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We have real estate options
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
For those brave people who want to invest in real estate with particular reference to houses, now is “their time” to get a good deal, as opposed to that of the previous years. Building land/plots prices are on a downward scale as are building costs and professional fees. Depending on location and district, building land has been reduced in prices by around 25%-35% (from their 2008 levels), whereas building costs are either stable (since 2009) or even showing signs of a reduction (by approximately 10%) but now (2017) they are stabilized. So should you wish to buy a plot and build your own home now is the time. Having said that and unless you want something particular, reflecting your own location, style and want, you must first examine the alternatives in terms of buying a ready home. Ready homes can be acquired from developers whose prices have dropped by around 30%-40% over the last years or choose a resale whose prices are around 40%-50% less than before (the banks assets for sale in addition). The choice is there with numerous properties for sale to accommodate all sorts of budgets and locations.
Returns on Real Estate in Cyprus
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
The returns (yields) on real estate in Cyprus has always being at the lower end. Returns (yields) is the income of a property let in the open market (i.e. the rent) as a proportion of the prevailing market value. The returns are historically low since prior to the 2008 real estate crisis there was a healthy capital appreciation for most properties amounting to 5%-7% p.a. These yields at the time (2008) compared with the deposit rates at approximately 5% showed a return of 4%-5% on real estate and it was reasonable if one adds on top the capital appreciation.
Chinese Buyers & Others
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
It is a fact that part of the foreign buyers of real estate in Cyprus comes from China. China is such a huge country that one cannot pin point the particular locality that demand comes from. The Chinese are mainly interested for the visa acquisition (not so much for the passport measure) at the lower end budget. They are after the minimum €300.000 residential units and by tradition they direct their interest towards Pafos and to a far lesser extent to other areas. Having said this, there are Chinese Cos who showed interest in large scale investments and developments. At Larnaca two hotels are under development by a joint venture with Chinese, whereas another 5 star hotel is also under way in Sotira village with Chinese involvement. These developments by themselves are encouraging for the building industry, but long term though, hopefully, the introduction of the Chinese market will project Cyprus to China to attract tourists.
Time for Real Estate Funds in Cyprus?
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
There are the parameters nowadays, which show that the time is ripe, at least for an initial examination, for the creation of real estate funds in Cyprus.
A velvet revolution for Famagusta planning zones?
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
The Famagusta region, especially the beach areas (Paralimni - Ayia Napa - Sotira) seem to have been left behind in terms of planning zones and densities adopted. The region which attracts the most tourists (local and foreign) does not have demanding Municipalities which can promote the region’s interest, whereas the technocrats in the Government must think “they are villagers what do they know”!! The prevailing building density adopted for near the beach housing is now 20% (used to be 40%) and for hotels from the originally 70% to now 40%.
A new generation of apartments
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
Notwithstanding the prevailing economic situation in Cyprus and notwithstanding the ample supply in the market for apartments, both from the forced sale procedures, as well as the private market, there appears under creation an emerging market for quality units.
Worries for overdoing it?
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
You must be aware of the numerous large scale projects that are under construction and others on the pipeline. These projects including the marinas and golf developments, target mainly foreign buyers who are after the permanent residency visas and passports, which based on the Ministry of Interior reports over the last 3 years approximately €1.7 bil. housing and other units have been sold to this market source.
Pano Platres - Why is it down?
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
We are informed that the local Platres council is to construct a 500 car underground parking at a cost of €10 mil. out of which €9½ mil. will be provided by the Government/E.U. We wonder if this will help out the village and we ask if this amount could not be used for the local hotels upgrading and completion of the local sewage installation-pending for the last 10 years (notwithstanding that locals pay for this service without having it)
This is how our embassies should work
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
The embassy of any country abroad is the mirror of the country back home. In the business world the embassies should promote business interest of the country that it is representing, keeping an eye on opportunities that the host country may offer regarding business back home. It should then be up to the locals (Cypriot) firms and those in the host country to get together. The embassies should try to deal with any problems that there are and host events in the host country with Cypriot firms and the host country representatives, keep an eye on developments and suggest to the Cyprus Government and especially the Ministry of Commerce what action local (Cypriot) firms to be undertaken.
Are we pushing the economy?
Antonis Loizou, FRICS
We have seen the announcement of the Minister of the Economy that we are out of the Troika measures and we could more or less follow our own way. And this, after Troika warned us that we are risking the economy we have not adhered with the lenders’ requirements, as yet, reporting that:

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