Cyprus: Building marinas and golf courses to reinvigorate the tourist industry
The real estate market will be positively affected by the implementation of building projects
Cyprus has changed its look. The Island has set up several ambitious projects to overcome the crisis. The main aim is to improve tourist facilities by developing high-quality amenities. Strengthening nautical and golf tourism represents a winning strategy for Cyprus that is already becoming one of the most longed-for holiday destination for nautical and golf enthusiasts.
Antonis Paschalides – the Minister of Commerce Industry and Tourism – has announced the numbers of golf courses on the Island will be increased from three to fourteen or fifteen in an effort to reivigorate the tourist industry effectively, though calling for a balance between the enviroment and development: the new golf courses will be constructed in Larnaca, Famagusta and Paphos.
Nautical tourism, instead, will be encouraged by creating new marinas in various areas in Cyprus. Nautical enthusiasts will be provided the necessary equipment and proper accessories to practise nautical activities and will be able to combine their love for sailing and boating with their holidays.
The works for the marina of Limassol have already started, though serious questions have been raised about the balance between the commercial benefits brought by the construction of a yachting-market-targeted marina and the social and environmental costs of the project. The marina will include 586 berths for crafts of various kinds, restaurants, shops and conference space. The building project includes also 280 villas with private moorings, luxury apartments, 11 five-storey apartment blocks and 15-metre towers to attract above all high-end tourists. In order to mitigate the enviromental impact, the Environmetal Authority has listed a series of measures that it is necessary to respect during the implementation of the project.
In addition to the marina of Limassol, some marinas will be probably built in Ayia Napa – famous for its bathing sandy beaches – Larnaca – Cyprus second largest commercial port – and Paphos – that is included in the UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world’s heritage. The construction of a marina in Paralimini is under consideration.
All of these projects will have some repercussions in the real estate market that has been affected very negatively by the global economic crisis. Prices have fallen by 2.5%. The highest drops have been registered in Paphos that has become a great investment destination: here, it is possible to buy a 180-sqm villa with swimming pool for 250 000 euros. Similar properties in Ayia Napa and Protaras cost between 500 000 and 600 000 euros. Good investment opportunities can be found also in Larnaca, a work-in-progress town where buyers can purchase real estate properties at fair prices. A newly-built 130-sqm apartment with sea view in Paralimini costs 138 500 euros. Interesting purchase possibilities can be found in Limassol, too; even if it may be necessary to spend 9000 euros per sqm to buy some flats with sea view, here.
The Cypriot real estate market is showing some signs of recovery. The number of purchase contracts has increased. The demand has increased by 27.2% in Paphos, by 24.7% in Limassol, by 23.3% in Nicosia and by 11.8% in Larnaca. However, the high level of unemployment may still hamper the development of the real estate sector, which depends also on the preferences and on the economy of other northern countries, such as England, Sweden and Russia. The number of overseas investors in Cyprus has increased considerably.
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