Overseas property buyers head north of the border to Albania as Greek housing market falters

Overseas property buyers head north of the border to Albania as Greek housing market falters

  • Greek housing market to decline by 60% during economic crisis (GLP Values)
  • Albanian economy forecast to grow 3% by end of 2015 (Prime Minister Rama)
  • 5 bed villas available on Albanian coast for third of the price of some Greek islands (Lalzit Bay)

Amidst the deterioration of the Greek economy, GLP Values, a leading real estate advisory firm based in Athens, has predicted that the total decline in the housing market will reach 60%. It would be reasonable to expect that a crisis of this magnitude would generate a negative trend throughout the region, however instead of following suit, has Greece’s economic devastation had the opposite impact on its neighbours?

At the end of July, Albania’s Prime Minister explained that irrespective of what was happening throughout the Balkans as a whole, Albania’s economy was set to continue its positive progression and by the end of 2015 close to 3% growth would be recorded.

In fact the potential of Albania is beginning to be noticed with one local entrepreneur, who wished to remain anonymous, suggesting that the rapid decline in Greece’s desirability with the international market could subsequently lead to other Balkan nations becoming preferable to potential investors, explaining that “now even Albania looks more attractive”.

Once a haven for overseas holiday home owners, potential buyers are now worried about gambling on the Greek property market due to the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the increased cost of living due to the rise in VAT to 23% on the popular islands.

According to a nationwide survey conducted by E-Real Estates, Q1 2015 saw just 1,800 properties sold across Greece in comparison to 15,000 in 2014 and over 165,000 in 2004. This significant drop in sales could suggest that buyers are now looking elsewhere within the region to select a second home.

Situated just north of the border of mainland Greece, Albania has always naturally had many similarities and close ties with its Greek neighbours however, the ‘Land of the Eagle’ is keen to separate itself from any negativity caused by the troubled Greek economy and forge ahead. With tourism levels continuing to rise and steady, positive economic growth, savvy investors are now enquiring after property in Europe’s latest property hotspot, Albania.

Currently estate agency Engel & Volkers estimate that the average price for a five-bedroom villa with a sea view on the Greek island of Rhodes is €1.5 million. Even with property prices within Greece falling considerably, buyers are still able to purchase beautiful beachfront property in the Balkans for much less, with comparable villas in Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa, Albania’s luxury beachfront resort, available for less than a third of the price – from just €437,000.

Peter Walshe, Sales & Marketing DirectorLalzit Bay Resort & Spa, comments on the effect of the Greek crisis and how Albania is becoming a worthy alternative,

“With Greece’s economic decline having such a significant impact on its domestic housing market, as well as those watching the second homes market from overseas, there was always going to be an element of concern for its closest neighbours. However we can see from our levels of enquiry that Albania remains resilient and we are confident that it will continue to blossom as a new and exciting market, filled with potential.

“Sharing a coastline, Albania is blessed with beaches just as beautiful as Greece and with both tourists and property buyers alike beginning to focus on other parts of the Balkans, the country is now being recognised for all that it has to offer.”

According to recent data recorded by Eurostat, Albania has one of Europe’s lowest price levels for restaurants and hotels at only 42% of the EU average. Along with neighbouring Macedonia, this ranks as the most competitive in the region, another indication that Albania’s travel and tourism industry is gaining momentum.

French magazine L’Express has listed Albania as third on their top tourist destinations to visit in 2015, emphasising further still this increase in international attention. With Albania stepping out of its neighbour’s shadow and into the international spotlight, potential buyers are looking to capitalise on Europe’s latest must visit destination.

Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa provides an array of investment and second home opportunities, with properties ranging from one and two bedroom apartments to five and six bedroom luxury freehold villas. Apartments are well designed and generously proportioned, while the villas are the height of luxury, each benefitting from the option of a private pool, with prices ranging from €50,000 for apartments and from €180,000 for villas.

Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa also boasts an assortment of 5-star amenities including a beach club, tennis courts and a range of shops and eating and drinking facilities, alongside a 24 hour on-call medical service onsite and 24/7 security presence.

For more information, contact Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa on +44 845 125 8600 or visit www.lalzitbay.com