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Greece outpaces Europe on real estate investments

Commercial and residential real estate investments in Greece jumped by more than 120 percent in the first half of the year, the fastest growth rate seen across Europe, according to consultants Savills. The increase is mainly due to buying activity from listed real estate investment companies that spent some 320 million euros, versus 120 million euros in the same period a year earlier, on acquiring offices, hotels, and retail stores.

Commercial and residential real estate investments in Greece jumped by more than 120 percent in the first half of the year, the fastest growth rate seen across Europe, according to consultants Savills.

The increase is mainly due to buying activity from listed real estate investment companies that spent some 320 million euros, versus 120 million euros in the same period a year earlier, on acquiring offices, hotels, and retail stores.

On top of this figure, there were investments from non listed companies, such as Orilina, backed by Brevan Howard Asset Management. At the start of the year, Orilina invested 25.5 million euros in an office building used by the ELLAKTOR group in Kifisia, northern Athens, and one more property in the area.

Yields on office buildings in Greece are dropping but remain higher than elsewhere in Europe. In Athens, the yield is at 6.25 percent, versus an average of below 4 percent in half of the countries across Europe. Buying interest in office space in the Greek capital remains strong, points out Savills.

Across Europe, total investments in commercial and residential housing reached 111 billion euros in the first six months of the year, 16 percent lower than a year earlier and 2 percent down from first half averages seen in recent years. For the year, property investments across Europe are seen reaching 241 billion euros.

Other countries that bucked the downward trend, like Greece, were the Czech Republic (59 percent), Italy (44 percent), Ireland (34 percent), Sweden (42 percent), Norway (8 percent) and France (3 percent). The EU wide drop is mostly related to lower investment activity seen in Britain and Germany.

US investors poured the most money into Europe, followed by companies from South Korea that invested a record 6.2 billion euros in property in the bloc.

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