Cyprus’s real estate market has been affected by world the recession. However, even though the property demand has generally declined in Cyprus, Paphos has been affected the least. The reason for this was the demand by Chinese investors. Initiatives taken by the government such as the provision of permanent residency and citizenship have without a doubt encouraged this progression.
In an effort to stimulate the industry, the Cypriot government has taken significant steps. These include the announcement of a new Urban Planning Policy and the promotion of Large Scale developments such as casinos, condo hotels and Science Technology Parks.
URBAN PLANNING POLICY
The changes in the urban planning policy have affected positively the development in the rural areas in Cyprus. Contractors and investors have received the green light to develop projects on large pieces of land in the countryside after the Minister of Interior signed a new Policy Statement in 2014. The Policy Statement goal is the creation of new small communities by the re-development of rural areas. Under this new initiative, the developers will be able to gain from higher building coefficients (up to 25% and under certain circumstances reaching up to 35%) when building homes, offices and shopping areas. An important condition of this, however is that within those developments there will be schools, universities or small hospitals and health centres as well as community sports facilities. Since the coefficient will be increased, the resale value of the land will rise and in effect favour the industry by attracting foreign investors.
PROMOTION OF LARGE SCALE DEVELOPMENTS
The Government of Cyprus has been promoting more real estate development projects on the island in order to contribute towards the economic recovery of Cyprus and draw in investments. Some of the specific steps that have been taken towards this goal is the decision of the government to grant one license for a large Integrated Casino Resort. This project is estimated to boost tourism and employment on the island. In particular, it is projected that 25,000 jobs will be created by the integrated resort development. According to the government spokesperson the procedures are going ahead fast and the government's aim is to select and license the operator of the Integrated Resort Casino in less than a year. This project is considered to be one of the one of the most important infrastructure projects in Cyprus in the coming years. The government hopes that the casino could be open as early as 2018 and the winning bidder will receive a 30 year license and will choose the location of the casino. The project is expected to include amenities such as restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment venues and is expected to attract an additional half to one million tourists per year. Furthermore, the implementation of Condo Hotels in Cyprus is also expected to increase tourism and related investment into the Cyprus property market. The idea of the Condo hotels lies in the coexistence of rooms and apartments of the hotel unit with suites and apartments (Condo Units) which are modules in a single development with communal areas and central management, in the same building. Finally, the government’s decision for the creation of a Science Technology Park ( ‘STP’) in the form of a Knowledge park, is an initiative aimed towards the promotion of research, innovation and technology and it is expected to encourage the entrepreneurial and industrial development of Cyprus and possibly transform it into a regional research and innovation centre. These exciting initiatives are bound to boost our islands’ economy and enhance its general good state. The steady demand for property developments is also expected which will continue to favour our town of Paphos and benefit our local businesses. Constantinou Bros Properties will continue to contribute towards this goal with the construction of upscale developments appealing to influential investors.