Biz Today: MENA Investors Flock to EU’s Hottest Property Market
DUBAI: Cyprus’ largest development group, Leptos Estates has recorded an increase in the number of buyers from across the Middle East of over 15% across 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.
Cyprus is proving to be the hottest international property destination in the EU, particularly for Britons, as the demand for properties on the Mediterranean island grows. With guaranteed year- round sunshine and surrounded by natural beauty, Cyprus offers the perfect opportunity to purchase a holiday or second home. Whether looking for an apartment, villa or house, or a parcel of land to design your very own property, Paphos and Limassol are proving to be the most popular destinations for Britons.
According to figures from the Cyprus Land Registry, at the end of June 2023 the number of property sales completed across the island reached 7,689 compared to 6,263 for the same period in 2022, which is a sign of the country’s growing popularity as an investment and holiday home destination.
The Cyprus Land Registry also reported that 46.5% of total property sales were made by foreign buyers including those from the Middle East, resulting in a 36.1% year-on-year increase. Limassol and Paphos were the two most popular areas to purchase property, with 36% and 35% respectively of sales attributed to foreign buyers.
In Limassol specifically, sales of high-end properties (valued over €1 million) increased in volume by 5.5% year-on-year, with a total of 948 transactions. In Paphos it grew by 14.5% year-on-year by value, reaching a record total of €178.2 million, which resulted in a 36.4% year-on-year increase in transactions (311 in total in 2023 to date).
Currently the most properties with MENA buyers are luxury apartments or self-contained villas on private gated resorts, such as Coral Seas Villas where prices are up to €3,060 million for a five-bedroom villa or Limassol Blu Marine where high-end sea-facing apartments are available up to €11,655 million for a 6-bedroom penthouse.
Purchasing a property in Cyprus through Leptos Estates currently offers the opportunity of benefitting from an attractive capital increase, whilst also provide a high rental income for investors and those looking to rent out their holiday homes when not in use.
It can also be up to 8 to 10% cheaper to buy off-plan through Leptos Estates than when the property is completed due to the length of time it takes from purchasing the land to the property being completed and the potential increase in material and construction costs. Purchasers then have the chance to shape the internal layout of the property from the start making important decisions of how it will look along the way.
Pantelis Leptos, Co-President of Leptos Group of Companies, said, “Cyprus continues to be a popular choice for purchasers particularly from the Middle East looking for a strong investment opportunity. The high level of transactions at a time when property purchases and investments are down across Europe highlight the strength and attractiveness of the Cyprus real estate market.
“Whether purchasers are looking for a second home or buying as an investment property, Cyprus offers the ideal destination to experience luxury living in a tranquil setting surrounded by natural beauty and as the country’s largest developers we have the best and most diverse offering to those wishing to move here.”
The new Permanent Residence Programme in Cyprus permits foreigners to acquire an Immigration Permit through property investment, starting from €300,000. This allows individuals to enjoy unlimited access to the country and across the EU. Cyprus and Greece are becoming extremely popular with those wanting to buy luxury property or looking for investment opportunities. Leptos Estates is the number one developer in Cyprus and have a specialist support team to assist international investors to secure the right property.
The Greece Golden Visa offers lifelong permanent residency to the applicant, which also extends to their spouse and children up to the age of 21, as well as the parents of both the main applicant and spouse. Once issued, the Visa allows restriction-free travel in the EU Schengen Zone and if the applicants spend over 180 days per year in Greece they qualify for an EU passport after 7 years.
The Greek Government has raised the entry investment level in some areas of Greece to €500,000. In Paros & in Crete (where Leptos Estates has 3 projects and new ones to be launched soon) it remains at an attractive entry price of €250,000. Leptos Estates credits the recent price to increase in enquiries from investors and those seeking a luxury property and also from the increase in demand since the Portugal Golden Visa programme (via real estate investment) closed down.