Cypriots squeezed out of Limassol property market

Limassol

Natives of the coastal city of Limassol are being priced out of the property market in their hometown by wealthy foreigners, Agence-France Presse (AFP) notes in a reportage.

In 2022 there was a 30% increase in real estate sales transactions (contracts deposited at the Land Registry) with Limassol achieving the greatest number of sales, followed by Paphos, Larnaca, Nicosia and Famagusta. Of the 13,409 real estate sales transactions in 2022 (the highest number since 2008) 5,928, 44%, concern foreign buyers, according to official figures from the Department of Lands & Surveys.

Property prices have skyrocketed, driven by Israeli investment, and fintech Russian and Ukrainian firms that are moving to Cyprus to flee the war, the AFP reported. In some cases, multiple hundreds or even thousands of high-income tech workers followed their companies to Cyprus attracted by the sea and favorable tax environment.

“Nothing is accessible for Cypriots anymore. The owners know this, and they are only looking for foreigners,” Eleni Constantinidou, who is in her 30s, told the French news agency.

Rent in Limassol has surged by 23% in a single year, according to Ask WiRe, a Cypriot real estate market analytics startup.

Echoing the same sentiment, veteran real estate stakeholder Panos Danos FRICS, CEO of DANOS International Property Consultants & Valuers, argued that many Cypriots are being marginalised, as renting a flat or a house has become a nightmare, especially in Limassol and the capital Nicosia.

“Renting in Limassol is nearly impossible for Cypriots, as they have been outpriced,” he told the Financial Mirror.

The only solution, according to Limassol Mayor Nicolaides, is to build social housing. “We don’t want Limassol to become a city where only white-collar workers can live,” he told AFP. “For Cypriots, it’s heartbreaking to think that they can’t live where they were born.”

Adding to woes, construction costs and interest rates make homes unaffordable. Renting a one-bedroom flat in Limassol costs a minimum of €800 a month, while a two-bedroom flat would set back the family budget by at least €1,300, according to Danos’ data. The minimum monthly wage in Cyprus is set at €940.

With reporting by AFP, Financial Mirror