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British Sportsmen Heading up the Property Scene in Cyprus

Sep 8, 2008
John Virgo, the 1970s snooker player and TV presenter will be opening an auction in the north Cyprian town of Famagusta run by Harrison property auctioneers. Due to their choice of guest it seems that the organizers believe that the Famagusta market will be pulling in a significant amount of Britons who are looking to get in on the swiftly growing property market.

Famagusta actually lies just above the divide - created in 1974 - between the Greek-speaking south and the Turkish north. The Turkish possession of the northern part of the island is shunned by the EU however, peace talks are set for the 3rd of September and reunification between the two areas is on the horizon, thus adding to the already growing economy, tourist seen and property market.

There has previously been confusion about investments in the north as there was some ambiguity about certain land ownership since many Greek Cypriots were evacuated during the invasion. However the problem seems to be sorting and the property market in the north has recently been booming. Many of the investor's doubts seemed to have been quelled with developments springing up, alongside plans for new shopping centers, marinas, golf courses etc. 'Homes Overseas' reported earlier this month that Famagusta could become a property hotspot should current reunification talks succeed.

This positive view of the north's prospects is generally help by most people with an understanding of the Cyprus market. Ben Kent of Merseyside estate agency Venmore, has said that he feels particularly excited about the north's prospects, and that Famagusta has become important since the European Union has got major reconstruction plans on the cards.

He stated: "The EU wants the rebuilt city to be a real model for the future, and that could present some real opportunities for investors."

Dominic Farrell - the author of the Jet-to-let Bible - is developing a resort containing 70 apartments in the south. He has seem the great ascent in property value and is aware that many of his customers are investors rather than seekers of holiday homes.

However back to Famagusta; the area, which netted 95% of Cyprus's tourism before the 1974 Turkish invasion, should see immediate price rises of 10% upon reunification, says property investment firm International Property Group (IPG).

"The area will certainly see excellent capital appreciation if it (the reunification) comes off," said IPG director Gerraint Thomas.

The region's forecast profits are already attracting sports investors such as former Liverpool FC player Ian Rush who recently headed the Mystic Sands Resort & Spa in Kapparis with the Cypriot firm Karma Developers. 
Swansea footballer Kristian O'Leary has also recently bought a new home near Ayia Napa. "Cyprus offers the best opportunities for buyers looking for an alternative to the Spanish Costa's, where in some cases prices have dropped dramatically. The island is changing its image, and its main airport, Larnaca is being extended, so rental yields should be excellent." The land values in the Famagusta region, as with much of the northern island, are significantly cheaper than on the rest of the southern part of the island, but they are set to rise swiftly, making now prime investment time. 
About the Author
Hannah Walker is a writer for www.whiterocksbafra.com
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