Cyprus is fast becoming a property hotspot for thousands of British holiday home hunters disillusioned with the overdeveloped and overpriced Costas. Famous for its spectacular beaches, a climate that gives more sunshine days than Spain and its rich and varied history, Cyprus offers a perfect mix of foreign and familiar.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic mountain retreat or a villa by the sea, buying a property in Cyprus is a relatively uncomplicated process. Much of the paperwork involved in purchasing a property was simplified in the run up to EU membership and an English based financial and legal system means that the buying process is quite familiar to most British investors.
Many experts predict that the Cypriot pound’s replacement with the Euro in 2007, will stimulate a 50% rise in property prices so now is an excellent time to jump on the property ladder in Cyprus. But where are the best places to buy and just what type of properties are available?
Paphos is one of Cyprus’s most beautiful towns. Located on the south-western coast, the area is also one of the quietest and most peaceful coastal spots on the island. Though the last five years have seen more developers building in Paphos, the essence of the quaint fishing village that existed here before mass tourism remains in tact. Here you can expect to pay £59,000 for a one bedroom, fully furnished apartment. If you have £240,000 you could own your own villa on a 700 sqm plot with pool included. More and more golf developments are being built to cater to demand and a two-bedroom apartment on a golf complex is likely to cost in the region of £150,000 to £180,000.
Moving around the coast to Limassol, property can be picked up at prices 10-15% cheaper than in Paphos. This might be due to the fact that being the commercial and industrial centre of the South Coast, Limassol lacks much of the character and charm that small towns such as Paphos have. The missing seaside feel however doesn’t deter the British. Employment opportunities are far more plentiful here and this may explain why 20% of the British expat community live in Limassol. A three-bedroom villa in Limassol comes in between £180,000 to £200,000.
For those who want to avoid the tourist and expat enclaves, a trip into the Troodos Mountains will yield surprising results. The lush green hills and stunning scenery hide hundreds of small villages where the real Cyprus can still be experienced. Renovation projects are plentiful and one of the best ways to find out what’s on the market is to travel into the villages and ask the locals. Stone cottages in need of renovation sell for as little as £60,000 and can be restored for £30-40,000, meaning that a stunning mountain hideaway in Cyprus can cost as little as £100,000.
If you are the adventurous type, you might fancy building your own villa. While there will always be headaches where new builds are concerned, this approach can be significantly cheaper than buying off-plan. There is also much greater control over the type of property you end up living in and standards are likely to be higher. Designing and building your own villa means liasing with architects and builders. While your architect is likely to look after the administrative end with regard to permits and planning, it is always best to be close on hand during the building process. The alternative is to employ and individual or agent to look after this for you. Building your own villas is likely to be up to 40-50% cheaper than buying from property developers and you won’t pay extra for the granite floor or air conditioning!
Cyprus is definitely the one to watch. With EU membership, the country is enjoying an influx of funds that are helping to further develop the infrastructure. It is now possible to obtain mortgages in Cypriot pounds and interest rates are already falling and are likely to drop further when the currency enters the Eurozone! All this bodes good news for the Cypriot property market and for those who missed the property boat to Spain, now is the time to jump on board and cash in on the property boom on beautiful Cyprus.
Tracey Meagher is a property advisor and journalist. She owns and maintains Property Newsdesk , an information website that reports property news from around the world. Email any property related questions to email@example.com