Buying a home in a European capital affected by the crisis

Buying a home in a European capital affected by the crisis

The property market situation is difficult in many cities, but there are good prospects for 2012

Athens, Lisbon, Dublin, Budapest, Madrid: all these European capitals are weighed down by a heavy economic situation and a difficult real estate crisis.

The crisis that followed the burst of the real estate bubble has caused structural changes in the residential market. Germany and many countries of northern Europe are recovering, France boasts a strong and stable market, but there are some areas where prices are plummeting. What are the development prospects for Ireland, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Hungary for 2012?

The Spanish residential sector has been harshly affected by the economic crisis: more than one million homes remained unsold in 2011 and the Government was forced to hold a road show to promote Spanish real estate properties abroad. Many years will be necessary to reabsorb the supply, but at least, a small rise in transaction is expected for 2012. Madrid and Barcelona are expected to be good long-term investment destinations. Prices have dropped by 50% in some areas due to the fall in transactions, the luxury segment in top locations, instead, has lost 10-15% of market value. Rural residential tourism confirmed its success in 2011.

The situation in Lisbon is more difficult, due to the harder economic crisis, even if the stock of unsold properties is limited. The Portuguese capital suffers the lack of overseas buyers, who see Portugal as a marginal country in Europe.

What about Ireland?  Dublin experienced the worst price fall two years ago, when the value of real estate properties fell by 50-60%. The Irish capital suffers the competition of London that is a more interesting long-term investment destination.

The real estate market of Hungary is still highly risky: Budapest in particular has seen a 30% loss in the value of real estate properties.

Athens has experienced a 60% drop in city centre homes, but the situation is completely different on the islands, where foreign investors can find interesting investment opportunities: in Mykonos prices of high-quality homes are comprised between 900 euros and 3500 euros per square metre. Prices are even lower on Skopelos Island, where they start from 500 euros per square metre.

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