The adoption of sustainable practices in the construction of a residential property according to convergent considerations is a key criterion for investment in the construction industry as it factors into the value of a residence as much as the location. At a time when its dynamics construction industry in Greece it was maintained in 2023 as well, a fact reflected in the evolution of various indicators of the economic situation, such as the produced product of the sector, investments and private construction activity.

But what are the changes of adopting sustainability practices in the construction industry and in particular in the residential real estate industry? The EU recently announced a renovation obligation to energy upgrade buildings between 2028-2032, which for landlords looking to sell or rent the real estate them, creates new obligations that will be finalized with the incorporation of the directive into Greek legislation. The “energy” directive, especially in countries like Greece where a large percentage of old properties are built before 1980, is of particular importance. What changes based on the new data that is formed for a prospective buyer and prospective seller of a residential property, compared to a decade ago?

On a construction level, the changes that have occurred in the building specifications from 2020 onwards, compared to previous years, are chaotic, Iosif Arabatzis, CEO and Owner of the construction company EPIKYKLOS, reports to APE/MPE. Fundamental changes have taken place, from the use of watertight concrete to the shells and engineering of the buildings. In addition, due to the lack of labor force, it is estimated that increases in real estate prices will follow in the coming years. After all, it is a fact that modern properties in Greece remain at much lower prices than their counterparts in other European countries. Another important difference we have seen compared to a decade ago is the value that is now placed on architecture, whether it is a renovation or the construction of an entire apartment building, which used to be very little to zero. The role of the architect today is catalytic, even in the renovation of individual rooms, such as the kitchen or bathroom of a property. As a construction company, since 2009 we have invested in architecture both by establishing an internal team and by external collaborations with major architectural firms, he says.

The trends in our country today at the construction level

These new data, in addition to the effects they have on the demand and supply of residential real estate, radically change the construction industry and the real estate market.

They affect not only the construction of new houses but also the existing huge stock of houses that exists in our country,

In more detail, the trends that are taking shape according to Mr. Arabatzis are:

– The market picture changes almost every six months. In the last 2-3 semesters, it has been observed that the Greek family, in its attempt to acquire a new modern house, makes discounts in terms of its needs. High interest rates and financial constraints lead to the choice of apartments with fewer square meters. In addition to the fact that a large part of Greeks choose not to create a large family, this results in a greater demand for 50-60 sq.m. one-bedroom homes, which are always a safe investment opportunity with a very good return.

– The demand for luxury real estate shows a steady rise in recent years, having a significant audience at this time in Greece. A lot of Greeks, but also buyers from the Middle East, Europe, America and China decide to invest in this category, mainly because of our geographical position, but also because of the favorable price of the properties.

– The serious investments in commercial buildings currently taking place in Greece. As an extension of this, there is a tendency to create small residential communities around large commercial buildings, even in a small market like the Greek one. Areas like Marousi create new conditions with thousands of new jobs, whose employees choose to live in close proximity to their workplace, in order to improve their everyday life and quality of life. In this context, the next project at EPIKKLOS is the construction of modern and flexible houses, on an excellent plot in a strategic point of Amarousi, which is currently in the stage of architectural study.

– The major urban renewals, centered on Elliniko, but also many large hotels being built in every corner of Greece, will greatly determine developments in the construction and real estate sector.

– The huge needs for an experienced workforce will drag down construction cost prices and by extension real estate market prices, which will continue to rise for at least the next 5 years. He gives as an example the construction of a large hotel complex in Paros, where the biggest challenge is the management by the company in an intelligent way of the investor’s demand, at the same time keeping the construction costs low, so that the project can be implemented in the best possible way, remaining a serious investment for owners.