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Unsold Flats And Detached Houses In Greece


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#1 yannis_s

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

The Greek residential real estate market has been one of the first victims of deteriorating economic conditions and things are likely to get worse before they get better. The question is whether this key market has entered a long period of stagnation, is just going through a typical cyclical downturn or both.

read more: large stock of unsold flats and detached houses in Greece

related article on Crete Gazette: Properties in Crete remain unsold
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#2 armando

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:15 AM

May be many cretan (also italian!) agencies dont understand when their prices are out of marks :)
Some months ago I had to buy (quite agreed) a little house in south, but the transactions stopped when we came to Crete and realized that the house conditions were not aligned with the price. But after this experience I enlarged the search in agency sites on the Net.
The results seem to be:
- many veritable ruins, left years ago from previous inhabitants, in obscure villages at 10-15 Km from sea, are proposed at prices enough high to buy, in Italy, a good city flat with 2 bedrooms.
- It's very very difficult to find anything for sale near to the sea: is written "sea view" for properties that catch sight of some "blue" from 5-6 Km.
- The style of new constructions in Crete is in general horrible: enormous, or ripetitive, cubes of concrete at "only 10 min drive from sea", inexorably hanging over a common swimming pool :D ; may be Athens people like them.. but the architects think that we make 2000-3000 Km and accept living in a sort of condominium for have the chance of a swimming pool? We have as many s.pools as we want also here; but we need the sea.
- Prices of ground plots, and of many properties, make us thinking that some agencies did not change the amounts of advertisements from Dracmes to Euro :D
In Sicily or in Sardinia with ~150.000 € is possible to buy a 2-3 bedroom house with small garden, at 70-100 meters from beach! OK OK, in general I do prefere Crete :D for many reasons ... but I am not even a chicken to put in the oven.

Now I am changing mind, and beginning to think if could be better to put corresponding euros in some little property easily rentable here, and use the annual revenue for rent in holiday time some flat - house in Crete near the sea, also for more time each year in the future when I'll be retired; also taking in account maintenance charges, the need or a Greek "tutor", etc. and some risks coming from an environ not so "rules protected" and "stable".
I am really in doubt :D .

Γεια σας
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#3 philw

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 10:21 AM

This is exactly what is happening. When advertised prices have hit rock bottom in Spain and other parts of Europe, I am _astonished_ to see almost exactly the same prices in the windows of real estate agencies in Chania as were there a year or two ago eg approx EUR100 per bedroom for apartments!. And they wonder why no-one's interested (sigh)! The stuff does not deserve to move at these prices.

Why are Greeks incapable of dropping advertised prices? Do they really think they'll just hold out and some idiot will pay these prices here when one can go to Spain for half the price?

#4 Granita To Go

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 11:03 AM

:) I'm thinking about the culture of Crete. The culture here has unique characteristics not found in parts of the world from which tourists and prospective buyers often come.

For example, the whole of Crete is a tasty piece of real estate that empires and countries have tried to tame and take as their own for thousands of years. Only in the last 100 years has Crete been a part of Greece and more lately the European Union.

Some people here embrace making money to make their dreams come true. For others factors other than making a sale come into the mix. Such as family & should Crete open all the her doors to foreigners & Cretan pride & avoiding being ripped off by northern Europeans which unfortunately happens too often.

Crete is a lovely island sitting between two continents on a mostly enclosed sea. She will handle economic downturns and upturns more steadily than other places because she has small established farms and a community spirit when times get tough.

The view of a sunrise in eastern Crete or the view of a sunset in western Crete is a vision like an expensive jewel too most people from around the world as populations are centered in cities. Healthy, homemade foods are unique to many people around the world. The hospitality of Cretans is immeasurable, although still northern Europeans complain when Cretans touch them. A unique view, good service and hospitality are usually what people would like when on vacation and the quality of those characteristics is comparable to the amount of money they are willing to spend.

Crete is a far different culture from northern Europe even though it appears more and more like northern Europe there is a core of Cretan identity that no amount of complaining from potential buyers or tourists will EVER be able to change.

As far as the ugly buildings with bad structure, you should be contacting authorities in the township or city where you have noted these problems. Everywhere in Greece structural engineers are coming up with innovative ways to safely build homes, schools and all buildings. Buildings are evaluated for their maintenance to make sure of their safety. Using concrete is the best substance for the area as perhaps you've noticed there are no longer forests covering the hills and mountains of Crete so wood is not at hand.

