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Everything posted by Tuberider

  1. Housing properties in the red First Published: 01/09/2008 08:05:59 Last Updated: 02/09/2008 08:01:18 Stockwatch According to a survey carried out and presented by StockWatch, the house and flat prices have dropped while property prices have stabilized. The survey, which includes real estate agents from all municipalities, shows that the crisis that started in Paphos has spread to the other seaside cities too except for Limassol, where the Russian purchases interest keep prices at last year’s level. The real estate agents talk about a significant decline in prices in non-seaside cities too. The real estate agents noted that slump in sales to non-Cypriots expanded top domestic market too, exercising huge pressure on the property prices, which must be restrained so as not to decline further. According to their statements to StockWatch, the house and flat prices have dropped, especially those destined to non-Cypriots. However, domestic demand faces problems too, since prices in non-tourist areas fall as well. On the other hand, it is quite impressing that the price of plots, fields, offices and shops has stabilized. “Under the table” sales StockWatch’s survey reflects the size of the crisis and the concerns for the prospects of the property market since the sellers have already admitted that they dropped their profits from 20% to 30% “under the table”. For the time being, however, the advertising spots have not changed. “If someone advertises in lower prices, the system will collapse”, one of the real estate agents said. Sharp increase in the previous years On the question whether there has been a drop or an increase in property prices, 11 of the 12 real estate agents replied that prices will drop or stabilize, while 1 said that prices will increase as a result of the increased construction cost. The vast majority admitted that the price hikes in the past few years were unrealistic. “We expect a depression just like in the CSE, where only the big funds survived”, an agent stated. Another agent referred to a “tsunami that hits property market”, especially in external demand. “The sharp increase in property prices as a result of the huge demand by non-Cypriots and the uncertain future of economy make the investments in properties unfeasible for the Cypriots”, he noted. According to latest Central Bank figures, the price of housing properties grew by 15% in 2007 against 10% in 2006, 12% in 2005, 20% in 2004 and 8% in 2003. Reasons Almost all real estate agents said that the drop in the domestic market is attributable to the bank interest rates, the inflationary pressures, and the increase in the deposits’ interest rate. Part of them believes that the sales by the non-Cypriots, especially the British who cover 85% of the market, hit the stability of the property market. “In order to take advantage of the difference between the sterling and the euro, the British sell their flats and houses either to buy in their country or in some other country such as Spain, where unsold houses and flats reach one million”. Sharp drop of activity The problem with the prices starts with the slump in demand. All 12 agents support that the in the seaside areas of Paphos, Larnaca and Ayia Napa the real estate agents are inactive. “They beg us to sell them even a flat so as to give us 8% additional commission”, an agent from Nicosia said, while another from Larnaca stated that if the sales index stood at 100 in 2007, today fell to 5. Limassol is the exception to the rule due to the Russians. “The Russians push sales up in Limassol and the city does not have to deal with the same problem”, the real estate agents concluded.
  2. I definetly agree with you that we have reached our limits for sustainable tourism. however the water crisis is nothing new and it will pass. we have cyclical droughts here on the island and we are used to water cuts, although the last ones were 8 years ago. this particular water shortage has been exacerbated by bad management but it looks like the new desalination plants will be up and running by april so the problem should be solved. we have also had some rain over august which lends hope to a wet winter. we will see. we have been here before, the sky will not fall down. we just need to change our wasteful habits and that is all. there is more than enough water for everyone if managed correctly. 3500 euros for a what ? i guess you mean a second water tank ??? sounds like your friends were ripped off. i just bought a tank from Brakkas for 300 euros and fit it myself for 100 more in parts. took me three hours. rainwater butts are even cheaper to buy and fit. p.s the minister of tourism made a statement a few weeks ago that all golf courses would be put on hold until the water problem has been solved.
