House Prices In Corfu – Another Cultural Difference

We keep being asked why properties that have been for sale for several years are still the same price. Why don’t the vendors reduce the price in order to sell their house?

In fact, regular visitors to our websites may have noticed that quite often prices go up rather than down, which makes a change from the general trend worldwide at the moment!

In Greece property is treated very differently from in England. The normal UK pattern of buying a small house and gradually “trading up” is not common in Greece. The paternal or maternal home is normally kept in the family and used by one, or more of the children of the family, who may then acquire a further house on marriage as a wedding gift, resulting in several houses belonging to the same family. This means that houses on the market are often second or third houses and there is no great rush to complete the sale. Owners don’t need to sell quickly in order to buy the next house on the rung up the ladder. It also used to be considered rather shameful to sell property – perhaps the neighbours will think you are in financial difficulty, or business colleagues suspect your solvency. This has changed a little bit recently, in part because of the new tax laws that penalize multi-property ownership, but the general rule is that owners are not desperate to sell and will wait, if necessary for years, to attract the price they want.

In the meantime, building materials have almost doubled in cost in the past 12 months, so an existing house of two or three years is comparatively cheaper than an off-plan or new build. Its vendor may well look at new prices and think “My house would now cost xxx euros more to build, therefore I’m going to add a bit to the asking price”.

It is logical – in a Greek way, and may help to explain why prices here – so far at any rate – are not dropping.

There are always exceptions. For the next couple of days I’m going to make the “Property of the Day” a house that has recently been reduced in price. Keep a look out for some great bargains!

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