Always popular, Cyprus property looks set to become an even better bet with the adoption of the euro and the start of budget flights to the island, says Tricia Willis.
The Cyprus property market is well established with a unique blend of buyer attractions. A pleasingly low crime rate and a thriving community spirit combine with high standards of infrastructure, medical care and schooling, not to mention the beautiful beaches, some of the cleanest in Europe, which are bathed in 340 days of sunshine a year. Exceptional tax savings are furthered by a more affordable cost of living than Britain, while the British-based legal and banking system, driving on the left and widely spoken English ease the buying and settling-in process and afford those from Britain buying Cyprus property the prospect of a home from home familiarity.
Those thinking of buying Cyprus property should also be aware of the distinction between new build and re-sale markets. According to Property Frontiers' Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide 2008: "The market is based on new build properties, and new developments are constantly being built. Consequently, once you have bought a property in Cyprus, you will find that the price of an identical off plan property development will have risen by perhaps 40 per cent in two years. However, the apartment bought new build two years earlier will not even have a re-sale value equal to that at which it was purchased. The vendor will be competing against brand new properties sold by developers, and will therefore have real problems selling."
In light of this situation, the re-sale market appears to favour long-term investment, while short to mid-term investors are advised to buy property property in Cyprus with a clear 'wow' factor that will be in high demand at all times. Above all, the Cypriot property industry is perfectly suited for holiday home buyers.
Short-term rentals can easily be achieved from March to October in popular coastal towns, though the Cypriot Government's plans for a number of upmarket marinas and 11 new golfing projects suggest a stronger year-round future. Flight increases are also promising, with EasyJet commencing flights to the island in May this year, and Property Frontiers' guide highlights that tourist figures are set to reach 3.5 million by 2010.
Property in Famagusta District
The infrastructure and facilities in the villages around Famagusta are being continually upgraded, with the allure of the island's best sandy beaches also drawing in Cypriot second homeowners, thus offering an integrated lifestyle to new British residents. Though less popular than its southern coastal counterparts, Famagusta property prices are not to be sneezed at.
Property in Ayia Napa
Once hailed as the island's party town, the Ayia Napa authorities have gone to great lengths to establish an appealing family atmosphere. The emergence of larger family homes is testimony to this. Ayia Thekla is not only a popular location for such new developments, but is also the planned site for a large marina. The Ionian complex located in Ayia Thekla is only a few minutes from Potamos fishing harbour and only 10 minutes from restaurants, pubs and supermarkets.
Property in Larnaca
"Larnaca is still considered the only town in Cyprus where property prices have risen steadily by 8 to 10 per cent a year," says Litsa Chrysostomou, marketing manager at BuySell Real Estate. Major upgrades to the town's road network are being completed and plans continue for a new yacht marina, a new port for cruise ships and an extension of the well known Finikoudes Promenade with its cobblestones, palm trees, five star hotels and seafront cafes and restaurants. There is also an expansion at Larnaca airport.
Yet the most talked about development has to be the luxury PGA golf resort on the edge of Tersefanou village. For those who cant afford Larnaca property within the resort itself, the growing number of developments in nearby villages will cater well for the expected high demand. Parador Properties is offering just such a complex. Residence Oasis Apartments has mountain and sea views with communal pools and green areas. The apartments feature spacious living rooms, large bedrooms, en suite shower rooms and large balconies, all with private parking and storage.
Property in Limassol
Cyprus's second largest city, Limassol offers a cosmopolitan business, entertainment, dining and shopping experience that lasts all year round. Add to this the seemingly endless stretches of beach and the presence of a ferry port and large marina, and it's easy to see the bustling appeal. Blending the best of both worlds, the myriad traditional villages stretching inland are soaring in popularity, as buyers seek an authentic home within easy reach of city life. A re-sale, stone built, two bedroom Limassol property in the traditional village of Asgata village has mountain views.
Property in Paphos
For discerning buyers seeking optimum investment, Paphos property is the one to buy. There is a new marina in the suburb of Coral Bay in the pipeline, and two luxurious, self-contained resorts capping the town's elite property offering.
The first is Elysia Park by Pafilia, the developer which gained silver awards in the Best Apartment and Best Villa categories at the Homes Overseas Magazine Awards 2007. Located in the heart of Universal, the most lucrative tourist investment area for the past six years, Elysia Park's hallmarks are undoubtedly its unparalleled park-like grounds and unrivalled facilities. A fully equipped business centre, the largest gym and heated indoor pool in Paphos, spa facilities, basketball court, two outdoor infinity pools, two children's pools, and playgrounds are accompanied by 10 custom-built shops, with permanent on site staff and 24 hour reception.
The second resort, St Nicholas by Alpha Panareti, was Homes Overseas' gold winner for Best Apartment in 2007. Bordering Chlorakas village, just a 10 minute drive from Paphos town centre and five minutes to the beach, the resort is made up of 200 apartments, due for completion in March 2008. It boasts a clubhouse with indoor pool, Jacuzzi, gym and sauna, a restaurant, a cinema room, children's playground, four outdoor pools, a tennis court and 24 hour management staff.
Property in Latchi and Polis
With its secluded beaches, traditional villages and vast unspoilt Akamas nature reserve, the north west tip of the island offers an unrivalled pastoral escape. Indeed, high spenders will find the region is positively brimming with luxurious homes. Amoroza Villas by Pafilia offers an enviable address, located on the beachfront of Latchi set against the mountainous backdrop of the Akamas Peninsula. The exclusive community of 25 three and four bedroom villas are set on individual plots ranging from 515 sq m to 1,118 sq m, with property sizes ranging between 184 sq m and 297 sq m. Open air terraces and impressive infinity pools create fine al fresco living, with the generous living space encompassing reception rooms with fireplaces, saunas, gymnasiums and treatment rooms, with exceptional finishing touches.
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