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Cheapest Property in Europe? Maybe Not

WHILE apartments in Nicosia may be cheaper than those in capitals of other EU countries, it does not follow that Cyprus is the cheapest in the EU for properties and real estate, according to chartered surveyor and property appraiser Antonis Loizou.

Speaking on Tuesday before the House Commerce Committee, head of the Land Registry Department Andreas Christodoulou said that when it comes to properties, apartments, houses, and land, Cyprus is the cheapest country in the European Union.

Christodoulou said that the low prices have prompted a great demand on part of Europeans to buy property and real estate in Cyprus – especially in coastal areas like Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos – which in turn will lead to higher prices.A recent Land Registry Department study estimated that the value of land, apartments and detached homes would increase by seven and 12 per cent depending on the area.

But according to Loizou, though it is not unreasonable to say that properties and land are cheaper in Cyprus than in Western Europe, there are many factors that must be taken into account, such as the per capita income and the population size.

“If you go to Amsterdam or Paris, then of course Cyprus will seem cheaper. It would be a joke to go to central Paris and compare it with Kennedy Avenue,” Loizou told the Cyprus Mail.

“You have to go somewhere where the population is the same as in Nicosia,” he said, adding that even Poland would seem more expensive than Cyprus if Warsaw were compared to Nicosia.

Loizou said that a fair comparison would be to find a town in the UK with a population of around 200,000 people, which would be equivalent to the population of Nicosia.

“And then you have to compare the per capita income. In the UK it is about $30,000 per head, while in Cyprus it is about $14,000.

”But for Western Europeans accustomed to high per capita incomes, Cyprus properties may seem an excellent value for their money. With the inevitable increase in property, it is Cypriots who will be left in the lurch.”

Chairman of the Commerce Committee, DISY’s Lefteris Christoforou noted at Tuesday’s meeting that even now, before any further increases, Cypriots were already having trouble purchasing homes.

“Unfortunately, it is obvious the increase in prices is a problem that makes it difficult for working and middle class Cypriot families to obtain their own homes, something that was taken for granted in previous years,” Christoforou said.

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