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The Icon is nearing full completion in Limassol. Occupancy July 2021

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The construction work at The Icon, Limassol is nearing completion and is on the 2021 completion countdown of the high-rise construction projects underway in the city. The 125 metres high-rise building by luxury developer Imperio, stands on Limassol’s seafront with unobstructed views of the Mediterranean Sea, designed by UDS Architects. The property will contain 60 apartments, with high-end interior design by Obliq Interiors.

As the recent video shows, the main construction works are currently focusing on the completion of the crown which sits in the roof at the building’s 22nd floor.

Meanwhile, other essential parts of the building are well under construction, including the super luxury apartments, where installation of innovative facilities are taking place at the moment. Underfloor heating and concealed air-conditioning throughout the space for additional comfort, as well as a smart home automation system, are among the most important innovations.

One of the greatest benefits at The Icon is the unique, life-enhancing amenities spanning over two entire floors and overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. On the 10th floor, the Water Club may be one of the world’s most stunning pool experiences featuring an infinity-edge pool, with elaborate poolside gardens and a striking pool bar. Also, on the same floor, The Icon’s renowned restaurant offers fine dining and breath-taking panoramic views of Limassol’s skyline. The restaurant is planned to open to the public in July 2021.

The 11th floor houses the Fitness and Yoga Club where residents will have access to an advanced fitness centre as well as yoga, and training studios encased in floor-to-ceiling glass, all overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. An outdoor tennis court is available on the 4th floor, overlooking the mountains and benefiting of the cool sea breeze.

Extensive in-house amenities and services elevate the living experience at The Icon to that of a luxury hotel, including a security gated tower enclosure, concierge and 24-hour reception service, hotel-style services such as housekeeping, room service, dry cleaning and tailoring.

With less than 5 months to Icon’s completion the countdown has started for this uniquely designed high-rise building in the heart of Limassol’s coastline. Ready for occupancy this summer, July 2021.


Real Estate: A stable pillar of economic growth

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How does 2020 end for real estate and what are the market prospects for 2021?

Undoubtedly, 2020 was a difficult year for the entire planet. We experienced unprecedented situations. Our daily life was turned upside down as social distancing suddenly entered our lives. At the same time, 2020 has shown us how strong and resilient we are as humans. Despite the difficulties, we found the strength, with solidarity, empathy and creativity, to respond to the challenges. We’ve lost individual freedoms in order to keep others safe. We’ve cared about each other. Yet, the footprint of the pandemic in the global economy continues to be catalytic. And, of course, real estate could not be an exception. In 2020, there was a decline in real estate transactions which, however, is considered completely normal due to unprecedented situations, as those who are willing to invest in real estate are adopting a wait-and-see approach until everyday life goes back to normal. The mood for investments was evident during the period when, albeit temporarily, normalcy returned with only a few cases per day. I am referring to the summer months, during which the domestic demand for real estate increased, as a result of the measures provided by the government within the current year for the first-time home buyers. As things turned out, it is expected that 2020 will end with a negative sign compared to previous years. However, it is worth noting that even amid the current adverse conditions, the real estate market in Cyprus has proven its resilience when the situation in the world’s largest real estate markets, such as London and New York, is particularly unfavourable. The construction and real estate industry will continue to be a stable pillar of the Cypriot economic growth, with a substantial contribution to GDP and job creation.


How has the abolition of the Cyprus Investment Programme affected the real estate market, especially the luxury property market?

