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Cyprus Property News

Developer support by government distorts market and creatures unhappy foreign investors.

Date: 24/03/14

Non EU investors are highly prized within the EU, especially among the countries with troubles economies.

In order to attract these cash rich buyers mainly from Russia, China and Middle East, many European countries are constantly coming up with their own innovative investment schemes. Such programs are luring non-EU nationals into investing in the country with the promise of permanent residency and further full citizenship.

The program run by the Cypriot government allows a “fast track” residency program for investors, buying a new property from a development company for 300,000 Euro and over. The standard system, non-fast track system, is still run in tandem with the new (compare both systems here). And although in some ways it’s more favorable that the “fast track”, the standard system is rarely mentioned by any government officials as if it was non-existent. 

It’s fair to say that some investors (mainly Chinese) who have taken up the scheme have later discovered that they were cheated into buying overpriced properties. Indeed, on the open resale market most of 2 bedroom apartments sold to these investors, are not worth even half the price paid to developers. Finding out that you have overpaid for anything can leave you feeling angry and frustrated. Back in their home countries these buyers speak to friends and colleagues and inevitably the word spreads, causing damage to the reputation of Cyprus as a whole.

It’s common sense that for a healthy economy there should be a free market, allowing buyers to choose what property to buy instead of railroading them into an unhappy purchase. Only then will the international reputation of Cyprus as an investment opportunity will generate traction and many more non-EU nationals will choose Cyprus over rival countries.

The islands developers cannot be propped up at the expense of the entire Cypriot economy. Our country could gain through increased investment from these buyers who should be able to buy whatever property they choose with equal residency rules.

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