Soaring rents, tourism led to housing crunch in Greece

Athens: Soaring rents, record-breaking numbers of tourists and a surge in foreign investment in property all mean that getting affordable housing here is an uphill task.

And thousands of people face the same challenge.

Kyriaki Tsouti and Dionyssis Giakoumelos are among those caught in the housing labyrinth.

Tsouti, 32, is unemployed. Her partner, Giakoumelos, also 32, clears 750 euros ($804) each month.

They want to start a family, but 60 percent of their income goes towards housing expenses.

And even in the semi-rural town of Koropi east of Athens, an 80-square-meter flat costs more than 500 euros a month, Tsouti said.

“It’s a considerable increase for our tight budget,” she said.

It is a problem for increasing numbers of people in this country of 10.4 million.