The housing market in Thessaloniki is picking up as residential property prices rose by 7.6 percent last year, outperforming the national average of 7.4 percent, according to data from the Bank of Greece.

The bulk of demand came from foreign buyers, which can be split into two categories: those who invest in entire buildings or apartment blocks so as to develop hospitality infrastructure, and those who invest privately for the acquisition of apartments so as to receive the five-year residence permit awarded through the Golden Visa program, an analysis by property surveyor Alexandros Vassiliou illustrated at a recent event organized by the Hellenic Valuation Institute.

Vassiliou argued that the Greek city with the highest increase in investment interest last year was Thessaloniki, amounting to 26.8 percent.