rush for the exits

September 11, 2011

There is talk of capital leaving Greece at an unprecedented rate. Obviously this will be hard to investigate or quantify in real-time as events unfold, but here is a small piece of evidence from the property market.

Obviously for capital to leave, a decent quantity of capital must exist in the first place. I therefore focus on the Athenian seaside suburb of Voula, an affluent area popular with the Greek nouveau riche and ex-pats. I asked a top Greek real estate portal the following question: how many properties were added to the site in the last week with an asking price of EUR1m or more? The answer 127 properties.

How can we benchmark this number? Well, let’s take the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the most expensive borough of one of the most expensive cities in the world, popular with Hollywood stars, Russian oligarchs and Arab sheikhs. A similar query on a UK portal revealed that 103 properties were added to the site (with asking price of GBP1m or more, over the last seven days).

For completeness, Voula is three-quarters the size of Kensington and Chelsea in terms of area (8.7 versus 12.1 sq Km), but only one-sixth in terms of population (30,000 versus 180,000).

If that’s not a rush for the exits, I don’t know what is.

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