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News: Euro factor sends Cyprus soaring

Mon, 15 Oct 07

It will not surprise those who know the overseas property industry that Cypriot property is enjoying considerable overseas investment, not least from Britain...

After all, the small east Mediterranean island offers sunshine, beaches, mountains, culture, airports and tourist facilities, while attracting the ex-pats with its right-hand drive roads and commonwealth links to Britain.

All these are certainly important factors, stated Simon Cozzolino, a spokesman for Cypriot property firm Pafilia. He listed 340 days of sunshine and a climate of hot summers and mild winters as just one of the attractions, adding that there was plenty more in the way of natural attractions.

"There are a number of indigenous species in Cyprus so wildlife is an attraction. The extent of mountainous, natural beauty is incredible," he said, adding that this beauty included areas such as a national park north of Paphos where no building was allowed.

"Areas of natural beauty they do keep and they'll never change their laws on that," he added.

Timeless attractions

Thus one may expect that the timeless attractions of an historic island will be kept well protected, ensuring that, however crowded some areas of high population get and however numerous investor-owned buy-to-let property becomes, those choosing to live or take holidays on the island will not see the goose that laid the golden egg cooked. Just as Britain has sought to keep its finest rural areas safe through national park status, Cyprus will do likewise.

But if some things will not change, it is the areas where rapid growth and progress are taking place that provide the excitement in the property sector. One such development is the increasing ease of air travel, with more airports and low-cost flights.

Mr Cozzolino is sure this has had an effect, stating that: "Over the last two years we've seen the amount of investors rise to make up about 60 per cent of the market because Paphos airport is doubling in size." He added that Alphajet were poised to add a service and easyjet were likely to follow suit, so flights will get "cheaper and cheaper".

Easier.com reported in January this year that there was a very definite symbiosis between the availability of cheap flights and the property boom. The report noted that 2008 was going to bring "the promise of more good things to come", with the arrival of a service run by Monarch Airlines listed as one favourable factor. The other, it said, was the adoption of the Euro as the national currency on January 1st.

Membership of the EU ‘vital’

The importance of the Euro is a matter for debate. Last month, Simon Tweddle of Property Secrets argues that Euro membership was of far less importance than being a member of the European Union in the first place. This is a status Cyprus has held since 2004 and the country enjoyed a "rapid rise" in property values in the lead-up to its accession, Easier reported.

However, Mr Cozzolino thought differently. While Cyprus had a "brilliant" market now, he said: "Things are going to be skyrocketing next year because of the Euro factor".

Yet investors will not gain or lose out simply according to which of the two property analysts is right. If Mr Cozzolino is correct, there are exciting times ahead. If Mr Tweddle is, then the conditions for the boom have existed since 2004. Either way, Cyprus is a growing market and as more and more airlines set their sights on the island's runways, the future could be an extremely bright one.

 

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