Michalis Hatzipanagiotou, CEO of Cybarco and President of the Pan-Cyprus Association of Real Estate and Construction Entrepreneurs, is optimistic about the development of the property sector in Cyprus as demand from the domestic market gradually returns. In particular, real estate sales are forecast to increase in 2022 compared to the previous year.
In an interview with «In Business 2022 Forecasting Towards Sustainable Growth», Mr. Hatzipanagiotu outlines his assessment of how the Cypriot economy will develop in 2022, especially in terms of land development.
As for the cancellation of the KEP that has stigmatized the sector, Cybarco’s CEO stresses the need for a new alternative program that will attract serious and reliable investors. In particular, it states that both the public and private sectors should work together to create better conditions for investment and headquarters.
In addition, Mr. Hatzipanagiotu mentions new Cybarco projects that can be seen in 2022. Among other things, the first phase of the Trilogy will be completed this year, which includes two parade towers and a public square.
Below is the full interview of Michalis Hatzipanagiot:
How do you think the Cyprus economy and property market will develop in 2022?
The worst is yet to come in terms of the chain effect of the pandemic on the Cypriot economy. It is a fact that there is demand from the domestic market and demand from overseas buyers is gradually returning. Fortunately, the Cypriots, when faced with difficulties, they are quite compromising and flexible.
But the reality is that what Cyprus has experienced over the past two years is unprecedented and it is therefore clear that local companies need support and incentives to fully recover.
Real estate sector
What are your projections for the sector you work in in 2022? How do you assess how it will move in a positive, negative direction or how in 2021?
In the area of real estate, projects that are in an advanced stage of construction should expect increased interest from foreign markets as the number of arriving flights increases and an atmosphere of optimism rises as they near completion.
However, companies in our industry will inevitably have to adapt their new projects and strategy, focusing mainly on local buyers for a first home purchase and foreign buyers for a second home purchase in Cyprus, even in the absence of an investment program.
Real estate sales are expected to increase in 2022 compared to last year.
Investment program and real estate buyers
What are the most important trends and developments that we should expect in 2022 in relation to your industry?
The sudden termination of the investment program has left a huge gap in our industry to attract high net worth buyers. We urgently need an alternative program with which we can attract serious and reliable investors.
Cyprus is a very competitive destination, but the right steps need to be taken now to check and repair the damage we have suffered. Our image has suffered greatly. Both the public and private sectors must work together to create a better environment for investment and headquarters. We need more compelling products, incentives that give us a competitive edge, and processes that make both investors and businesses feel secure and valued.
Tax incentives are also needed to boost interest. We need to provide more opportunities for local buyers and a range of incentives to keep the market moving. A good example that seems to have worked is subsidizing interest rates on first and permanent residences of local buyers for a specified period of time. Mixed use projects such as marinas, golf resorts and casinos have made us famous on the map with important destinations. We were very lucky that such projects had already been completed or were at a very advanced stage when the investment program ended and when the pandemic knocked us out of plans. We must ensure that these projects provide the expected level of service and management once implemented, and that all participants and companies work together to promote sustainable development.
There is no room for complacency and laziness if we want to retain the high-net-worth buyers who have overcome so many challenges and attract new ones.
New Cybarco projects
What can we expect from your company in 2022? What are your goals?
We are preparing to enter the Nicosia market with luxury apartments in Plati Aglantzias after almost a decade of absence, which is especially important for us.
Limassol Greens, the first fully built residential golf resort in the city, has recently added to our portfolio. The sale of plots in Limassol Greens has been completed in a short period of time, while apartment sales are going very well and we will start promoting and selling villas soon.
We are also working feverishly to complete the first phase of the Trilogy, which includes two luxurious towers and a public square, by the end of 2022.
In addition, we have finished villas in our Akamas Bay Villas project in Latchi, finished apartments in our Aktea Residences 2 project in Limassol, in parallel we are preparing for Aktea Residences 3.
Finally, Limassol Marine has been completed and there are very few finished apartments and villas left.