The cost of renting an apartment in Athens may have increased recently but remains well below price levels seen in other European capitals, according to data collected by accommodation platform HousingAnywhere.
The cost of renting an apartment between 40 to 50 square meters in the Greek capital is around 450-500 euros per month - an amount that leases half this space in some of the more expensive European cities.
Figures from HousingAnywhere show that renting a place in London costs nearly 1,750 euros per month. In Barcelona, a Mediterranean city that also has a tourism-driven economy similar to Athens', the cost reaches 1,250 euros per month.
Four of the most expensive cities in a top ten list put together by HousingAnywhere are located in Holland: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague. This is due to a big increase in demand for buying homes, forcing many to rent instead. Additionally, Holland has drawn a large number of foreign businesses due to favorable tax rates on offer, boosting accommodation needs in the country.
The difference in the rental costs between Athens and the other cities is not that big when general living costs and per capita income are taken into account. According to the World Bank, per capita income in Greece in 2017 reached 18,613 dollars, just over half of the average seen in the European Union of 33,715 dollars. In Holland, income reached 48,223 dollars, more than 250 percent higher than that seen in Greece, justifying to a large extent the difference in rental prices seen between the two nations.
Rental growth in the more expensive cities - such as London, Amsterdam, and Munich - decelerated in 2019 but this wasn't the case in the cheaper urban areas, such as Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, and Brussels.
"The Q4 report reflects what we have been observing for a while now. It will be interesting to see if a ceiling will be reached in 2020 for the most expensive European cities, and which lower-priced cities will catch up to the more expensive ones," said Djordy Seelmann, CEO of HousingAnywhere, in a statement.
'The housing shortage certainly remains as pressing as it has been in past years. Additionally, we expect to see the first effects of those measures implemented by governments and municipalities which were introduced to alleviate the housing shortage," he said.
For its rent price index, HousingAnywhere analyzed 94,311 properties listed on the platform between October 2018 and December 2019. To ensure the data was representative, properties that did not receive active interest from potential tenants, as well as listings that were considered outliers, were excluded.