SINCE the start of the year, Cyprus Property News has received more than 640,000 readers and as we approach Christmas we are publishing a list of the top ten stories that have attracted the most interest from our readers during the year.
Perhaps not surprisingly many of the top 10 are related to problems in the market due to tumbling house prices, the economic situation and efforts to resolve issues blighting the property sector.
In the number 1 spot this year came the news that the Alpha Bank had started legal proceedings against a number of developers and their clients involving the non-payment of Swiss Franc mortgages.
Research by Investors Chronicle showed that British owners of second homes overseas faced ruinous losses on their investments after plunging prices in foreign markets had wiped as much as £24bn from the value of their homes abroad.
An analysis of the unique nature of Cyprus’ collapsing housing bubble and how the Title Deed nightmare was unravelling the finances of home buyers, developers, banks, and the government.
News that a leading UK law firm in the City of London was working in association with a Cyprus law firm in Limassol to look into and give advice on claims of mis-selling in the Island’s property market.
The Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) re-launched its website with information and advice on how to address the risks and deal with the nefarious business practices that plague the Island’s property industry.
Buyers advised to take out home loans in Swiss francs to buy property in Cyprus were struggling to repay and faced repossession and ruin as exchange rate movements sent their mortgage repayments soaring.
Details emerged of the proposed amendments to Cyprus’ property laws confirmed that developers would not be held to account for their actions and that it would be left to those who have bought property to pay for their misdemeanours.
In a measure designed to stimulate growth in the Island’s property sector, Cypriot MPs unanimously agreed to abolish or reduce Property Transfer Fees for a period of six months. After much delay, the changes were implemented one month later.
Perhaps the strangest story of the year was that the International Club Philanthropists and Patrons of Europe had unveiled plans to build an international convention centre on Cyprus’ southern coast incorporating a record-breaking 135 metre high statue of an angel.
Hundreds of people were targeted by organisations offering to submit applications to the authorities on their behalf for the issuance of their deeds at a cost that ranged between €1,000 and €4,000 plus VAT.