  3. Real estate agents’ concerns on property prices First Published: 26/08/2008 08:00:11 Stockwatch The boom in the property market has been affected badly lately, since the sharp decline in Paphos has spread to other regions too. The increase in interest rates and inflation has pushed domestic demand down and together with the drop in external demand, the problems are acute in many Cyprus’s regions. In his statements to StockWatch, Chairman of the Pancyprian Association of Real Estate Agents, Solon Kourouklides said that the drop in the construction activity in Paphos is more than real. “Sales have dropped significantly and the number of indisposed properties increases drastically. In the past three months, the drop is of 30-40% for the external market and 5% for the domestic, while forecasts say that it will continue until the end of the year – early 2009”, he said. The decline, however, does not concern sales only, but prices too. “Comparatively, Paphos had the highest prices. Today, property prices show a drastic decrease of up to 30% or even 50% for flats”, Mr. Kourouklides noted. The problems in the property market do not concern Paphos only. “The future of the property market is gloomy due to the slowdown in the number of sales across Cyprus. The commercial plots and land are exempted since the demand by foreign investors – Russians mostly – who want to expand their business activities to the island, is big”, he added. Reasons Mr. Kourouklides said that the positive course has been overturned due to: - The interest rate increase by 125 base points in few months. - The impacts from the CB Circular, which provided for the increase in the advance payment for the purchase of a home from 30% to 40%. Although it has been withdrawn, it still causes problems because it is too hard to regain the external demand. - The global economic crisis that hit the British market, which is 80% of external demand. - The devaluation of the sterling against the euro. “The interest rate increase, which pushes monthly installments up, is the main reason for the drop in domestic demand, which will continue in the next few months”, Mr. Kourouklides stressed. Other reasons are the drop in the purchasing power of the consumers due to the sharp increase in the price of fuel and the confusion from the upcoming imposition of 15% VAT on properties. ----------------------------- Banks to impose stricter criteria First Published: 25/08/2008 07:45:06 Last Updated: 26/08/2008 07:53:51 Stockwatch The commercial banks decided to introduce stricter criteria for the loans granted to property investors and developers, increasing their charges. The international credit crunch and the drop in the price of properties in countries such as Spain, Estonia and the UK have shaken the banks, which decided to make borrowing more difficult. The first signs of the defensive policy were apparent since early 2008, but become clearer as time goes by. Banks mostly focus on the foreign property investors since the crisis in their countries makes their ability to pay off the loans more uncertain. Certain banks think of introducing stricter criteria for them, especially with regard to the period given until they start to pay the loans. Measures will also be taken for those developers with small volume of activities. Due to the sharp drop in external demand, many developers face financial problems. In order to deal with the issue, banks started to observe the development of the economic activities on a more systematic basis. “If the crisis goes on, lending will become more difficult for other professional groups too, such as hoteliers and traders”, bank officials say. At the current stage, many businessmen and householders go through hard times due to the installments that they are called to pay after the interest rate increase. The increase in ECB rates to ease inflation together with the consecutive increases in the price of the bank interest rates have pushed interest rates up to 125 base points. The banks have also increased their charges for relevant services. Inevitably, the interest rate increase and the acceleration of inflation have affected the loan market. Bank officials say that demand for loans has dropped in the past few months, although part of this decline is seasonal. However, credit growth, which neared 32% according to latest figures – remains at 20-25%.
  4. hmm how many times have i heard that one... greek is not easy to learn but there are a few brits who have managed it and speak it reasonably well, although their accent sucks of course. i noticed that the majority of the english here still have a colonial mentality and expect the cypriot coolies to step and fetch for them every time they have a problem. what they forget is that they are immigrants, nothing more. they should work hard to integrate, keep their heads down and stop whinging and moaning about their hosts, just like we did when we were immigrants to the uk in the 50's and 60's no difference in my eyes.
  5. i'm in cyprus and much the same thing is happening here. lots of brits selling up and moving back home. there was a massive influx between 2004-2007, but this year the arrivals have dried up - property not selling, new developments sitting unsold for ages. i can relate to the comments regarding chav ghettoes - we have one or two developing over here- one in peyia in paphos and another in pervolia in larnaka. horrible places full of sunburned northern fatties in loud shirts. another thing i have noticed, is that the locals have started to get very intolerant of the brits the last year or so. they do not make any effort to learn the language or integrate into our way of life, and seem to spend much of their time moaning and whinging. my 2p worth
  6. Starbucks is a bit crap, yes, but where I live they are the only non-smoking coffee shops around, so we go there sometimes to meet other friends who dont enjoy sitting in a smokey place, although i do find them overpriced and the coffee tastes like shite. I usually drink the tea or those mango flavoured slush-puppie things with the cream on top hate that stupid starbucks language though.. 'grande' 'tall' etc etc.. whats wrong with small, medium or large for fcuks sake.
