Prop­erty deals rake in € 1 bln from 2013, Jan­uary sales up 10% and ris­ing

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

A ris­ing trend in new prop­erty deals have brought in about EUR1 bln in for­eign funds in the past two years, de­fy­ing the neg­a­tive cli­mate in the mar­ket, es­pe­cially af­ter the Eu­rogroup de­ci­sion in March 2013 to im­pose a EUR10 bln bailout and aus­ter­ity pro­gramme on Cyprus.

Pantelis Lep­tos, Chair­man of the Cyprus Land and Build­ing De­vel­op­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, told the group’s an­nual meet­ing that “the prop­erty in­dus­try re­mains one of the dy­namic sec­tors of the econ­omy that is at­tract­ing new cap­i­tal, de­vel­op­ing new projects and cre­at­ing jobs.”

He said that based on “con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mates” more than EUR1 bln in for­eign funds poured into the Cyprus econ­omy in the past two years, with 3,767 prop­erty sales com­pleted in 2013, the year of the eco­nomic crunch, with 1,017 of th­ese sales be­ing to for­eign buy­ers, while in 2014 that num­ber rose about 20% to 4,527 prop­erty deals, of which 1,193 were to for­eign­ers.

So far, a 10% year-on-year

in­crease

in prop­erty sales has al­ready been recorded in Jan­uary.

Lep­tos said that a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant deals worth “tens of mil­lions” were also con­cluded with for­eign in­vestors buy­ing into sea­side re­sorts, ho­tels, priv­i­leged prop­er­ties, mari­nas, large com­mer­cial and of­fice build­ings.

As re­gards un­em­ploy­ment, he said that the rate of 25% is clearly on a down­ward path, which is be­low the record job­less lev­els that have hurt the con­struc­tion sec­tor the most.

“This shows that the land devel­op­ment sec­tor has slowly taken off. The con­struc­tion sites are work­ing again and labour­ers are once again find­ing jobs.”

Lep­tos added that the sec­tor needs time and in­cen­tives so that prop­er­ties can be put on the mar­ket again and that there has to be an end to the vic­tim­i­sa­tion of de­vel­op­ers, most of whom are highly rep­utable. He added that there is a need to con­tinue co­op­er­a­tion within the busi­ness com­mu­nity in or­der to im­prove com­pet­i­tive­ness and for the Cyprus econ­omy to at­tract in­vestors again, with bu­reau­cracy re­main­ing the big­gest stum­bling block.

“The prospects and the en­cour­ag­ing,” Lep­tos said, sig­nals adding

are that “when there is calm and the right frame­work in the mar­ket, com­pa­nies can show the nec­es­sary flex­i­bil­ity, ad­just to new cir­cum­stances and adapt to new higher stan­dards in or­der to achieve high sales rates for the greater good of the econ­omy.”

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