Li­mas­sol leads boom in prop­erty sec­tor

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The re­cov­ery and rise in the prop­erty sec­tor in 2014 has so far been headed by Li­mas­sol which, de­spite last year’s Eur­group de­ci­sions, con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ing its projects. The town’s big­gest project, the Li­mas­sol Ma­rina, opened its doors to the pub­lic on June 19. The Ma­rina, in com­bi­na­tion with the re­cent off­shore dis­cov­er­ies and the devel­op­ment of the en­ergy sec­tor, is ex­pected to at­tract a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of lo­cal and for­eign in­vestors.

The re­cent data col­lected by the De­part­ment of Lands and Sur­veys, sug­gest that Cyprus, due to a col­lec­tive ef­fort demon­strated by all com­pe­tent bod­ies and the govern­ment to try and re­vive the econ­omy as well as to the pos­i­tive feed­back and mes­sages of op­ti­mism from in­ter­na­tional rat­ing agen­cies, man­aged so far in 2014 to re­gain its con­fi­dence and cred­i­bil­ity in the mar­kets, es­pe­cially in the area of real es­tate in­vest­ing.

It also shows that there is a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the pur­chase of real es­tate by for­eign­ers on a na­tional ba­sis. This sug­gests that Cyprus with its at­trac­tive prices of­fered in com­bi­na­tion of qual­ity prod­ucts and ser­vice, good weather, ge­o­graph­i­cal and geopo­lit­i­cal po­si­tion, the le­gal frame­work, the low cor­po­rate tax, as well as the con­di­tions in our neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, con­tin­ues to at­tract the in­ter­est of for­eign and lo­cal in­vestors.

FIVE-MONTH BILLS OF SALES 2014 -2013 2014 2013 Change % 529 366 +45% 371 246 +51% 290 264 +10% 136 89 +53% 484 547 -12% 1.810 1.512 +20% LI­MAS­SOL NI­COSIA LAR­NACA FA­M­A­GUSTA PAPHOS TO­TAL

Ac­cord­ing to Land Reg­istry data, bills of sales sub­mit­ted to­talled 551 units in May this year as op­posed to 214 in May 2013, record­ing an an­nual in­crease of 157%, while bills of sales with for­eign buy­ers amounted to 153 in May com­pared to 71 in May 2013, record­ing an equally im­pres­sive 115.5% rise. Based on Land Reg­istry data, the num­ber of for­eign buy­ers who have sub­mit­ted bills sales in Li­mas­sol to­talled 45 in May com­pared to just 19 in April. In ad­di­tion, re­gard­ing the bills of sales sub­mit­ted to the district Land Reg­istry Of­fice in Li­mas­sol, dur­ing the five months in 2014, there was a 45% in­crease com­pared to the five months in 2013.

In Li­mas­sol, the num­ber of bills of sales sub­mit­ted in May amounted to 162, com­pared to 63 in the cor­re­spond­ing month in 2013 (157% in­crease), while in April 2014 they were 92, com­pared to 72 same month in 2013 (a 28% in­crease).

On a na­tion­wide ba­sis, dur­ing the first five months of the year, there was an in­crease of 20% in sub­mit­ting the bills of sales, while in Ni­cosia there was a 51% in­crease, in Lar­naca there was a 10% in­crease and in Fa­m­a­gusta there was an in­crease of 53%. In con­trast, Paphos suf­fered a de­crease of 12% in sub­mit­ting bills of sales.

Ac­cord­ing to sales sta­tis­tics, the num­ber of cases in Li­mas­sol amounted to 223 in May, com­pared to 158 in April, while the num­ber of plots of land was 121 in Jan­uary, 179 in Fe­bru­ary, 143 in March, 171 in April and 233 in May. Also, the to­tal value in May reached EUR 45,583,003.32, as op­posed to EUR 28,279,765.60 in April, while the to­tal ac­cepted amount reached EUR 47,748,932.43 in May, com­pared to 29,917,930. 35 in April.

Based on Land Reg­istry data, dur­ing the first five months of the year, to­tal sales climbed from 1,512 last year to 1,810 this year for a 20% rise.

The num­ber of prop­er­ties that have been trans­ferred (sales) to for­eign­ers in May in Li­mas­sol was 19 com­pared to 6 in April, while the num­ber of prop­er­ties that have been trans­ferred (sales) to for­eign­ers on a na­tional ba­sis reached 58 in May com­pared to 44 in April.

Based on Land Reg­istry data, the num­ber of prop­er­ties for which bills of sales have been sub­mit­ted by for­eign buy­ers, in Li­mas­sol amounted to 37 in May com­pared to 18 in April, whereas in the case of the num­ber of for­eign buy­ers – trans­fers (sales) in Li­mas­sol these bills of sales reached 24 in May com­pared to 10 in April.

Mean­while, in Li­mas­sol, in ad­di­tion to the new Ma­rina project, it is ex­pected that the plot of land hous­ing the Tritof­tidi clinic, a to­tal area of about 2,500 square me­ters, will be utilised by a group of Le­banese in­vestors, while other grandiose projects, such as the Oval lux­ury of­fice build­ing, are in the process of con­struc­tion.

In con­clu­sion, the real es­tate sec­tor still re­tains the lead­ing role for the re­cov­ery of the econ­omy. In the years to come, in­cen­tives pro­vided by the govern­ment to ob­tain a per­ma­nent res­i­dence per­mit or for is­su­ing pass­ports to nonEU na­tion­als along with the pur­chase of prop­erty or in­vest­ments, like the ur­ban area for large devel­op­ment projects, are ex­pected to in­crease the de­mand for real es­tate and in­vest­ment mar­ket for of­fices, homes and other fa­cil­i­ties.

There is op­ti­mism around of full re­cov­ery of the prop­erty sec­tor in Cyprus, and in par­tic­u­lar in at­tract­ing a larger num­ber of buy­ers and in­vestors. In­vest­ments in prop­erty over time lead to long-term ben­e­fits and never lose their val­ues.

Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the fig­ures above, it ap­pears that in May a grad­ual re­cov­ery of the prop­erty mar­ket was recorded and there is an in­creas­ing in­ter­est by in­vestors and buy­ers, while the sit­u­a­tion in the real es­tate mar­ket is show­ing signs of sta­bil­i­sa­tion. How­ever, in order to achieve a com­plete re­cov­ery and re­turn to nor­malcy, the re­stric­tions con­cern­ing fi­nanc­ing for pur­chase or real es­tate in­vest­ment have to be fully re­in­stated.

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