The termination or suspension of any investment programme certainly affects the market, but I do not think that the luxury property market will be particularly affected. It is true that whenever there is a change in the market, the phenomenon of drawing hasty conclusions, levelling and doom-mongering prevails. However, the real estate market existed long before the Cyprus Investment Programme and will continue to exist thereafter. At the moment, there may be 5-6 large projects under construction (in Limassol), but the number of apartments available is not very large due to pre-sales. Perhaps those left available might need more time to be sold than originally thought by fellow industry professionals. The market segment for which there are most concerns worldwide at the moment is the office market. As people’s habits change due to Covid, and as the global recession deepens, every company is reviewing its needs, as they may now need less space than in the pre-Covid-19 era. This means that they are either thinking of reducing their office spaces, because part of the employees will continue to work from home, or wish to renegotiate the rental amount of the existing space. In any case, the side effects of Covid-19 seem to affect the returns on the office market. This may have a negative impact on investors (that are mainly institutional or pension funds). The biggest fear is that a number of investors, who traditionally invest in the office market, may move away from this specific market due to low returns and the continuous uncertainty. In addition, the cost-cutting plans of many companies are still in the early stages and will take some time to finalize, until the effects reach the final investors. As employees are preparing to return to their workplaces next year, long-term issues may need to be addressed more urgently as health, safety and human interaction concerns become more prevalent. We are most likely moving towards a new world where people will have the right balance between working from home and working from the office. This could mean that we need less office space or some other form of workspace.


What are Imperios goals for the new year and what projects are expected to be implemented and launched? How is the completion of the multi-storey Icon moving?

 At Imperio, we have scheduled the completion of Icon, which will adorn Limassol for the next decades, with a delivery date to its owners in July 2021. At the same period, the Icon restaurant, which is located on the 10th floor with unobstructed views of Limassol and the sea, will open to the public. The Icon is currently in the final stages of construction, while the 21st and last floor have recently been completed. Giving priority to public health and implementing the safety measures and instructions of the Ministry of Health, work is progressing rapidly.  Although the pandemic has posed several obstacles in the project’s schedule, with the intensive and methodical work undertaken lately and the faithful implementation of the health protocols, we have managed to return the completion of the construction to the original schedule. In addition, two other impressive projects – the Barbican Heights on the hills of Panthea and the Imperio House which will house the new offices of our Group – are expected to be delivered in the summer of 2021. Imperio House will be the most energy efficient building in Cyprus, using modern photovoltaic technologies and other environmentally friendly systems, producing more energy than it consumes. Construction work has already begun in the innovative Sunset Gardens project, most part of which will be completed by 2021.


Interest in the new project Sunset Gardens, near the City of Dreams Mediterranean, has been intense since day one. What percentage of apartments has been sold so far and how will the implementation of the project proceed?

Interest in the Sunset Gardens remains lively and intense, with 60 residences having already been sold since the start of the project sales on September 23, 2020. What is worth mentioning regarding Sunset Gardens is that it mainly attracts the interest of local buyers and investors. The very low prices of the apartments (starting from €185,000+VAT), in combination with the numerous amenities offered by the project – restaurant, supermarket, business centre, swimming pools, gym, tennis and basketball courts, etc. – offer a complete way of living in a residential development that was missing from Limassol. Sunset Gardens is close to the largest casino in Europe, the City of Dreams Mediterranean, and the area in general is the most upcoming area in the city. The implementation of Sunset Gardens began at the end of October and the construction of the project is proceeding at a fast and steady pace, always having public health as a priority and faithfully following the health protocols.


To sum up, success in the world of real estate requires patience, insight and the ability to understand where the market is going, but also to understand its cycles.  You need to have a strong stomach and thirst to overcome difficult situations, because there will always be ones. This industry requires hard work, and its results are visible in the long run.


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Η αγορά των στεγαστικών δανείων φαίνεται να παίρνει ώθηση, καθώς η επιδότηση αυτών των δανείων από την Κυβέρνηση και η διάθεση κυρίως νεαρών ζευγαριών να εκμεταλλευτούν αυτό το μέτρο είναι αυξημένη. Η ώθηση αυτή θα ήταν ακόμη μεγαλύτερη εάν η κατάσταση στην αγορά εργασίας ήταν καλύτερη και δεν είχε πληγεί σε αυτόν το βαθμό από τις συνθήκες που προκαλεί η πανδημία. Τα τελευταία στοιχεία που ανακοίνωσε η Κεντρική Τράπεζα δείχνουν ότι μέσα στους μήνες Ιούλιο, Αύγουστο, Σεπτέμβριο και Οκτώβριο του 2020, δόθηκαν νέα στεγαστικά δάνεια ύψους 287,5 εκατ. ευρώ, σε σύγκριση με 279,5 εκατ. ευρώ την αντίστοιχη περίοδο του 2019.

