Online auctions have become a popular choice for both buyers and sellers in Cyprus, says BidX1 Cyprus Property Manager Kritonas Onesiforou.
In an interview with StockWatch, he states that “Our previous auction had over 80 bidders, which resulted in us generating nearly €3.5 million from 26 properties sold in one day.”
“In total, since January 2020, during our auctions, applications worth €120 million have been submitted to the platform, which indicates an increased demand for the property we offer and the trust shown by those interested in our activities.
“The population is increasingly looking for a more flexible, affordable and transparent way to buy and sell real estate,” he emphasizes.
Kritonas Onesiforou notes that the pandemic has highlighted the limitations and shortcomings of traditional models of buying and selling real estate. He added that real estate remains an attractive option for investors and online media is vital during the pandemic as outdoor travel has been limited.
According to Mr. Onesiforou, if cash depreciates over time, then, given the negative interest rates on large savings, buying property is a smart investment.
“Real estate values tend to fluctuate in line with inflation and are a better investment than other options in times of high inflation,” he said.
The head of BIDX1 claims that residential real estate is still the most popular investment.Demand has been strong over the past year for both houses and apartments, especially after the government’s interest rate subsidy scheme, under which interested parties can take advantage of a 1.5% loan interest rate for 4 years.
There was also a particular interest in commercial real estate and agricultural land. In terms of bidders, Kritonas Onesiforou notes that over 95% of bidders on the platform are Cypriots or have their headquarters here on the island, proving that Cypriots now want a more transparent, efficient and affordable method of buying property.
This month, more than 50 commercial and residential properties have been placed on the BIDX1 platform. In 202, 7 auctions were held.
How satisfied are you with the results of the online auction?
We are pleased that this is becoming a popular option for both buyers and sellers in Cyprus. In our last auction alone, we had over 80 bidders, 26 properties sold in a day, bringing in almost 3.5 million euros.
Since January 2020, we have seen over €120 million worth of bids placed on the platform during our auctions in Cyprus, which is a clear indicator of the demand for the assets we offer on the platform and people’s trust in our company. The public is increasingly looking for a more flexible, affordable and transparent way to buy and sell property; our model offers such benefits, which is why its popularity is growing.
What types of assets are the most popular at the moment?
Residential real estate is still the most popular investment option. Demand for houses and apartments has been very strong, especially since the government’s decision to launch a housing support scheme which means interested parties can take advantage of a 1.5% mortgage rate.
Rent increases have also played a role in boosting demand for these assets – people are looking to buy their own home or apartment rather than pay high rents to a landlord, especially with the historically low cost of borrowing that we are currently seeing.
It is clear that the dynamics of supply and demand for residential properties in the medium price range (from about 100,000 to 200,000 euros) and for residential plots under 250,000 euros in the main urban centers will remain favorable.
What interest do you see in commercial real estate?
Recently, we have seen an increased demand for retail real estate and farmland – residential real estate is not the only innovation in the city.
The most popular agricultural land is those fields accessed by a registered road, as well as access to basic services such as electricity/water. Obviously, more remote locations attract fewer bidders.
Are the interested parties Cypriots or foreign investors?
Over 95% of those who have bid on Cypriot property on the platform over the past two years have lived here in Cyprus. The majority of our bidders are Cypriots, indicating that people have welcomed a more transparent, efficient and affordable method of buying property.
When we launched here in 2019, BidX1 was already a brand abroad, it was a pioneer of online auctions in various markets, but was relatively unknown in Cyprus.
Despite this, it was clear from the outset that the Cypriots took this model well. Our first two auctions were proof of that. More than 500 participants registered in them to participate in the auction, more than 100 real estate objects were sold in two days.
How much property does BidX1 currently have available for sale?
This month, over 50 commercial and residential properties in Cyprus are available on our platform.
What are the post-quarantine property sales trends?
We were delighted that our digital approach to real estate sales allowed us to continue trading during the lockdown; real estate remained an attractive option for investors, and online channels were critical during this period as traffic was limited. Since the lockdown, houses, apartments and residential lots have been the most sought-after asset types on our platform, a trend that looks set to continue.
What are the prospects for the real estate market after the pandemic?
Cash loses its value over time, and with negative interest rates on savings, investing in real estate is a smart choice. Real estate values tend to fluctuate in line with inflation over time and may offer a safer investment than other options during times of high inflation.
On a broader level, the pandemic has also exposed the limitations and inefficiencies of traditional real estate models. “I believe that online sales will become more widespread due to the obvious benefits for both buyers and sellers,” says Kritonas Onesiforou.
There is also a desire for greater transparency. At BidX1, our technology is key to this transparency; we reduce the risk of sales failure by providing buyers with all the information they need in advance, including all legal documentation, which can be viewed directly on our platform.
Potential buyers can do due diligence before bidding, as well as see all bidding in real time on the day of the auction, as well as the final sale price.