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Real estate market to get a boost

26/06/2015 07:22
New regulations promoted by the government for the real estate sector are expected to boost the market and increase the confidence of foreign investors, market players believe.

Minister of Internal Affairs Socrates Hasikos said the government will proceed to a reduction of transfer fees by 50%. At the same time, a bill is submitted to free up owners who hold no property title from developers. Mr. Hasikos said yesterday that a new plan for urban amnesty for minor irregularities in buildings is in the making.

The government’s moves are an attempt to reinvigorate the property market, which has been in deep recession since 2008, with a significant reduction in real estate prices and transactions.

The President of the Association of Real Estate Agents and chairman of the board of registration of real estate agents Marinos Kinegidis said that "we welcome the initiative of the interior minister Socrates Hasikos to issue title deeds for the "enclaved" owners and his initiative to reduce transfer fees by 50%”.

Regarding the issue of title deeds, Mr. Kinegides said that it will help the real estate market because the market today is based mainly on foreigners who only seek properties with title deeds.

It will also help homeowners who by ensuring titles will be able to apply for a loan.

Former Chairman of the Association of Developers and Builders Lakis Tofarides says anything done for the sector is positive and welcomed, noting that procedures must be accelerated.

Market players' estimates regarding the impact of the measures differ.

In his comments to Stockwatch, partner at Resolute Asset Management in Cyprus and Greece, Pavlos Loizou notes that no significant effect is expected from promoting these new arrangements.

"We had amnesty for years now and it has not affected prices. The only thing that will help is the issuance of title deeds" he notes.

Property sales have fallen to levels of 4-5 thousand per year from 13 thousand in 2000 and 21 thousand in 2008.

According to the latest figures from the ECB and CB, property prices have fallen by 30.5% since 2008 while since 2002, when the first available data begin, an increase of 66.6% is registered.