Following revised projections, the Greek economy is expected to grow by 2.2% in 2023. Consumer confidence remains negative, although on average is moving higher compared with last year’s average. The Greek inflation rate fell sharply to 1.8% in June from 2.8% in May and 12.1% in June 2022. Industrial production rose 2.1% year-on-year in January-May 2023, and manufacturing, which accounts for 73% of the industrial index, rose 5.7% while mining production was up 9.6%. Seasonally adjusted PMI posted 51.8 in June, up slightly from 51.5 in May.
In the 2nd quarter of 2023, investment volume was 25% higher compared to last year. There is high demand in the market - around 120,000 sqm of industrial and logistics space have been absorbed in the first half of the year in Attica, with 80,000 sqm of new space to be delivered with 95% already pre-leased. Headline prime rents are not expected to experience significant further increases in the short term and are standing at circa €5/sq m. Occupier demand is primarily driven by logistics and transportation companies and producers.
The Greater Athens office market saw a total take-up volume of 51,000 sqm during Q2 2023 - 25% higher compared to Q1 2023 and 50% higher compared to Q2 2022. This take-up was driven by the technology, financial, and Public sectors. Grade A space accounts for 80% of the total volume, confirming that quality, energy, efficiency and sustainability remain the key drivers of demand. In terms of institutional investors, the activity is low, reflecting a wait-and-see attitude mainly due to the cost of money after the further increase in ECB rates in June. The vacancy rate decreased to less than 5% amidst limited new supply, while in Q2 2023 average rent remained stable, with increased rates for certified grade A office buildings. The prime headline rent for certified buildings, in both the CBD area and Athens Northeast, is reaching €28-30/ sqm/month, reflecting a year-on-year increase of close to 10%.
Rental values largely remain stable in the second quarter of the year, with slight increases at prime city center locations, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, despite low vacancy rate levels in prime retail in general, and strong tenant demand for strategic locations in all retail sectors. Cushman & Wakefield Proprius’s retail take-up registered 40 new deals in Q2 2023 in the key retail markets of Athens, 25% less compared to Q1 2023, but 20% higher than the same quarter of 2022.