 May/19

1. Area Description

Koukaki is located on the southeastern side of the Filopappou Hill in Athens, a district with a strong historical, archeological and architectural element, classifying it as the most popular tourist destination in Athens. It is a densely populated area since the 1960’s, due to its location, exactly below the Acropolis and very close to the historical center of Athens. As a residential area located in the center of Athens it has also evolved as a center of entertainment during recent years.


2. Market Value

In 2019, apartment prices in Athens have recorded a marginal rise despite the sharp decline in prices of approximately 45% in the last ten years. The Koukaki district records an increasing growth rate that is unparallel to the rest of the market. In January 2016, the average price for old apartments in Koukaki was €900 per sqm, whereas in 2018 the mean price for the same type of apartments was €1,600 per sqm. Currently, the price per sqm in Koukaki ranges between €1,530 to €3,784 with an average of €2,446 for old apartments with areas ranging between 40–90 sqm. Nowadays, apartments in the Koukaki area are treated as investment opportunities (mainly for short-term rentals) rather than residential assets. This is mainly due to the fact that Koukaki has become one of the top destinations for tourists choosing to book their stay via platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com, generating passive income for their owner’s.


3. Long-term & short-term leases

Rental prices in Koukaki increased by 52% since 2017 with the norm being €10 per sqm/month for unfurnished apartments. This increase in rental prices, is largely attributed to the use of apartments for tourists to rent through short term rental platforms. As of today, there are only 76 properties available for rent on the www.xe.gr website, one of the most popular home search site in Greece, in contrast to the 660 apartments available on the Airbnb platform.

Following Plaka and Exarchia, Koukaki ranks third on the Airbnb chart of Athens with 343 listings, and fifth on Airbnb’s top 16 neighbourhoods to visit in 2016, with 801% growth since 2015. Small or medium-sized apartments are more popular for renting through AirBnB. These types of apartments yield greater profit rather than the conventional long-term rental.


Rent Gap

The difference in profit resulting from the exploitation of an apartment through the Airbnb platform in relation to long term rentals is very high and the incentives of an owner for the tourist utilization of the property are much more appealing.


4. Market Trend

The increase of Airbnb's short-term leases also results in the take-off of values due to high demand, mainly from private investors as well as companies and small investment funds. The first signs of mismatch between sellers and buyers are already visible. More and more owners are denying significant and worthwhile offers, some of which surpass the level of €1500 per sqm, with the long-term expectations aiming at a higher level.