  7. anybody who buys in Turkey needs their head examined !!
  8. i think perceptions are already changing, what with the recent wave of (government orchestrated) violence sweeping SA it's only a matter of time before they turn the mobs loose on the whites we will soon come to see SA for for what it really is; an ungovernable mess like most of sub-saharan africa
  9. lots and lots of expats here in cyprus the last few years, however they dont last long - there is a very high turnover rate. they come over with absolutely no idea of what real life here is like. they dont learn the language nor try to assimilate into the local culture. as a result they get a good fleecing from the locals and end up dissillusioned and broke. lately there has been a noticable reversal of the trend - a lot leaving, relatively few coming in. let's hope the trend continues, all these pink flabby types with tattoos kind of spoil the mediterranean landscape.
  10. Some good arguments for inflation, but my gut tells me it is gonna be a long and protracted period of deflation after this present short and savage inflationary spike. The China argument I feel is void - they are simply a factory for the west, and once the west falls into recession the chinese factories will close down or sell their goods (high overcapacity in china remember - their government does not like to see failed businesses) at a discount to shift it. Yes, the chinese could sell goods to their own people, but they are not ready for that yet. The middle class is still small, most of the chinese are still agripeasants and the banking system still immature Also, a lot of manufacturers in china are propped up by cheap state loans and a lot of them will start to default once the recession kicks in properly in the west and they cannot sell their goods China argument is a red herring. see them for what they are - offshored western manufacturers. Deflation for sure.
  11. Cyprus property sales dive 17% in 1Q08 Financial Mirror 14/05/2008 Cyprus property sales registered a 17% Year-on-Year reduction in the first quarter of 2008 according to data from the Cyprus Land Registry. The value of property deals transacted in the first quarter of 2008 reached EUR 794 mln compared to EUR 956 mln in the same period in 2007 for a 17% decline. A similar decline was registered in the number of successful deals, which in 1Q08 tumbled 21% YoY to 4143 from 5202 in 1Q07. The data confirm the widely held belief that the booming property sector, which had become the driving force supporting the Cyprus economy has entered a period of slowdown. The Chairman of the Cyprus Property Developers Association, Lakis Tofarides during a briefing at the House had warned that property sales had in fact declined by 30% with Larnaca and Ayia Napa areas the worst affected, while Nicosia was faring better, as its mostly supported by locals. The influx of Russian buyers had in part cushioned the impact in Limassol, while results in Paphos were mixed. A slowdown in the property sector is certain to have a dire impact on state finances, which in recent years on the back of a booming property sector have shown an incredible improvement, moving from constant deficits into a surplus. The fiscal surplus of Cyprus in 2007 stood at EUR 250.6 mln (CYP 146.7m) vs. a fiscal deficit of EUR 212.7 mln (CYP 124.5m) in 2006, according to data compiled by the Financial Mirror. The reversal in deficit was the result of higher direct (EUR 2.23bln: +42% YoY) and indirect taxes (EUR 2.92bln: +19.5% YoY). Total revenues in 2007 reached EUR 6.88 bln (CYP 4.03bn) recording an increase of 10% YoY, whilst total expenditures were up by just 3% YoY to EUR 6.62bn (CYP 3.88bn). In the first quarter of 2008, the capital gains revenue declined by 5% to EUR 90.9 mln from EUR 96 mln in 1Q07.
