Why Canada's sale of its former Greek embassy is important

After a year of political and economic instability that has rendered Greece's commercial real-estate market "all but dormant," one notable transaction has taken place: The government of Canada sold its former embassy building in Athens for €4 million to a subsidiary of Turkish conglomerate Dogus Holding, MK Mykonos Hotel Company, according to a financial statement compiled by accounting firm KPMG.

The sale is small compared with deals cut in other European Union capitals, where commercial buildings regularly sell for tens or hundreds of millions of euros. 

But the deal is important for Greece, the Wall Street Journal notes, simply because so few deals are happening at all. 

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The article notes that international investors have been "piling into European property at a record pace," with €167 billion of transaction volumes in the first nine months of 2015, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield. The total, however, does not include any transactions in Greece. Analysts said that deals in Greece are often not made public, and are relatively small, meaning they can go under the radar of global investors.

Ana Vukovic, managing director for Greece and Serbia at broker Colliers International (which was hired by the Canadian government to sell the building) said that greater political stability in Greece after the September election has opened the door for more commercial real estate deals. “It’s promising,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Colliers.

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