Residential Real Estate Purchase and Renovations - New constructions – Do they pay off?

With the cost of materials on the rise, a number of questions and concerns are at the center of a large number of property owners who wish to upgrade the properties they are promoting for sale or rent.


In the end, to what extent does a renovation give value to a house, beyond improving the quality of life of the people who live in it? Is this renovation an investment that a household will be able to pay off? More generally speaking, what is the current state of the housing stock in Athens and in the urban centers?


The upgrading of existing buildings and houses becomes necessary

“A renovation really can change people’s lives significantly. However, it has an equally important impact on the economic value of the property for the owner. In the coming years – sooner than 2030, a property that does not meet very strict standards of energy consumption and sanitary facilities will be burdened with duties that will make its use almost unviable. Considering that, the upgrade of existing buildings and residences becomes vital, increasing the value of the property as well”, reports CEO of EPIKYKLOS construction company Iosif Arabatzis, whose motto is “man changes space and space changes the man”, to Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

A key question that troubles many real estate owners is whether the investment of a renovation will pay off if it is rented or sold. “The answer to this particular question is very relevant, as it is influenced by many different factors. The area plays a very important part. Renovated apartments in neighborhoods chosen by middle- and high-income tenants can actually command a much higher rent, recouping the investment made. On the contrary, neighborhoods with low rents, below 6 euros per square meter, hardly pay off, but we can certainly say that they give the owner the opportunity for a better deal, while attracting more consistent and stable tenants”, says Mr. Arabatzis.


One issue tenants and landlords encounter in the real estate trading process is the overall state of the housing stock. “Unfortunately, in Athens we have a low percentage of modern homes and our city falls under the category of the most “aged” areas in Europe. The economic recession of our country over the last ten years has played a significant part in this. Serious problems that should immediately be resolved are the high energy consumption that arises from living in the houses, the extremely poor quality of the water pipes and the carcinogenic materials that have been used for their construction. At the same time, the normal wear and tear that has occurred on the properties significantly affects the aesthetics and peace of the residents inside them”, says the managing director of EPIKYKLOS. However, Mr. Arabatzis states that he is optimistic “In our time, fortunately, we are given the opportunity to take advantage of leaps in technology and achieve constructions that are safer, more sustainable and more user-friendly. Such important examples are the use of C50/60 concrete in houses for the first time, which gives the buildings more durability and strength, the modern engineering solutions, the reduction of consumption through digital applications and the connection of apartments with parts of a solar park for green energy even in the city centre. In this context, we are currently working on the study of homes which will be entirely energy autonomous, with zero consumption and pollution and with recycling of all waste within the property. These homes will combine nature with urban living, making use of the land with the objective of a healthier lifestyle for owners and their families and will utilise automations that will make technology our ally, not our prison,” he adds.