Swimming pools shouldn't even be offered in new homes in Crete. You are lucky to even find a shared pool. Water is a precious commodity on Crete and not to be wasted on swimming pools. Because Crete is an island, surrounded by sea there exists a better option,swimming in the sea.
As climate change progresses Crete is facing desertification. Pouring good water into pools for a few weeks of every year is not an efficient use of water nor does it bode well for those of us living on Crete all year round.

As for design, I don't know who is responsible for that, perhaps you should consider hiring your own architect and building your dream house exactly as you would like.
Granita to Go

#5 Granita To Go

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

Dear Armando, Ciao!

I know there are people in Crete building sustainable housing with interesting materials. Such as straw for insulation.

If you could afford a piece of property, there exist here innovative ideas for building. Also there exists software so you can design your own home. So you have plans to give to a contractor if you decide to use one.

I think you would like Crete a lot. there are many Italian products here (such as furniture and medicines).

I don't know if you have children or are in super great health but if you need a doctor here I have found the best and they all studied in Italy. Also my pharmacists studied in Italy. So you would not have a language problem.

& lots of Slow Food interests such organic fresh fruit and vegetables and other food types.

Here's a a short film on Building with straw and I think you will see how nice a house like this might be in Crete for a summer place.
(The film is in English with an example of a house building in Germany. There are many other films for alternative design and building ideas at the same site.)

http://www.babelgum....uses-straw.html
"Over 40% of the world’s energy consumption is accounted for by building and the maintenance of building. This film takes a look at how by using bales of straw, we can construct the most complex of buildings that are sustainable and affordable."

maybe this will help you come up with an idea so you will be able to make your dreams in Crete come true. :)
Granita to Go

#6 armando

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 12:32 PM

Γεια σου, Granita to Go
Thanks for your kind answers :)

I love to much Crete and I really appreciate the history, culture and the menthality of Cretan people, that we know a littlebit as we come for holiday since 27 years (not continously but ~2/3 of years).

For prices of houses and ground, however, in my opinion more then "Cretan pride ecc." is significant the conduct and the chooses of the agencies, that seems to be something so far from a "normal" market.
After my unlucky episode of "trying to buy a house" last winter (I can speak about it in PM, if you like) I spent much time in Internet real estates sites and I got contact, as I wrote, with some agencies for few houses interesting for me: in generale I recheived reluctant answers (repeating quite the same data as in advertisement) the first time, and sending sometimes a second request for basic information missing: for 50% no answer and for remaining 50% something similar to "if you come here, we can show you".:)
Then we postponed all activities to our next holiday in Crete (but not in 2009, as we already came there in Sept.08, Dec.08, March 09).
In this meantime, I checked the evolution of prices for some houses interesting to me and, as also Philw says, I noted that properties remain unsold, but prices increase 10K€ at a time.
Result: now with the amount available we are buying here a city flat that give us a yearly amount bigger then what we spend for lodge in our actual holidays; the next 3-4 years we'll come to Crete renting rooms and looking around.
But not only to Crete, may be: we know also other Greek regions (Mani in Peloponissos, i.e.) and this kind of lodging let us free to choose any year.
I think that "the isle" in general have had a loss in this operation.
If we'll have other money and more time avalability in the future (in 2013 I'll be retired from work) I'll try a second time to buy a house in Crete, I hope I could realise this dream, delayed at the moment.
I exponed above only as a sample of "potential buyer 'money-ready' who changed mind".

About some new houses, may be I did not explain well myself .. I dont think nothing opposite to concrete as material: it's obviously necessary for many (mostly?) structures. Only I dont like the design of houses that seem "cubes of concrete".
And, as architectural solution, I dont like the group of 8-10 houses identical (sometimes "cubes" as above :) ), in areas where no one could choose to have any house, that in the intention of builders should become "touristic resort" only for the swimming pool among them.
This is an abitative module, in my opinion, extraneous to Crete and that could feed the feeling of "hen-house for tourists" that many people perceive in some areas in Crete, mostly in north coast (hoping that the south coast could avoid this).
About swimming pools, I think it's clear that I feel just like you.

These are my personal opinions .. may be an other thinks differently
Sorry for criticize .... but is the love for Crete, also as "stranger", pushing me to speak

Bye
Armando

#7 Retired in Crete

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:58 AM

Granita To Go said:
"Here's a a short film on Building with straw and I think you will see how nice a house like this might be in Crete for a summer place." "This film takes a look at how by using bales of straw, we can construct the most complex of buildings that are sustainable and affordable."

