The coronavirus pandemic currently dominates our entire lives, and that’s all everyone can really talk or think about right now.
In the real estate market, which has actually been suspended in the UK and in many other parts of the world, it has a huge impact on everything from Prime Central London (PCL) to investments abroad.
Pantazis Therianos, Managing Director of Euroterra Capital and Crystal Waters Global, is in a unique position to offer insight into these two markets, as well as how the crisis has affected South East Asia – which was originally the most affected region until Europe is so badly affected.
Euroterra Capital operates in PCL with a head office near Baker Street, as well as operational offices in Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing) and Europe.
Crystal Waters Global – a company which started with Therianos’ passion for its native country, Greece, and which put on the market a new type of villa-complex “which would work in harmony with the locality and the local culture” – builds and operates villas-complexes and serviced residences, including on the island of Lefkada, Tinos and Mykonos.
This gives Therianos a clear perspective both on the UK domestic market – albeit at the highest level – and on the overseas investment market as well.
Here we checked with him to see what impact the coronavirus epidemic has.
Purchasing power returns in certain regions
“Since the closings in China and Southeast Asia have been lifted, we are seeing that purchasing power is starting to return to these regions, allowing us to continue to maintain our business in central London and Europe despite these more difficult times, “said Therianos. “Euroterra Capital traded on 47 Princes Square, W2 in Bayswater – a Grade II listed townhouse – and now sells and manages rentals for 16 Nottingham Place, W1 in Marylebone on behalf of an Asian investor who bought off plan . ”
He added: “We also continued to make sales on a number of units of our new high-end designer developments in Athens Riviera, Greece; some of which have been sold to Chinese investors and others to Asian families who are considering moving to make the most of the lifestyle and education this place offers. ”
Coping with the impact of coronavirus
As with any business today, the key question is how do Euroterra Capital and Crystal Waters Global navigate the effects of Covid-19? Are there always sales and acquisitions, just in different and more distant ways?
“In these uncertain times, the health and safety of our staff and all of our business partners remains the priority,” insists Therianos. “We believe in the resilience of our global team and the markets we passionately want to be future proof. We therefore take the necessary precautions to continue operating as a business and to support our many customers, investors and business partners in these unexplored waters. “
He said the majority of staff based in London and Europe now work from home and “are available as usual during office hours”.
Are Asian offices, at the heart of the initial epidemic, returning to normal as restrictions begin to be relaxed in places like China and Hong Kong?
“The same thing (working from home) applies to our Asian offices, with the exception of the Wuhan office, which is still closed until further notice.”
Therianos continued, “Like many businesses right now, we are doing everything we can to keep moving and keep things as normal as possible. For example, we have specific online systems to offer virtual visualization, online sales seminars, and training for agents and buyers. We also use popular online communication systems such as Zoom to stay in touch while the team is socially distanced. ”
Once it is all over, or even while it is a form of escape, many people could think of their dream vacation home abroad. But why should people consider Greece, a country that is still recovering from a devastating economic collapse and the years of hard-hitting austerity it has spawned?
“Over the years, I have seen a huge commitment from business and tourism partners to develop and improve infrastructure and air links, which have been key to the rebound in the real estate market,” says Therianos. “There has also been a sharp increase in tourism, which is now prompting buyers to look further than the most obvious European destinations for a second home or an investment opportunity.”
He believes there is an appetite for investment in lesser-known islands, as well as in popular destinations, which is why his business portfolio spans Athens, Lefkada, Mykonos and Tinos.
“When you buy property in cities like Athens, you are buying into the history and the potential of the destination as it reinvents itself as an exciting global city,” he said. “The Riviera of Athens has enormous potential thanks to the huge infrastructure investments to come. With Mykonos, an island so well established, you trust that there will always be a demand for the glamor and beauty of a more cosmopolitan Greece. “
At the other end of the scale, he said, foreign buyers see the health and lifestyle benefits of discovering the “ quieter and more isolated charms ” of islands like Lefkada and Tinos ”, which are always closely linked to the connection with nature and the life of the local village. “.
“Greece has something for everyone, which is why our portfolio resonates so well with buyers,” he concludes.