  12. so a bunch of whackos on a website like this could tell that there was something very very wrong with the financial system back in 2003 when this site first went online... ...but these highly educated and experienced bankers had no clue what was going to happen they must be complete f*ckwits if even a man-in-the pub type like me could see it coming but they could not. a nd have we not had a post on the sticky thread titled 'two screws away from credit crunch' or something like that up since at least mid 2006 ? it would be funny, if it were not so scary
  13. Construction boom slows down Stockwatch First Published: 19/03/2008 13:32:24 According to Eurostat data released on Wednesday, construction output in Cyprus slowed down, boosting estimates that the island’s economy will grow slower in 2008. Specifically, construction output in the fourth quarter of 2007 grew by 3% compared to 9% in the third quarter of 2007, 7.5% in the second quarter of 2007 and 4.2% in the first quarter. The growth rate of the construction sector, which is 8.5% of the Cypriot GDP, is smaller than that of economy, which stood at 4.3% in the fourth quarter of 2007. Eurostat’s figures confirm forecasts that the sector of constructions, which contributed heavily to the fast GDP growth in the past five years, will slow down. Besides, the Finance Ministry expects that GDP growth will decline to 4.6% in 2008, 4.2% in 2009 and 3.3% in 2010. However, the current figures show that slowdown might be larger and steeper than the Ministry’s forecasts. The construction slowdown is connected with the deterioration of the conditions in the property market, market experts support. “The Central Bank’s move to cut the lending ceiling for the purchase of a home has contributed to the negative climate”, they said. The anticipated slowdown in constructions – especially in Paphos – is more than obvious in the latest CYSTAT data on building permits. The area of the licensed projects in Paphos recorded a drop of 10.1% in 2007. The sudden slowdown in constructions will spark fresh talks for the state’s development expenditure, which will be revaluated according to Finance Minister, Charilaos Stavrakis.
  14. I would seriously not advise Cyprus. It does not have a lower cost of living than the UK. It is deceiving. And it is certainly not more laid back. Not if you live and work there. And it is only warmer in the summer. The winters can be worse than the SE in England. I am looking out of my window at sunshine and blue skies. The temperature is 22 degrees. And yes, it is winter. What is the weather like in SE England today ? Food in Cyprus is very expensive. VERY VERY expensive. And it is also very poor quality. In many cases, it is cheaper to eat out than cook at home. Supermarkets over there are a rip off. Prior to the Euro, which has pushed prices even up further, a medium loaf would cost over £1.20 sterling as a rule. Cheese, cooked meats, tins, soda, they are all more than average British Tesco or Sainsbury's prices. And Cyprus doesn't have that Greek local food market thing going on anymore, so it is difficult to buy good quality fruit and veg. Most English people do not know how to eat properly, so of course they overspend for processed junk and soda and sausages in tins and nasty stuff like that (baked beans etc - yuck). Cypriots buy fresh fruit and veg, fresh fish, pulses (fassolia) and other natural foods which are far cheaper here than they are in England. Clothes tend to be British prices without the Primark-type cheapies around. Yes I agree, but it is getting better. The other important thing is the cost of energy. There are no gas lines in Cyprus, so everyone is on solar panels backed up by electricity for water, which sounds great. Until winter. When the solar panels don't work because there is no sun. Add to that the problem that Cypriot houses hardly ever have any insulation or wall heaters apart from split units, and you end up with huge electric bills trying to keep your house/flat warm during winter (for the heat just to bellow out of the breeze blocks), and you have to use an immersion for your hot water. And you need air conditioning in the summer. You need it; otherwise, you get badly dehydrated just sitting doing nothing. And boy is that pricey. You do not need it, it is a luxury. Again, english people are not used to our climate and they burn easily, going very red in the sun so I guess A/C is a necessity for them. We only use A/C for about 2 months a year, July and August, and then only at night to cool off the bedroom before we turn in. The housing stock in Cyprus is also crap. I don't know what it is like now, but 04/05/06, you were looking at Northern England type prices for villas and new build flats. Yet the quality of the builds