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Property Price Index for Greece

The central bank of Greece is launching a property price index. The bank intends to measure more accurately the trends of property prices in Greece and the Greek Islands. Thus providing a credible and reliable benchmark for property purchasers.

There has been a notorious lack of reliable data on the real estate market sector relating to Greece. This lack of information is surprising in the light of the fact that investment in property makes up about 25% of all investments in the country and Greece has one of the highest home ownership rates in Europe, some 80%

The Governor of the Bank of Greece, Giorgos Provopoulos, said "The largest part of wealth in the country is in property". He went on to add that this naturally affects people's ability to both spend and save, which also has an impact on economic activity.

EU data shows that the construction industry in Greece acccounted for nearly 11% of GDP last year and was responsible for around 9% of total employment. Recent figures show that property prices have fallen only 7% in Greece since the financial crisis started last year, a far smaller fall than most EU countries and in particular the UK.

The central bank has established a separate department to specifically collect, process and analyze property data. It will be most interesting to see their results.