The spread of the coronavirus and the consequent restrictions on worldwide travel have had a negative impact on almost all sectors of economic activity internationally. Real estate was one of the sectors that was adversely affected and our country could not be an exception. The global travel ban due to the pandemic has silenced the sale of real estate by foreign buyers in the traditionally active real estate market in Cyprus. However, land development entrepreneurs in our country are optimistic, as they see a resurgence of interest from foreign buyers and beyond.
According to Yiannis Misirlis, Director of Imperio, one of the leading property developers of Limassol, Cyprus expects the arrival of a large number of Arab real estate investors, something that will become a reality as soon as the international restrictions on travel are lifted. According to Mr Misirlis, potential buyers of Arab origin are looking forward to coming to Cyprus to visit the properties in person, which will create demand in a market that will return to growth in 2022.
Besides, despite the shrinking of the Cyprus economic by 6.2% last year, the real estate market in our country remained relatively strong. According to the Real Estate Price Index data of the Central Bank, real estate prices have increased by 2% this year. As Mr Misirlis pointed out, “The real estate market was on a growth trajectory before the pandemic broke out and will return to it as soon as the restrictions are lifted. Therefore, it is normal for investors to look forward to taking advantage of this growth. The interest from buyers in the Middle East has been very high lately, especially in Limassol”.
Our ally the good epidemiological image
An important factor in the implementation of an investment in the midst of a pandemic is the epidemiological indicators of a country. The improvement of the epidemiological image of our island, the hot summer that is just around the corner, the lifting of restrictions as well as the advanced vaccination plan of the Republic of Cyprus are the best guarantees for attracting foreign investors. Until now, potential buyers were interested in buying real estate on the island, but the practical difficulties of the restrictive measures put a brake on any of their investment plans.
Strengthened local demand
At the same time, the data show an imminent resurgence of the sector through local demand too. A recent LionGlobal survey of the first time home market shows that Millennials are expected to be the dominant force in the real estate market in the coming years. From the answers of the participants, it is clear that the Cypriot Millennials prefer to buy a large and spacious house with a garden or an apartment rather than renting. Of course, a necessary condition for the implementation of the young couples’ plans for the purchase of a property is the adoption by the state of a comprehensive plan to support the acquisition of a first home. This is because the research showed that young people find it difficult to secure the amount of down payment required by banks in order to be granted a loan. However, the recent decision of the government to strengthen the interest rate subsidy plan for mortgages is in the right direction.
Sunset Gardens takes on a leading role
Under the new data brought by the pandemic, potential buyers, locals and foreigners are attracted to properties that are ecologically sustainable, offer amenities and are available at preferential prices. One such project is Imperio’s Sunset Gardens, an ecologically sustainable community of 315 apartments developed in a privileged location in western Limassol, which has seen 75 of its apartments sold for the past four months, mostly to young couples.
In summary, the data so far allow land development entrepreneurs to be optimistic that the summer of 2021 will be particularly active for the real estate sector. It is, however, clear that the real estate sector still has a lot to offer as long as it focuses both on the new needs of foreign investors and local buyers too.