Accounting for property price variations
Perhaps the single key factor in accounting for the wide variation in property prices is location. The closer to the sea and the 'better' the view of it, the higher prices become. And as available building land between the mountains and the sea is becoming increasingly scarce, property prices in these areas will continue to rise in line with demand.
Cypriots do not like travelling too far to work, so prices in the residential areas of Limassol and Nicosia (the capital city) are also quite firm.
But as well as location, home prices and values are governed by such things as:
- The construction method and techniques employed.
- The quality of the fixtures, fittings and finishes.
- The value of extras, such as a swimming pool.
Timber and steel-frame properties can be erected in a matter of weeks and the whole construction process can be completed in three or four months. This is reflected in their lower prices and resale values. Also, as Cypriots are very wary of buying timber and steel framed houses, this helps to keep their prices low.
(A number of 'entrepreneurs' established property development companies specializing in the construction of steel and timber frame homes. Some have gone bust and the build quality of some of those remaining is dubious).
Assuming that properties are built using reinforced concrete and brick method, they can be constructed using:
Most properties in Cyprus are built using (1) above is they are much quicker, and therefore cheaper, to build. However, there are some issues:
- As the whole weight of the property is taken on the float, it can deform and crack if it has not been properly constructed or if the ground has not been properly prepared and compacted.
- Heavy rain can wash away the soil foundations, causing
the concrete float to deform, crack and eventually fail.
(You can see some actual examples of both these problems in the 'Luxury Property' section).
- Properties may move over the ground surface causing the electricity and water services and the underground drains to fracture.
- The joint between the concrete columns and the float may fail due to horizontal stresses experienced during an earthquake.
The type of roof will also vary the price you pay for your property. Houses may be built with:
For obvious reasons, properties with a wooden roof built over a concrete ceiling are more expensive to build and have a higher resale value.
Regardless of the construction method employed, the quality of the fixtures and fittings will impact the price you're likely to pay for the property and the amount you will get when you sell it:
- Basic Quality - single glazed windows and patio doors, cheap ceramic tiles or terrazzo flooring at around € 10/sq.m., laminated work and counter tops, cheap locally made or imported Asian mechanicals, white panel MDF doors, chipboard and MDF carpentry, unbranded sanitary ware usually from a third-world country, basic plastic pipe plumbing, external 'spritz' finish.
- Average Quality - single glazed windows and patio doors, fly screens, better ceramic flooring at around € 20/sq.m, basic granite work and counter tops, Spanish or Greek mechanicals, stained panel doors and pine carpentry, British sanitary ware, provision for air conditioning and central heating system, basic plastic pipe plumbing, external painted or spritz finish.
- Good Quality - double glazed windows and patio doors, window shutters and fly screens, marble or good quality ceramic flooring at around € 35 to € 45/sq.m, better quality granite work and counter tops, Italian mechanicals, local cherry carpentry, Italian sanitary ware, installed split-unit air conditioning and central heating to radiators, pipe-in-pipe plumbing, external graffiato finish.
- Top Quality - tinted double glazed windows and patio doors, window shutters and fly screens, granite or parquet flooring priced between € 85 and € 110/sq.m, top quality granite work and counter tops, quality German and Australian mechanicals, imported Italian carpentry and designer labelled Italian sanitary ware, installed split-unit air conditioning and radiant floor central heating, pipe-in-pipe plumbing, external graffiato finish.
- Luxury Quality - sunken Jacuzzi baths, saunas, central air conditioning and vacuum cleaning systems, indoor swimming pools, whole house entertainment systems, and other luxury items will increase the value of a home.
An average swimming pool with the necessary filtration and pumping equipment adds a further € 5,000 to € 8,500 to the value of a property.