SPEAKING at the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Real Estate Agents Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said that the problems facing the real estate industry are of paramount importance.
In his address, the Minister said that his ministry and the government were focussing on radical solutions to the problems facing the sector.
He hoped the ills of the past could be solved through a legal framework for the authorisation of development projects and the issuance of Title Deeds – and referred to changes that had already been made to reduce the time taken to process applications.
He said that “the ultimate goal is to protect and enshrine the rights property buyers, and help restore the good name of Cyprus to attract foreign investment.”
More empty promises?
Over the years successive governments have ‘promised’ to clean up the property industry, but to date, these promises have proved to be little more than hot air.
In October 2005, the Cyprus Government said it was going to plug loopholes in the law, introduce fines, and provide property buyers what it called ‘an arsenal of weapons against unscrupulous property developers’.
In September 2007, the Government said it was going to look at providing greater security to homebuyers by enabling their Contracts of Sale to take precedence over the developers’ mortgages.
In June 2008, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis assured property buyers that newly proposed legislation to resolve problems in the property sector could be implemented by the end of the year.
In January 2009, the Interior Ministry gave its assurances to the British High Commissioner that it intended to introduce a Bill to address the Title Deed issue.
In April 2009, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis qualified his earlier assurances to the British High Commissioner by saying that the Bill will only apply to future cases.
Whether Mr Hasikos will be remembered as a hero – a politician who keeps his word – or just another hot-air blowing Cypriot minister, only time will tell.