CHINESE property buyers are now experiencing some of the scams previously inflicted on British citizens buying property in Cyprus, which led to British buyers turning their backs on the island.
Writing in today’s Cyprus Mail, Antonis Loizou reports that some Chinese have appeared with placards at property exhibitions in China objecting to Cyprus.
He cautions that “one must be careful with the Chinese visa agents who also operate as estate agents, supported regrettably by various local advocates. The average commission required by these agents is 20% on the sales price, a large amount, but it seems that so far they are getting away with it. Such high commissions are not illegal, but are they honest?”
Mr Loizou reports that it’s been estimated that 500 units with a value of €1.5 billion have been sold to Chinese property investors – and that two hotels are being developed in Larnaca by a joint venture with Chinese investors and a five-star hotel in Sotira is being built with Chinese involvement.
He recalls that a Chinese buyer bought an apartment in Larnaca for €300,000, including the ‘ordinary’ 5% commission, while a neighbour purchased a similar apartment for €230,000; he understands that the case will lead to court.
Mr Loizou recounted the sales procedure experienced by a Chinese couple who were approached by a visa agent at a property exhibition offering inspection trips to a number of countries, including Cyprus (which bears many similarities to an article I wrote 8 years ago “Gullibles travels in Cyprus: The overseas property exhibition” cautioning potential British buyers.)
During their three day inspection visit to Cyprus, their schedule was so packed they were given no opportunity to look around the wider area.
On the third day they were taken to a lawyer’s office by the developer and signed the contract and listened to their lawyer’s positive comments on their purchase.
While staying in the apartment they purchased 3 months later, they were told by neighbours/locals about the lack of Title Deeds, the 20% commission, etc.
Given their experience, it isn’t surprising to hear that placard waving Chinese have appeared at property exhibitions in China objecting to Cyprus. Maybe they’ll establish a Chinese branch of the Cyprus Property Action Group!