Иностранный интерес удерживает рынок недвижимости Кипра на стабильном уровне.
Кипр был одной из трех европейских стран показавших стабильный рынок недвижимости за последний финансовый квартал, однако эксперты предупреждают о тяжелых временах в будущем для цен на недвижимость на острове.
CYPRUS was one of only three European countries showing a stable property market for the last financial quarter, but experts have warned of tough times ahead for house prices on the island.
Based on a survey on global commercial properties carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), most European countries are feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown on their property markets by showing weaker levels of investment activity.
This has subsequently led to the increase in property return for the months of April, May and June for the majority of Europe, but despite these trends, Cyprus, Austria and the Netherlands as well as Turkey have demonstrated a continued fall on the return on property in the last financial quarter.
Following the downward pressure on capital values, property returns have been pushed up accordingly in most global markets at a faster pace in the second quarter of 2008, forcing many buyers to bid at lower values as economic signals have set alarm bells ringing, raising the possibility of tenant defaults.
In Cyprus the situation has remained relatively stable, but the trend is expected to change as evidence points to an imminent decrease in property prices and a drop in the number of property sales.
Varnavas Pashoulis, President of the Cyprus Association of Valuers and Property Consultants, warned that the strength of the property market on the island could be undermined.
"In the last nine months there has been a 20 per cent reduction in the number of sales in all districts except Limassol, while it is also expected that the number of building permits has also gone down throughout Cyprus," he said.
"We can see that we may have problems as now in Protaras or areas of high development there are many properties for sale, whereas in the last few years this did not really happen [as] they were snapped up immediately.
"For the moment possibly property owners and developers are saying that they will not sell and hold on, but how long can they last? Interest rates are on the rise and developers with problems will have to lower their prices in order to sell."
According to RICS member and Bank of Cyprus Valuation Department representative Kyriacos Makrides, the report showing a continued fall on the return on property in the last financial quarter in Cyprus did not necessarily mean that the market on the island was safe.
"Cyprus may not have yet recorded reductions in prices but it could be because they are not as obvious. There is a general oversupply in immovable properties and a decreasing demand, especially in coastal towns such as Paphos which has been seriously hit by the recession in the UK, where a number of Britons are either not investing any more or are trying to sell their properties in order to cash in on the favourable exchange rate because of the devaluation of the sterling in relation to the euro," he told the Cyprus Mail.
A representative of a large developing company in Paphos who wished to remain unnamed said that there was a noticeable decrease in the demand for smaller properties, something that would force developers to look to other markets if they wished to keep their prices at current levels.
"In respect to the customer, the property market here has gone back 10 years. While there is less demand for apartments for example, larger properties remain in demand. This basically demonstrates that people willing to buy now are those who had money in the past and not those who made equity in the last ten years looking to invest in Cyprus," he said. "In effect, this means that the more professional developers will change their target market to involve more Russians and Scandinavians and less Britons."
The developer added that another changing trend was that more people were now purchasing resale and not new properties.
While Makrides predicted that the decreasing demand would most probably account for a rise in demand for rentals, Pashoulis believed that it is not all doom and gloom for the property market on the island.
"Cyprus has its advantages that we are a small country and the demand can easily catch up, we are not like Spain where there is a need for a saturation period in the market for example. Also, the capacity to build in Cyprus is not that big. Unlike elsewhere, developers here do not start to build unless they sign a contract in most cases. What happened in the UK was that many houses were being built while demand was still high and remain unsellable as the demand dropped. We do have things going for us," he said.
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