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Kritonas Onisiforou, BIDX1: Three conditions for real estate recovery

03/07/2020 10:04

The head of BidX1 Cyprus, Kritonas Onisiforou estimates that the demand for real estate will return to the levels it was before the pandemic crisis. He argues that the limited supply of residential real estate in cities in combination with the return of buyers in the near future will strengthen the course of real estate.

In an interview with StockWatch, Mr. Onisiforou noted the need for banks to keep funding conditions for real estate to recover.

According to Mr. Onisiforou, there are 3 factors that I think will play a role for the recovery. The first relates to financing. 

“The vast majority of local buyers require significant financing to fund property purchases. If loan conditions/requirements for potential buyers remain unchanged, it will aid the recovery.

Secondly, we need to consider the role of overseas investors. Foreigners accounted for almost 45% of property sales in Cyprus in the last 3 years. Such buyers played a significant role in the market’s recovery following the banking crisis – and their continued investment will be an important factor in the recovery of the sector following this crisis.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the speed and extent of the recovery depends on the actions of an invisible enemy – Covid-19. The possibility of a second wave, and the time that it may take to develop a vaccine, means that the full impact of Coronavirus on financial markets, real estate and, of course, on public health, remains to be seen”, he adds.

He states that thhe residential sector remains strong despite the uncertainty of the past few months. In particular, demand is very strong for residential apartments, and houses under €300.000, as well as plots under €200.000. Supply of such properties within or close to the main cities continues to be low and we are not seeing any material effect on demand.

“We may see increasing demand for larger units, however, if the home-working trend continues – additional space for a home office could become a key criterion for buyers”, he adds.

He states that Covid-19 has highlighted the inefficiencies in traditional methods of sale and offered an opportunity to modernise – a transition that is crucial for the future of the real estate industry.