Houses in Crete are built the way they are to comply with the building regulations which ensure that they can withstand earthquakes. Can straw houses withstand an earthquake?

Granta To Go said:
"Swimming pools shouldn't even be offered in new homes in Crete. You are lucky to even find a shared pool. Water is a precious commodity on Crete and not to be wasted on swimming pools."

Problems with the water supply are caused by the lack of infrastructure to distribute it. There is no shortage of water. Crete actually exports water to Cyprus!

We have a small swimming pool (25 square meters) and we also cultivate about 150 square meters of our land. You may be interested in our water consumption.

Every day during the summer months we irregate the land with over 200 litres of water. We top up our swimming pool once a week which usually takes about 80 - 100 litres. (We have not emptied the pool in over four years.) Our pool uses far less water than growing plants. It also provides far more enjoyment.

You think that swimming pools should not be allowed. I think that "holiday homes" should not be allowed. A house that stands empty for most of the year is of no benefit to Crete.

John
Cornwall - Great at any time of the year.

#8 Laid Back Lil

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 04:14 PM

John I totally disagree with your last comment!!! :) I have worked hard all my life - and still doing so. My husband continues to work 6 days a week and some evenings aswell. We bought our holiday home while we could afford it - not when we are older and possibly in not such good health.
We get out to Crete many many times during the summer months - and would visit in the out-of-season months too if it were more accessible for us! B)

We employ local people to look after our garden .
We employ local people to look after our pool.
We shop at the local mini-market while we are there rather than the larger chain-supermarkets.
We buy from the local plumber, builders merchants, garden centre etc etc bringing money into the area.
We are not banana tourists! :)
We spread eating out in the villages as well as the tavernas in the touristy parts.
We buy our cakes from the local baker.
We hire our car from the local rental place.
We use local taxis many times.
We have a greek phone.
Our water bills both house and garden and electric bills throughout the year are paid.....

SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY......

.... so tell me John, in your opinion what are we doing that is so bad?

How lucky are some that can just UP and LEAVE and start a new life.... however, reality is, most people have work commitments, family commitments such as children still at school or college, pets that are too old to relocate....elderly ailing parents and grandparents and cannot turn their backs on this and wouldn't want to.

However, we believe we are luckier still by having all those commitments still at home here, and having our beautiful second home there which our children and our grandchildren in years to come will love and enjoy as much as us. :) B)

#9 Retired in Crete

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:59 PM

Hi, not so Laid Back Lil.

Sorry if I have wound you up, my comment was not aimed at you.

There is some truth in what I said though. You may contribute to the Greek economy by having a house here but your "spend" in Crete is only a fraction of that of a full time resident. The Greek government would seem to agree with me as they only allowed us foreigners to buy houses in Greece relatively recently and only when forced to by the EEC.

Now it is my turn to get upset!

You said: "How lucky are some that can just UP and LEAVE and start a new life."

I can assure you that luck had no part in it! It was far more a case of planning for the future, working hard and long, forgoing treats in the UK and saving as much as possible in order to live where I do now. I also have elderly relatives in the UK. My mother is 97, I moved here with her blessing. We recently returned to the UK to give a party to celebrate my mother-in-laws 90th birthday. She urged my wife to move here as it would benefit her health. The only "luck" has been that I have survived considering I have smoked for 50 years!

John
Cornwall - Great at any time of the year.

#10 Laid Back Lil

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:18 PM

Hello Retired in Crete (that got you out of the deckchair didn't it ha ha !) loved your comment of 'no so laid back lil' - so I thought I'd get you back!!!

Yes, you're probably right in as much as I would be eating more, spending more, and using more electricity etc etc if I were there full time - that I'll grant you. - but of course if I were living there full time I wouldn't be employing locals to clean my pool - I'd be doing it myself, I wouldn't be employing someone to do the garden - I'd be doing it myself. I wouldn't be hiring a car - I'd ;probably take one from here over there.....Bit of a Catch 22 wouldn't you say!

However I still think you are lucky to be there full time. My parents are ill and cannot be left and there is only me to look after them - would I have it any other way - yes - I wish they were younger and in good health and could come with me to Crete - but they can't.

And I too have scrimped and saved, and done without and taken £29 Sun holidays and bought my clothes in the sales and hospice shops etc and worked my butt off to get what I have now - and I beleive I deserve it - every square inch of it!. :) But I am also lucky to still have my parents, my childen, my pets and my job here - many haven't these luxuries....
.
By the way... my Congratulations on your mothers age - fantastic!

