The permanent residency visa, granted with every investment over 300'000 euros, is the lure for buyers from abroad. The mature market in terms of construction and the basic service "tools" to meet the needs of the potential investors and the favorable geographical position of Cyprus form the pieces of the puzzle of foreign investment in Cyprus.
China is nowadays, along with Russia the most dynamic market in the Cyprus real estate since this year have made hundreds of sales to Chinese buyers, while new projects are planned to be implemented shortly within the next few months.
Prospects for Paphos
While Paphos during the four years of profound crisis for real estate (2008-12) measured many deep wounds mainly because of the British abandoning the area of Polis in Paphos, is now experiencing a new era which is emerging with significant growth prospects. The optimism stems from the dozens of transactions with Chinese investors carried out earlier this year and in 2011, while the certain operations seem to be only the beginning. Several land developer firms have already prepared websites and communication campaigns in Chinese, took part in real estate trade fairs in China and conducted direct contacts made with potential investors from the vast, Chinese market.
However, serious doubts about the solvency of the businessmen in Polis are raised, since it seems that the British mishap was not become a lesson. More specifically, it is noted that real estate firms sell at inflated prices, many buildings to Chinese buyers, who are making investments mostly to secure visa for permanent residence. Chinese authorities have already issued warnings about such cases brandishing the attention of investors in the country, to be careful. There are someparticular case where apartments smaller than 100 square metres where sold for more than 300 thousand euros, for buyers who do not have a clear picture regarding the real estate in Cyprus, but seek to secure the visa.
Both Agencies and local businessmen are concerned, as they do not want to see again victimized investors to leave and reject the local market and creating a sharp increase to the supply of property, thus causing distortions in the housing market.
Limassol sees more growth pathways
Limassol may have resisted to severe shocks of the crisis in real estate because of the Russians, however, land developers in the city are not complacent and are constantly seeking new markets to promote their properties. Such is the Chinese market and many developers turn to it through websites translated to the Chinese language, but also through participation in property exhibitions abroad. It should be noted that Limassol, apart from the residential projects, offers a wide range of professional and recreational projects. The marina is a project that can attract Chinese investors, in addition to Russians who have already expressed interest in the project.
It should be noted that many foreign companies operating in various parts of the city, make the second largest city on the island, the most friendly place for foreign investors.
At the same time, one finds that the name of Limassol is presented abroad as a serious investment and business destination. The proximity of the city to both the two international airports, the existence of banks and providers of investment services and major law firms in Limassol, make it a particularly attractive destination for buyers with full pockets and wealthy business activities. These advantages are also presented in international exhibitions.
Larnaca follows the trend
While Paphos and Limassol seem to win the "battle" of foreign investors Larnaca struggles, having received severe impact as a result of the economic crisis. Entrepreneurs from the city see that the city can be developed through innovative projects that will attract foreign investment interest. The great advantage of Larnaca is the international airport and the grand and complex task of the redevelopment of the harbor and the marina. People of the city seek through these advantages a consequent development of real estate by buyers from abroad.
The presence of Russians in the city is quite restricted compared to Limassol and Paphos, while the British left Larnaca, as it happened in Paphos. The prospect of Chinese seems ideal for Larnaca developers as well, who, however, still make efforts to organize this track.
Information, however, indicate that the large residential projects are designed specifically to serve buyers from China. Luxury properties near the airport constitute key parts of the plan of action of entrepreneurs in Larnaca.