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Cypriot construction activity declining - a problem for buyers?

When a country finds itself in financial difficulty, construction is one of the first industries to slow down - if not all but halt. It should be unsurprising then that the Cypriot property market is witnessing declining house building. However, the drop off in construction does have ramifications for buyers.

According to figures from the Cyprus Statistical Service , July saw a drop off in the number of building permits authorised by municipal authorities and district administration offices. Year-on-year, there was a 15 per cent fall in July, with just 519 permits issued, compared to 613 the year prior. The size of land purchased for construction also declined, with just 81,682 square metres approved for permit. This is down from the 142,702 square metres recorded in the previous July. In terms of value, this equates to a decline of 38 per cent from €147.947 million (£126,758 million) to €91.098 million.

Of the permits authorised during the month, 350 were for residential buildings. This comprises 321 new homes - 162 single houses and 169 multiple housing units. This is a 39 per cent drop on July 2012 levels, when building permits were issued for the construction of 569 new homes. In fact, the first seven months of the year have seen residential construction permits fall by 25 per cent.

So what does this all mean for buyers? While limiting housing stock is integral following a market crash to prevent saturation and enable demand to naturally inflate prices again, it can mean that the sort of properties sought by investors find themselves in short supply. This means modern homes in popular tourist spots could demand a premium.

Seasoned investors would probably expect nothing less, but in the current Cypriot lending market, it means that people looking to buy top real estate will need to come cash rich. A healthy deposit is essential when investing in countries like Cyprus, Spain and Portugal at the moment. However, with this in place, there are plenty of bargains that can be taken advantage of.
Article by +James Roberts on behalf of