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Nicosians buy up British holiday homes

Former British holiday homes in Protaras are being bought up by Nicosia residents on steady incomes and who are able to obtain mortgages.

Estate agent George Mouskides has confirmed that there is a growing trend amongst British home owners in Protaras to sell their properties due to the economic crisis at home.

Speaking to the Cyprus Weekly last week, Mr Mouskides said “The trend began about a year ago with Britons not buying property in the area. The second step was to sell off what they owned, because of the financial problems they face due to the economic crisis in the UK.

A number of British home owners in the popular coastal resort of Protaras face difficulties with paying their mortgages and after feeling the pressure, are selling off, he added.

This has created movement in the property market there over the past few months, with Nicosia residents, mainly civil servants on steady incomes and able to obtain mortgages, buying up these holiday homes, Mouskides said.

The British often buy property off plan and as a result Nicosia buyers are getting new properties for which they would have paid much more, had they bought them straight from a developer,” he said.

There are also a number of British investors who own at least 10 properties in Cyprus and 85 in the UK, who are now deciding to sell two or three on the island.

Property prices in Protaras are down 25%-35% on average compared to last year, while this year’s month-on-month sales transactions are a quarter of last year’s.

Properties in Protaras are also sold through property auctions which take place about every two months, giving buyers more possibilities to avoid bargaining negotiations with quick and transparent procedures.

An auction is a quicker procedure to buy or sell a property without it necessarily meaning that you buy at a lower price. The advantage of an auction is that it is a quick procedure, completed within about 30 days, and without having to go through lengthy bargaining discussions,” Mouskides said.

He is optimistic that the property market in the coastal resort will sustain its mobility until the summer, with a large number of Nicosia residents buying properties there by then.

The market will continue its activity but at reduced prices and by the summer a large number of British-owned properties will be sold to Nicosia buyers, as banks are now offering better loan schemes and prefer to lend money to locals rather than foreigners. This trend will continue until resale properties run out. We will then be talking about brand new properties and different prices,” Mouskides said.

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