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Cyprus (Larnaca) feature in British Airways magazine

THE December 2008 issue of the British Airways magazine ‘Business Life’ featured an article about property in Cyprus. Written by Alexander Garrett, ‘Larnaca at large’ told how the town is pressing its case to be considered by anyone planning a home in the Eastern Mediterranean. Readers of this Magazine will know that plans to encourage […]

THE December 2008 issue of the British Airways magazine ‘Business Life’ featured an article about property in Cyprus. Written by Alexander Garrett, ‘Larnaca at large’ told how the town is pressing its case to be considered by anyone planning a home in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Readers of this Magazine will know that plans to encourage overseas property investors to the Larnaca area include a new marina and a golf course (both of which are currently stalled due to government deliberations and objections by failed contract bidders). But on more positive note it seems that Larnaca is to get a facelift, which is expected to be completed by the summer.

The ‘Business Life’ article contains quotes from Peter Christofi, the marketing manager of Antonis Loizou & Associates – Matt Notere, one of Morpheus’ property consultants (see Dodgy Cyprus property deals made Hatton millions by Sue Ried) – and myself, Nigel Howarth.

In concluding his two page article, which you can download by clicking here, Alexander warns:

But buying in Cyprus must come with a number of health warnings. For a start, don’t believe all the promises about rental income made by developers. The market is over-supplied, and only the very best properties rent well. The vast majority of properties are purchased from developers off-plan, and one of the biggest issues is that purchasers may wait years to receive any title deeds.

Nigel Howarth, a resident who has championed the rights of British buyers through his website cyprus-property-buyers.com, says: “If you want to sell your property and you don’t have the deeds, you have to get approval from the developer, and they can charge you whatever they like.” Issuing of deeds is often stalled by the developer having failed to adhere to original plans or to obtain building permits. Worse, lack of title deeds means that owners can be unaware that their apartment is being used as security for the developer’s bank loan.

Howarth’s advice to buyers is that they should never use a lawyer introduced to them by developers or marketers. “The British High Commission has a list of independent lawyers who will offer advice,” he points out. Building standards in Cyprus can also be extremely variable, so you are advised to carry out extensive research on properties already built by the developer.

One option to mitigate risk is to buy older resale property that does have full title, but you’ll need to be persistent, as commission for agents is much lower.

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