Commercial spaces turned into ground-floor lofts and fully serviced apartments in former office buildings are the leading trends in the Greek housing market for 2024, following closely European developments in the real estate sector.

The concept of serviced apartments is a fairly new one – fully furnished apartments that offer elevated lifestyle solutions, including cleaning services, gyms or sauna rooms, shared laundry areas and other amenities most commonly found in hotels, combining the warmth of a traditional home with the added comforts of luxury accommodation.

Trends are shifting as housing prices in Greece near the levels seen before the fiscal crisis over 15 years ago. Official data from the Bank of Greece shows that in the third quarter of 2023, apartment prices were still climbing, with annual growth rates hitting 12%.

Another trend, particularly relevant for ground-floor properties that once housed neighborhood shops and remained vacant during the financial crisis in the 2010s, is the rise of ground-floor real estate in Athens and Thessaloniki. Former commercial spaces left unused, due to a combination of austerity politics and post-pandemic fallout are now being fully renovated to modern standards and converted into open-plan residential spaces for sale or rent. It is important to note that the conversion of a previously commercial space to residential is actually one of the two ways to obtain a Greek Golden Visa with the initial minimum investment of 250,000 Euros, bypassing the new threshold provisions coming to force after the end of August of this year.

Last year, the Greek Golden Visa was the most sought-after in the world. According to data from the Ministry of Migration Policy, demand surged between January and December 2023, with requests (both initial and renewal) reaching 10,214, marking a five-year high.

During the same period, 5,701 permanent investor permits were issued (4,231 initial permits and 1,470 renewals), based on the decision issuance dates for applications submitted from 2018 to December 2023.

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