is just not comparable to the UK. In Britain, your house is likely to last over 40 years (if you buy Victorian, it will probably last until the apocalypse); in Cyprus, that is a real achievement because they build out of breeze block and concrete that starts mouldering and flaking badly after 20 years. That's why few locals in Cyprus touch what they call 'second hand houses'. Yes we have a house price bubble here too, fuelled mostly by British buyers, who are pricing out local working families. Also, Cyprus has quite a serious Russian gangster problem (they throw grenades into each others' clubs, I kid you not), and a SEVERE sex trafficking problem (it is said to be the capital of Europe). It has got so bad that some Orthodox priests have set up a sanctuary in the Troodos for victims of trafficking. There are cases where trafficked girls have thrown themselves out of windows and committed suicide because they could not escape. There are sex clubs and brothels everywhere. In plain sight. This is true, it is a social problem that needs addressing, like child abuse / hoodies / drug use etc in the UK. but russian gangsters throwing grenades into clubs ? You've been watching tooo many movies mate ! You also NEED a car. There's no public transport at all, apart from a few buses here and there and the service taxi network. The Cypriots have also gone into the slightly out of town supermarket thing in a big way, so you need a car to shop -- in most cases you simply cannot walk it. And the price of cars are a joke over there. They ask £3k for an old banger that you would pay £500 for here in the UK. Hmm you can bring a car from the UK now with only 350 GBP shipping costs and a couple of hundred quid in dutues if the engine is not over 1650cc. Seems you got ripped off. Also there are very few decent paid jobs in Cyprus, and you will need to learn to speak Greek if you want to be part of something other than the retired expat community. True, so many English do not learn our language and customs then wonder why they cannot get along ! The other thing is that the politics in Southern Cyprus is very different to what you get in the UK. There are still proper communists with pictures of Lenin on their walls, and, in the Ammochostos district, people can be very nationalistic, very right wing (almost fascist) and very racist. Old sores and wounds over the invasion and the preceding colonialist struggle are still just below the surface. What do you expect after years of colonialism. but our system works very well. we have survuived 3 wars (civil, colonial and modern technological) in 40 years and we have a strong economy and a good standard of living for all Again, a lot of Cypriots do not like what is happening to their country and many do not like the immigration that has taken place over the last ten years. They do not particularly like the English, nor the bases. This is true. We do not like you. Stay in England and we will all be a lot happier. They also are a bit funny about 'charlies', the name they call British born Cypriots, so that should tell you something. I am a 'Charlie' myself, never had a problem. if you treat people like shit, they treat you the same way. Also, you think the schools in the UK are bad? They are nothing compared to the state secondary school system in Cyprus. You get graffitti on the bloody ceiling fans in Cypriot classrooms. Even if kids go private, there is no guarantee they will leave with IGCSE qualifications that will allow them to qualifiy for higher education. And you need these, as their leaving school certificate, the apolyterion, is worthless and not even accepted by the University of Cyprus any more. I know; I worked in one. Schools here are nothing compared to the UK. We have some delinquents, this is true, but we do not have the same level of social illness that they have out there. Our kids are spoilt and materialistic, but not savage or violent. You can go out at night here and not be attacked or bothered, in the UK crime is a real problem and the youth are out of control. Also, if our schools are worhtless, why the hell do we have one of the highest numbers of graduates per capita in the world? Why do we have so many doctors, dentists, economists, lawyers, etc ? I do not even know why I am bothering to reply to this post, if your words dissaude more people like you from coming to our island then you are doing us a favour. God, you make me so angry
  15. I have lived in Cyprus for over ten years, and I am a 'charlie' and i must say your post is the biggest load of rubbish i have ever read. if its so bad here why do you not bugger off back to crappy england and leave us all alone. so tired of moaning whinging brits like you who drag the place down. you really have no place here.
