Archive for December 13, 2017

Housing Market Prospects

Domestic demand for housing is expected to be sluggish, since: (i) household disposable income is not expected to increase significantly in the near future; (ii) the unemployment rate is forecast to remain in double digit figure until 2030 (according to the European Commission, the 2015 Ageing Report, January 2017); and (iii) the extraordinary tax imposed on real estate property looks set to become permanent.

Given that domestic demand for housing is not expected to recover soon, it is worth exploring the potential demand originating from abroad.

Chart 22 shows that, in terms of value, housing in Greece is attractive compared to other Mediterranean countries though not to South – eastern European ones. However, according to the Global Property Guide, rental yields remain moderate and are lower than those in neighbouring countries such as Romania , Bulgaria and Cyprus.

In order to attract foreign investors, Greece offers a residence permit (valid for five years with the possibility of renewal) to non – Europe an citizens who buy a house worth more than €250,000 . In addition, in 2010 the real estate transfer tax was reduced from 10% to 3% on the property’s fair value. The above incentives resulted in partially revamping residential investment interest in 2016, with FDI for residential property increasing to €250 million from €186 million in 2015.

Overall, the recovery of the housing market in Greece is largely related to improving the investment climate and reducing tax burdens . Still, given that domestic demand for housing is expected to remain subdued, residential investment is not expected to support GDP growth to the degree it did before the economic crisis. At the same time, any demand for housing coming from abroad is directly related to the restoration of confidence in the economy.

source:
part Alpha Bank/greece economic and financial outlook 

The total  contribution of tourism to GDP is expected to increase in 2017

In 2017 tourist arrivals are expected to hit a new record high and tourism receipts to recover from last year’s decline , as Greece is considered to be a safer destination compared to its neighbouring peers and is offering high quality hospitality. (Chart 17).

According to the latest Bank of Greece data , tourist arrivals (excluding cruises) in the first eight months of 2017 increased by 9.9% yoy, compared to an increase of just 1.3% in the same period of 2016, while travel rece ipts increased by 9.1%, compared to a sharp drop by – 9.1 % in the first eight months of 2016.

Especially in August 2017 , tourism receipts increased by 16.4 % yoy (from – 13.0 % yoy in August 2016 ) and arrivals by 14.3 % yoy (from +1 .8% in 2016 ). In August alone, foreign visitor arrivals reached 5.8 million – the highest number ever for this month (Chart 18).

According to Greek Tourism Confederation estimates (May 2017), in 2017 tourist arrivals (including cruises) are expected to reach approximately 28.5 million and receipts to increase by 7.5% yoy. In addition, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the total contribution of tourism to GDP in 2017 is expected to increase by 6.9% to approximately 20%.

source:
part Alpha Bank/greece economic and financial outlook