Release of mortgages, our bright MPs and the “Georghadji List”
“Could it be that lenders keep those MPs who said NO close to them and with some form of blackmail convinced them to follow this decision? I certainly do not believe such a scenario, but we are all human and anything can happen”
It is incomprehensible how a proposal for a progressive law on the part of the State has not been approved by the House Interior and Finance Committees. How is it possible to have a proposal that frees property owners trapped by mortgages, there is a specific memo from the State, the Troika of lenders have accepted such a measure, together with the Central Bank, yet our and parliamentarians entertain us yet again by voting no to the bill.
What is the reason, then, why an MP would want to keep these buyers trapped? Do they not realise that in addition to their release from this nightmare of a problem, it will also give a timely boost that will help revive the housing market, increase confidence among foreign and other existing buyers who will become real-life promoters, rather than detractors of the Cyprus real estate market?
Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos wondered whether the deputies were representing the interests of lenders when they reiterated their proud ‘NO’. Such an idea has so far never even crossed our mind, but I am obliged to classify th actions of our delightful MPs as a betrayal to the troubled citizens of the Republic as well foreign home owners. Now that the Minister suggested it, perhaps there is some smoke in his words of fire. Could it be that lenders keep those MPs who said NO close to them and with some form of blackmail convinced them to follow this decision? I certainly do not believe such a scenario, but we are all human and anything can happen.
This whole debacle reminds me of the time when a list was leaked, allegedly (but later refuted) by the Central Bank Governor Chrystalla Georghadji, that numbered the outstanding mortgages held by MPs or their immediate family members, that were considered as “non performing” as they had exceeded 90 days without any payment and had not been serviced for 6 months. Not much had been investigated about the rest on the list, but as soon as the heroic MPs learned of its existence they foamed at the mouth and were furious, accusing the Governor of exerting influence and power over elected deputies. And what is their problem? Were they the only ones with delays or non-payments whose names were published daily in the newspapers and online publications?
The whole contradictory conduct of the Members of Parliament is so incomprehensible that it reaches a new level in the already ridiculed actions of our deputies who have degraded the image of the House and politics in general. And just so as not give the impression that all deputies should be criticised, an effort was made to try and identify the individual MPs who voted NO in both committees, but it was impossible to get this information from the minutes of the House so as to publish their names and for the whole business world, as well as the unfortunate citizens of this Republic to be proud of them.
Kudos to the Minister of Interior who continues to press the issue publicly lest we exit from this situation which smacks of vested interests.
The new law concerning the reduction of transfer fees (by the end of 2016), the exemption from capital gains tax for purchases to be made by the end of 2016 (regardless of when they are resold) is the best thing right now for the real estate market, as are the measures for permanent residence visas and passports to thirdcountry national investing in our country. With all these positive measures I expect that we will see the first signs of recovery in 2016 and it is for this reason that we need to correct the ills of the current system, because the international market of property investors will not give us a second chance.
Maybe from now on, when financing development projects for sale, lenders should be more careful when they disburse these funds, while sellers should provide the buyer simultaneously with the signing of the sales contract all the necessary release documents to free them from any mortgage and other burdens. Surely there can not be a 100% perfect system, for example what happens if a project is not completed, or is delayed for other reasons. But perhaps there should also be special circumstances to cover projects without titles, whereby these would have special insurance or provisions for the benefit of the buyer or the lender. Such a measure may be significant, but it must be discussed properly with all stakeholders to determine whether it is feasible or not.