  16. Property sector to slow down in 2008 First Published: 19/02/2008 08:00:43 Stockwatch Properties that equal to ¼ of the Cyprus GDP changed hands in 2007, reflecting the positive course of the property sector. Sources say that 2007 signaled the peak of the rapid growth of the sector and expect a “significant slowdown” but not a price cut. They connect the course of the sector with the imposition of VAT on properties, anticipating the achievement of an exception for two more years. The latest Land Registry figures indicate the strong activity in the property market in 2007. Specifically, the total value of property sales was shot to €4.5 billion against €2.9 billion in 2006 (+57.1%), while the number of property sales reached 23,723 compared to 20,259 in 2006. According to historic figures, the sales in 2007 are the highest since the release of the first available data. The positive course of the sector is reflected in the state’s revenues from the capital gains tax, which climbed 135% to €467.1 million against €199 million in 2006 and €98,9 million in 2005. Slowdown in 2008 Property sources insist that they expect a significant slowdown in property sales this year, while the course of the sector will depend on the finalization of the period that the 15% VAT on plots will be imposed. “The property sales in January and February show that the sector has slowed down slightly, despite that the demand is always weaker this time of the year. This year, the sales were affected by the presidential election as well. The course of the property market will be determined after March”, Vice Chairman of Cyprus Property Valuators, Charalambos Petrides told StockWatch. The real estate agents believe the same. “We expect a serious slowdown in property sales in the first half of 2008. The factors that affect sales are the psychological confusion after the adoption of the euro, as well as the increase in the price of oil, which pushed prices up at the same time that the Cypriots’ salaries remain the same”, Chairman of the Pancuprian Real Estate Agents Association, Solomon Kourouklides said. “Given the Central Bank’s decision to cut the lending ceiling for the purchase of the second home, which affected Paphos mostly due to its external demand, sales will slow down”, Mr. Kourouklides added. As for the property prices, there are no expectations that prices will drop. “Prices will not drop but marketability will be reduced. The growth rate will slow down compared to 2007. This slowdown will be stronger for the flats and houses”, Mr. Kourouklides noted. VAT The impressive increase in the purchase and sale of properties in 2007 is related to the expectations for an imposition of 15% VAT on plots. “We have been informed by the government that the imposition of VAT has been postponed until 1/7/2008. They say that they will try to extend it for 1-2 years more”, Mr. Kourouklides said. Mr. Petrides reiterated, however, that the terms of the VAT imposition are still ambiguous. “It has not been clarified yet whether the term ‘building land” will include the new plots or the fields and the existing plots. We believe that the VAT must be imposed on new plots only”, he concluded.
  17. Chickens coming home to roost ? ------ North economy faces dark year ahead By Simon Bahceli ROW UPON row of empty villas – some complete, others partially built – stand testament to the fact that north Cyprus’ once-booming property business is now well and truly over. Meanwhile, closer to the centre of town, numerous hotels, built to house thousands, cater for just a handful of forlorn elderly British tourists and Turkish gamblers – a clear sign that the dream of turning Kyrenia into a tourism hotspot remains nothing but a dream. “Most hoteliers close their doors between October and April because it costs too much to keep them running,” Amber Onar of the small, family-run Onar Village says. “Tourism here is worse now than it has ever been,” she adds. Indeed, a planned mega tourist site planned for 15,000 beds at Vokolida (Bafra) beach near Famagusta remains only a fraction of what was intended, with just one of the nine hotels that were to have been built operating. The other eight investors are yet to lay even the foundations. The situation is perhaps even worse for the construction industry. “The market has been flat for two years now. That’s why I got out of it,” says Hasip Izzet, a building contractor who, by his own admission, did very well out of the boom. “Any estate agent will tell you, the build-to-sell business is dead.” A third sector of the economy, which many hoped would provide stability in the north, is higher education. But with that also in the relative doldrums, it seems there is nothing left to lift the Turkish Cypriot off the floor at present. With around 25,000 foreign students studying at the six universities, it is not hard to appreciate the importance of the sector. As Chamber of Commerce head Hasan Ince says, with student intake down by 50 per cent, a decline means a knock-on effect though other economic sectors. In November, the breakaway state’s ‘prime minister’ Ferdi Sabit Soyer gave official credence to what everyone in the north already suspected by announcing that economic growth for 2007 was expected to be zero per cent. Such statements stand in stark contrast to the abundant optimism of 2004 and 2005. Back then, the authorities in the north boasted double figure growth and a doubling of per capita income from a paltry $5,000 to $10,000 annually. So what has caused the end of the boom? Financial consultant and former ‘economy minister’ Ayse Donmzer says the current decline stems from investors’ and the authorities’ mismanagement of the good times. “The [Greek Cypriot rejection of the] Annan plan led to a boom in construction, and the construction boom led to a boom in related sectors. However, those who made money out of the boom kept reinvesting in more property, and kept very little cash in reserve,” she says. This led to the supply of property outstripping demand. The problem, she says, was compounded by the fact that many property investors were new to the business. “Suddenly everyone was a contractor,” she says. With so many in the business, bad business practices and poor standards led to a further fall in demand as horror stories of people losing vast sums of money to unscrupulous opportunists spread through the local and international media. Bad business, Donmezer says, was also coupled with a failure on the authorities’ part to rein in the informal economy and earn tax from the boom. “This was a real missed opportunity for the government to collect finances for investment in the infrastructure,” she says, adding that it could also have been a golden opportunity to tackle the growing budget deficit – something she believes Turkish Cypriots will be called to foot the bill for during these current bad times. Investment expert Necdet Ergun does not see a good year ahead for the Turkish Cypriot economy either. “There could be further stagnancy or even negative growth. Globally, there is a downturn. “A few years ago there was an appetite for risk, but the looming mortgage crisis in the UK will do little to help,” he says. With Kyrenia, and to a lesser extent Famagusta, full of empty properties, one would expect the north to be full of bargains. However, according to Ergun, constructors are not in the mood to sell off their investments cheaply. “They [building contractors] are waiting. They think the [presidential] elections in the south could bring new life to the industry, if Christofias wins and starts a new peace process of course,” he says. Hope, it seems, springs eternal. Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007
  18. the quick answer: because the political situation takes precedence over every other fact of life here we joined the EU not because we thought it would bring us a better standard of living (although it did, together with rising crime, loss of our traditional values and raging HPI) but because we are a small, vulnerable country which is forever getting f*cked over by bigger powers (Britian, USA, Turkey etc) by the same logic the politicians here believe that the deeper we are integrated into the EU the harder it will be for bigger powers to screw us over (apart from the EU itself of course - and with the recent push for Kosovan indeopendance, maybe we have shot ourselves in the foot by changing one master for another) this extends to monetary policy and any future military union
  19. Land Registry: House prices to drop by up to 20% First Published: 30/11/2007 13:04:48 After the Central Bank’s decision to cut the lending ceiling for the purchase of the first home from 70% to 60%, the house and flat prices dropped sharply in the past four months. “The price cut are estimated at 10% - 20% and affect all seaside towns, especially Paphos”, Land Registry Manager, Andreas Christodoulou and Chairman of Real Estate Agents’ Association, Solomon Kourouklides told StockWatch. According to Mr. Christodoulou, the CB decision affected significantly demand by non-Cypriots, who turned to the Portuguese and Maltese markets, where the limit of their contribution stands at 0% – 10%. “We have good climate and favourable tax conditions in Cyprus but if the CB does not change its measures, the foreigners might turn to the occupied north. So long as Mr. Orphanides said recently that the banks have healthy portfolios, he has to reinstate the old regime and maintain the contribution of 40% for the developers only”, he said. Domestic demand Similarly, Mr. Kourouklides said that according to his Association’s studies, the non-Cypriots’ demand for all seaside towns has dropped to 40%. “Paphos, where prces stood higher, has been affected the most. As for domestic demand, Nicosia has been largely affected due to speculators”, he noted. Mr. Kourouklides could not submit the relevant studies. Chairman of the Land Developers’ Association, Lakis Tofarides, is more pessimistic. “The sales to non-Cypriots dropped by more than 50% in certain cases. Mr. Orphanides had promised that he would be abreast with the developments in the property market on a daily basis and he would make changes if this was deemed necessary. We are certain that this day will come soon”, he stressed. As regards to Central Bank’s increased measures of precautionary supervision, Mr. Orphanides expressed his confidence that they will contribute to the restraining of the huge price hikes on properties and will facilitate the purchase of the first home. According to the latest CB Monetary Review for October 2007, loans grew by 33.3%, which is the highest in the past decades. The personal and professional loans grew by 40.1% to £7.87 billion against £5.61 billion in the corresponding period of 2006. The loans for construction purposes recorded an increase of 40.7% to £2.87 billion. Growth rate slowdown What are the estimates on the property market if the CB measures do not change? According to Mr. Christodoulou, there will be a slowdown of 15% in the purchase of plots, while Mr. Kourouklides agreed, stressing that house prices will drop further in Paphos.
