Sun­shine is­land on the rise as de­vel­op­ers gain new con­fi­dence

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

pur­chase of €300,000 (£264,000), buy­ers can get res­i­dency; for €2mil­lion, and an obli­ga­tion not to sell for three years, non-EU cit­i­zens qual­ify for an EU pass­port. The scheme has been pop­u­lar, at­tract­ing around €4bil­lion worth of in­vest­ment since 2013.

An­other draw for non-na­tion­als is Cyprus’s ben­e­fi­cial tax sys­tem. The first €19,500 of earned an­nual in­come is tax-free, and pen­sions above €3,450 are taxed at five per cent.

The hub of ac­tiv­ity is Li­mas­sol, where prop­erty prices have risen around 14 per cent in the past year due to un­prece­dented de­mand. There are cur­rently around 30 projects of­fer­ing lux­ury res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial space and leisure ameni­ties in de­vel­op­ment or in the pipe­line. This in­cludes Li­mas­sol Land­mark and ONE, at 34 and 37 floors re­spec­tively, and Li­mas­sol Del Mar, which will span 560ft of sea front.

Tril­ogy, by lo­cal firm Cy­barco, is an ex­am­ple of why Li­mas­sol is be­ing de­scribed as “the Man­hat­tan of the Med”. It will com­prise three tow­ers of 37 to 39 storeys with 307 res­i­dences, com­mer­cial and leisure space, res­i­dent-only gar­dens and a pub­lic pi­azza.

“Li­mas­sol has changed dra­mat­i­cally in the past few years,” says Michalis Had­ji­panayiotou, Cy­barco’s chief ex­ec­u­tive. “Some peo­ple say it’s no longer Cyprus, but Li­mas­sol still has a nice old town, the sea, and 300 days of sun.” Prices start at €750,000 for a two-bed­room apart­ment, and all of them have that sea view.

Nik­i­foros Pam­pakas, di­rec­tor of Li­mas­sol Ma­rina, one of the first ul­tra­prime de­vel­op­ments to be built here, also be­lieves the high level of new de­vel­op­ment is pos­i­tive. “We need ex­pan­sion. In­ter­na­tional in­vestors want it, and lo­cals now re­alise the ben­e­fits. Cyprus feels con­fi­dent, it’s evolved. It of­fers the whole pack­age to in­vestors look­ing for a nice life­style.”

The selling point of Li­mas­sol Ma­rina, which has two-bed­room apart­ments for sale from €1.7mil­lion and vil­las with pri­vate moor­ings from €2.9mil­lion, is that it is one of the few fa­cil­i­ties for large yachts in this part of the Mediter­ranean.

The suc­cess of de­vel­op­ments in Li­mas­sol has spurred on large-scale projects else­where, such as Lar­naca Port, a huge new ma­rina with mixed-use de­vel­op­ment. Plans for Lar­naca also in­clude ho­tels, shop­ping malls and lux­ury res­i­den­tial blocks.

Paphos is fol­low­ing suit, by res­ur­rect­ing its long-stalled ma­rina project and con­sid­er­ing big de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als, such as Eden City. Billed as the largest site of its kind in the Mediterra- nean, the 200-acre ho­tel and res­i­den­tial project will have three sep­a­rate ar­eas, in­clud­ing a self-con­tained is­land re­sort and a new dis­trict with busi­ness, ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural cen­tres.

If you want to take ad­van­tage of what the is­land of­fers, it’s still pos­si­ble to find apart­ments for un­der €100,000 and small vil­las at around €160,000 in the sub­urbs of Paphos and Li­mas­sol, or sur­round­ing vil­lages. Prob­lems and de­lays with ti­tle deeds in Cyprus are well doc­u­mented, so it’s ad­vis­able to get solid le­gal ad­vice be­fore com­mit­ting to a pur­chase.

The level of con­struc­tion has also raised con­cerns among res­i­dents that overde­vel­op­ment will strain the environment and in­fra­struc­ture, and that Cyprus is in the midst of an­other bub­ble. “Some peo­ple are pre­dict­ing an­other crash in two or three years,” says Howarth. “But many still con­sider Cyprus a good bet for in­vest­ment. It of­fers a good life­style and it could do well.”

Had­ji­panayiotou claims this type of growth is ex­actly what the is­land needs af­ter the eco­nomic prob­lems of the past. “Peo­ple are un­com­fort­able with change, but to get out of the cri­sis the econ­omy needed to grow. At­tract­ing over­seas in­vest­ment is ben­e­fi­cial.”

The Li­mas­sol Tril­ogy tow­ers

Villa in Li­mas­sol Ma­rina, priced at €3.25 mil­lion (£2.86 mil­lion)

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