Real estate tech in Greece is still in its nascent stage with only a few companies working dedicatedly in the domain, but the future looks bright. The culture and history rich country of Greece is in southeastern Europe, and it is a country full of thousands of islands, spread across the Aegean and Ionian seas. A tourist loved destination, Greece is known for party resorts in Mykonos, black sands of Santorini, the historical capital city of Athens as well as its many stunning beaches. This democratic and developed country is one not just of beauty but also of a high living standard for its people. Ranking in the world’s top 20 countries, Greece is one of the world’s most loved tourist destinations and its real estate is made up of resorts, hotels, luxury living, tourist spots and residential housing.
With a GDP of more than $194 billion, Greece has recently been in the news for its economic meltdown. After years of an economy deficit and global mistrust, Greece’s economy returned to growth mode around April 2014, after six years of economic decline. It also then quickly became the Eurozone’s fastest-growing economy in the third quarter of 2014. This gives us interesting economic information to further discuss real estate tech in Greece or the scope of PropTech (Property Tech) here.
As a way to good economic health, Greece followed a long and strenuous reform route, one that worked well for them. This has given rise to increased innovation, expanding tourism, a buzzing entrepreneurial ecosystem and a flourishing technological transformation. These tools also help the country tackle their biggest challenge which is unemployment. But before we get to discussing the scenario for real estate tech in Greece or its PropTech space, it is interesting to see the real estate market and startup scenario of here.
The Greek Economy and Real Estate Market
Mainly driven by the drop in GDP per capita and rise in taxation, the Greek real estate market collapsed since 2009. Characterized by oversupply and a continued increase in real estate taxes, the real estate market of Greece is experiencing a decline. Unlike the Greek economy, the Greek real estate market is toured to recover at a slower pace. This can only be changed with a new regulatory framework, and major efforts to reduce oversupply.
But as locals in Greece are tightening their budgets or tackling the after effects of the economic decline, foreign interest is brewing up for Greek real estate. Russians, Chinese and Italian investors as well as rich families of these countries are rushing to buy smart villas and luxury houses in Greece. This increased interest from foreign parties not only has led to a tiny correction in the economy, it has also helped shape the real estate policies of here as well it’s PropTech space.
Foreign interest can only do little to help real estate market of Greece and the onus of making it a rich asset lies on the government and its correction of regulations. A correction in real estate will also open doors for real estate tech in Greece, or help the PropTech sector prosper.
Entrepreneurship in Greece and its impact on real estate tech in Greece
Since the Greece crisis began in 2007, there has been a slow but steady rise in the number of startups here. Probably one of the good things that came from the crisis. There are more than 700+ startups here now that are focussing a lot on technological innovation. The different industries that are witnessing an increased interest are in ICT, mobile apps and on-demand taxi travel to gaming and medical technology. There is an upcoming ecosystem of investors, venture capitalists, incubators and entrepreneurship programs at the university level that are looking to foster and support entrepreneurship in Greece. Dictated by its increasing youth segment, Greece boasts of a new and energized business climate that prides itself in innovation. This sets the stage for innovation in technology for real estate to provide a sound base for PropTech development.
Startups in Greece are experimenting with innovative technology to find renewed solutions to the local problems of here. Workable.com is working on providing a solution for the biggest challenge of here that is unemployment with a cloud based recruiting software and app. There are also interesting startups here in the space of green technology, interactive e-learning, 3D printed brain and skull avatar, cloud based processing of MRI’s as well as gaming.
Real Estate Tech in Greece
Real estate tech in Greece is mostly about online platforms for searching, discovering and buying different properties around the country. Greece still mostly relies on brokers and agents that practice the traditional way. Technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and robotics are yet to enter the real estate market and cause disruption.
The star in real estate tech in Greece is most definitely Blueground, that most recently in the news for raising €5.5 million from a group of investors, including Venture Friends and the American fund Endeavor Catalyst. It is an online platform for renting of fully furnished apartments in Athens, Dubai, and Istanbul, for varied periods of time. Using map and feature listings, it helps you instantly decide on a location and apartment.
Way forward for real estate tech in Greece
Greece is far behind in the real estate tech game as compared to other European countries. Due to the after effects of its economic slowdown, real estate is still not a big asset class. That being said, innovation and entrepreneurship here are on a rise and one can expect an innovative solution to a local problem, fuelled by technology.
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