I believe we have now exhausted the matter wouldn't you say John? At least we've livened up the forum a bit - it did seem to be getting stale and needed a bit of a boost. :) v
At this moment in time I see the weather is very good - emjoy - we hae gale force winds here!"!!
So John - what's the next subject we can start?

#11 Granita To Go

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:41 AM

Attached File  Koiliaris_River_view_2007_smallest.jpg   12.86KB   6 downloadsI understand you have strong feelings about Crete's water "Crete Expert" but please consider some other impacts on water use.

When in Crete please respect the water. Water is a precious commodity and as the climate shifts water will become more precious. Drought is one of the largest problems looming over the European Union. Fortunately Crete is working on the problem and many scientists and engineers visit here to discuss solutions.

The water company is working on the infrastructure so you will often see workers repairing pipelines or digging necessary wells.

There are many more issues impacting water - not only infrastructure. Perhaps you would enjoy reading about one of the projects the Technical University of Crete is researching. http://www.cretegaze...iaris-river.php From this article you will get an idea pf the amount of detail used to gather data.

Another problem that being monitored so solutions can be developed is the problem of the possibility of salt water intrusion.

"Water harvesting" is becoming more popular for home gardens. Water harvesting is for example, catching water in barrels from rainfall.
Another popular way to save water is to use 2nd use water to clean walls and paths which are out of doors. All one needs is a bit of common sense to find many ways to respect water.

The agricultural use of irrigation is a theme that is under a lot of discussion. Perhaps you have read about it in your local paper or heard the discussion at your city hall.

It's important to report leaking pipelines to the water company.
Granita to Go

#12 Granita To Go

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 11:36 AM

Attached File  playing_in_the_sea_waves.jpg   120.52KB   8 downloadsHello all, hello Armanda, I tried to add a photo and lost my reply. Story of my life! But I will try again.

We rent a house now and have rented the same house for about ten years. This is a good time to rent. The prices are good. Many families build with the idea to rent and then when they need the place for a family member, they will no longer rent. I'm happy to rent also because I don't have the time nor energy for the upkeep. Our landlady and her family are very good about taking care of the house and garden.

The real estate situation has many complexities here on Crete. I am puzzled by the franchises, such as the one real estate company from the u.s.a. that has started a franchise here on Crete. When this company was in bankruptcy in the u.s.a. the effect here must not have been positive.

The block on block design of houses and cookie cutter look is very common in the u.s.a. Perhaps it's used here for the same reason - the idea that more profit is possible by scrimping on creativity.

I enjoy hearing about your experiences and learning from others.
Granita to Go

#13 Tikanis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:11 AM

Crete and its water – No it is no longer abundant and shortages and long cuts in supplies are suffered more and more frequently in the many villages situated away from the villas by the sea.
Yes it is exported to Cyprus, but what does that tell you, the workings of political minds are often dumbfounding. Then again countries export many items and goods which are in great demand in their own countries but if the price is right elsewhere that’s where the goods go.

There have been real efforts to get farmers in Crete to accept different standards of water, the good stuff for homes and recycled stuff of a lower standard for agricultural watering, along with an encouraging discount for the use of this water. Several attempts have been made to gain acceptance for this idea – so far the response has been a resounding NO.

There have been huge investments in new dams up in the mountains I imagine that these wouldn’t be necessary if it was a fact that water in Crete was sustainable. This used to be so but it is definitely no longer the case. There are vast underground natural reservoirs which used to be maintained at high levels by winter rainfalls, these are now way below the levels of just a few years ago. The winter rains here are not as heavy or sustained as they were when I first moved, that’s not so long ago, and I have really noticed this. Talk to any farmer and they shake their heads and look to the blue skies above with disbelief.............Water sprinkling systems are bursting forth all over the place because now even olive trees are not able to manage the summer with underground reserves and need assistance

I think in the face of this that individual swimming pools it is an extravagant waste of good water. Water which could be put to much more sensible use - to service homes. It seems to me that it would make more sense to sell higher priced water for this use. Sea water may be the thing. A whole new business enterprise could be started one which would not be vastly expensive to set up. Why not drain the sea and distribute it around the island in little tankers specifically for privately owned pools. This wouldn’t deny anyone the ownership or use of their own pool but it would and should deny the use of good water for this purpose. And, what the hell most of us live but a short trip from the abundance of natural bathing places, it’s hardly life threatening to forgo the ownership of a private pool or should they desire pay extra to service such amenities.

Tikanis