Η επιδότηση στεγαστικών δανείων δίδεται από το κράτος μόνο για σκοπούς ιδιοκατοίκησης, για αγορά ή ανέγερση πρώτης κατοικίας, χωρίς να καλύπτει ανακαίνιση υφιστάμενης κατοικίας ή την αγορά/ανέγερση εξοχικής κατοικίας.

Συνεπώς, στις παρούσες συγκυρίες, η αγορά πρώτης κατοικίας αποτελεί την ιδανική επιλογή, συγκριτικά με την παράταση μιας τέτοιας κίνησης. Η παραμονή στο ενοίκιο, τη δεδομένη χρονική στιγμή, θα μπορούσε να αποδειχθεί λάθος μελλοντικά, καθώς υπάρχουν οι κατάλληλες συνθήκες – ειδικά για την οικονομική δυνατότητα ενός νεαρού ζευγαριού – που ενθαρρύνουν την απόκτηση πρώτης κατοικίας.

Ειδικά στη Λεμεσό, στην πόλη με τα υψηλότερα ενοίκια της Κύπρου, η αγορά κατοικίας, έναντι του ενοικίου, αυτήν τη στιγμή αποτελεί τη σοφότερη επιλογή. Το Sunset Gardens, το οποίο βρίσκεται στην πιο ανερχόμενη περιοχή της Λεμεσού δίπλα στο νέο καζίνο, με τις πολυάριθμες ανέσεις μέσα στο πράσινο και τις ιδιαίτερα προσιτές τιμές, θεωρείται η πιο ολοκληρωμένη λύση απόκτησης κατοικίας.

4 things that improve when you go from renting to buying a house

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While owning comes with more responsibilities than renting, it also comes with a unique set of benefits that renters can’t get.

First of all, the high rental prices – especially in Limassol – is a great reason to consider to invest in your own property. In some cases, the monthly instalment when purchasing an apartment is much lower than paying rent. For instance, in the brand-new development of Sunset Gardens by Imperio in Limassol, the starting price for buying a new residence works out to be €530 per month.

Compared to the high rental values of the city (average price for a 5-10-year-old – 1-bedroom apartment is €800/month), Sunset Gardens is the perfect example of how you can benefit from purchasing a property instead of renting one.

  1. Your new home doesn’t need renovation

When you go from renting to owning a new house, you don’t have to worry about renovation. A brand new, fully furnished and accessorised apartment includes everything you should need since you have chosen it. In most of the cases, you can request your changes to the developer during the construction phase of the new project, so the final outcome will be based on your needs.

  1. You don’t have a landlord so you set your rules.

You are the landlord of your property now, so no one can prevent you and your creativity in making whichever change you want in your home. On the contrary, when renting each landlord sets his own restrictions on the accessories or furniture you could bring into his property. Which is reasonable, by the way, to some extent…

  1. You have your personal property manager for maintenance & repairs

A lot of property developing companies provide after-sales services as well as property management services. Taking as an example the new gated community of Sunset Gardens, Lion Global Property Management provides services of maintenance of the communal areas and of each property of the project as well.

  1. You have a chance to build equity you can use for a future home purchase

With renting, you don’t gain any value that could help you out in the future. But, as a homeowner, you could have a head start on buying your next home when you move in the future.

While owning isn’t a guarantee you’ll be able to build significant wealth, if you make money on your first home’s sale, you could use that to help with your next home’s purchase. How much you make — or if you make anything at all — depends on the situation … but there’s no chance you’ll be able to do that when renting.