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I’m moving, because ... I’m getting poor

05 February 2012 / 17:02:20  GRReporter
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Both still have their jobs but their income has decreased significantly. The salary at the school was reduced by 25 percent, and customers in the firm are very few. "We were renting a 70 square meters apartment and the two bedroom one we own - less than 50 square meters - we gave to my sister. Although we have a kid in high school, we decided to go back to the two bedroom apartment," says Tina. Her sister moved to her mother’s home and the three-member family settled in the two bedroom apartment. "Our son lives in the one bedroom we have and we sleep on the couch in the living room. Fortunately the apartment has a large balcony, which we closed off and turned into storage. We could not manage to pay two rents - for the apartment and the office", concludes 45-year-old Tina.

And all this given that during the last three years, according to Revitis, prices both in sales and rentals of real estate have fallen by nearly 30 percent (7 percent in 2009, 8 percent in 2010 and 12 percent in 2011).

However, as noted by the President of the Hellenic Federation of property owners Stratos Paradias, in respect to offices, “there are more uninhabited ones than rented ones. At the same time an increase in the tax assessment was announced...".

The same is confirmed also by Nikos Falieros. "A record relocation has been noted also in companies. When they used to have a staff of 50, now half have left and companies look for smaller and cheaper offices. It is enough to take a glance at the empty buildings on "Syngrou" or "Kifissias' Avenues," he says.

Overall, according to a study conducted by "Kapa Research", presented at the 29th Congress of the Hellenic Federation of property owners, the income of owners (94 percent) in the last two years has been reduced either because the property had remained unrented, or because rents were reduced and this reduction reached 20 -30 percent in more than half of the cases.

The crisis eats...square metres

Moving to your father's house or to your children's home, workplaces, which, if not closed become apartments... Such cases are occurring more and more often. Meanwhile, apartments and shops remain vacant, and owners who still have tenants are willing to make generous rent reductions in order to keep them.

Here's what two ladies say, who because of the crisis have been forced to introduce changes in their lives related to their home.

Αnna Evangelidou

"I offer my services for free”

About a month ago Anna Evangelidou, businesswoman, decided to move her office to her home. "I had the bad luck to start a business in the midst of the crisis. When two years ago I told the owner of the apartment where I live that I wanted to use it as an office as well, he asked for an increase in rent. I decided to rent a studio and accept my clients there. The rent was 350 Euros, overheads - about 150 Euros per month, both means that I could no longer afford. This is how I decided to move my office to my home. This time not only did the owner not request an increase, but when I warned him that I would leave, he reduced my rent by 100 Euros ", says Anna. "Everyone tries to restrict their fixed costs and rent is one of the most significant ones. Personally, in the midst of crisis I sometimes prefer to offer my services for free to those who need it, hoping to keep my customers until the situation improves."

Stavroula Kotaki

"We have still not seen the last act of the drama”

Stavroula Kotaki has not moved because of the crisis itself. "My mother was living in her own home. She rented it out and moved in with us. One reason for this decision was the financial aspect of things," she says. "That does not mean, however, that our income increased, quite the opposite. Tax increases and all other additional charges such as property taxes followed, resulting in the disappearance of the additional income from the rent", she notes. Stavroula is the director of the Social Service in Iliopouli Municipality, a service, which due to the economic crisis started accepting more visitors. “Cases such as domestic violence have increased significantly and we associate this with the crisis. Also, residents in nursing homes have decreased, and this is because many families have decided to take back home those older people in order to have the extra income from their pensions. In any case we still have not seen the last act of the drama. Things will keep getting worse."

Tags: crisis Greece apartments rent moving poverty poor
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