  20. Nice one, John ! Article from today. Interesting as I was just speaking to my cousin's husband who is a manager in the Co-Op bank. he told me that a dusty old villager turned up yesterday from a village in Paphos in a rusty old pickup truck. He had a cheque for ten million Cyprus pounds from a developer who bought his fields ! Will the madness here never end ... ? ========= OPINION: Socio-economic polarization due to rising property prices 29/11/2007 Financial Mirror Dr. Andreas Petrou, Cyprus International Institute of Management The high growth of property prices we have been witnessing in the last few years is predominately due to the uncontrollable increase of land prices, which can be attributed to the fact that the market for land is not functioning properly. The reason for this malfunction is attributed to the supply of land, where decisions to sell are often not based on need, but rather are discretionary and consequently, speculative. In other words, the land owner, (given that he/she often has no reason to sell), will place any price tag on their property. This malfunction of the land market is hard to regulate and, therefore, any attempts to control growth must be considered carefully. For example, the idea to extend building zones may not have the desired effect, as it does not eliminate the discretion to sell the land. Extending the building zones doesn’t necessarily imply that more land will be available for sale. Such a move will certainly make land owners richer faster. Similarly, increasing the floors of apartment buildings, (another idea that has been suggested), may have the same results, as the benefit will be cancelled out by land price increases. Unsuccessful efforts to regulate the market will have a very negative socio-economic implication, which we have only just started to witness. Once upon a time, there was a large middle class in Cyprus. Today we witness a polarization trend, some citizens becoming richer fast and others becoming poorer equally fast. The parameter that drives this polarization is real estate ownership, predominately land ownership, which unfortunately is strongly correlated to whether a citizen is a refugee or not. Extension of this polarization may have far reaching implications. So what is the answer to this problem? To find the answer we must first try to identify the sources of demand for land. Based on anecdotal evidence, the majority of demand is coming from contractors, who try to satisfy the demand for housing, and from speculative investors, who consider land as a safe bet, since they have never experienced a property downturn. The obvious answer to control demand would have been higher interest rates, but this is not to the discretion of the Central bank of Cyprus anymore. Furthermore, Eurozone interest rates are unlikely, based on current trends, to reach levels which can significantly reduce demand. Another possibility would be a reduction of exogenous demand. This could happen in case there is a property crash in the UK or an emerging market crisis such as the Russian crisis in 1998. Again such events are hard to predict and policy makers can not rely on them to regulate a market which is so important for Cyprus. Consequently, other effective approaches need to be considered. An effective remedy could be higher taxation of certain land transactions and allocation of the receipts to a fund that would aim to reduce polarization. One may argue that higher taxation will increase the cost of housing, but this will apply to people who can afford it, who in turn will directly contribute funds to the housing for the less privileged. Another alternative, which could be considered along with demand reduction, would be the de-incentivization to hold certain types of land for the long term. This again must be achieved through taxation and again it is imperative that funds must go to the ‘anti-polarization’ fund.
  21. Brits are crying a bit lately that their pensions are worth less and less due to the falling £ maybe that will be a factor to consider too I have always thought the same. Fred may yet prove to be the true HPC Guru - I never understood why he was not mentioned or discussed more here, instead we get a lot of meaningless rants about immigrants, polish plasterers etc etc when it is clear that the root of the problem is the land market cycle (and of course the debt money system/ fractional reserve banking- but we'll leave that for another day) - everything develops from there. lets not kid ourselves either - if the Fredster is right then we will all time our next property purchases/ BTL's etc to ride the 18-year cycle We should pin this up on the board as you say
  22. have you read that book, by nicholas taleb someone or other ? its bloody awful
  23. hello matey it's no secret i am bearish, but i have been for a few years now and i have got it wrong so far. i thought the market would tank back in 2005, but it has inflated even further since then. lately though i am beginning to see some clear signs of a big slowdown lot and lots of empty newbuilds, construction still going on like crazy and a stagnant resale market where nothing is moving also the central bank here has imposed strict limits on borrowing since the summer due to a lending frenzy by the local banks which pumped up prices so maybe i will yet be vindicated....
  24. sure, that would be a great experience. but being in a happy marriage sort of negates a lot of the good stuff you can do when you are mega-wealthy - threesome and orgies with playboy models, hard drugs, all night parties etc etc. if you have a modicum of conscience, that is. exactly. a coupla mil is more than enough. why would anybody ever need more ? as it stands with our 9-5's and mortgages we are still 1000 % better off than 99% of the people on the plant, most of whom scratch a living in sweatshops or on small farms. with a mil in the bank, i would consider myself the richest person alive, so to speak. aaah spearfishing - i had a very healthy and happy relationship with that sport at one time can't say i was ever much of a dancer though
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