Real estate agents in the north on Tuesday advised buyers not to invest in Greek Cypriot properties as this could be problematic post-solution.
Speaking to the daily Cyprus Today and Kibris, the head of the real estate agents’ union in the north Hasan Sungur said “there is talk that the former owners of property who were more than 10 years old (in 1974) could be eligible to return, having gone through a commission”.
Sungur’s statements follow President Nicos Anastasiades’ announcement last week that the rights to employment, free movement and property have been agreed in the ongoing talks, Cyprus Today said.
Sungur added that he does not believe that property built after 1974 will be a problem, but that buying old Greek Cypriot homes always carries risks.
“Even a child who was 10 years old in 1974 would be able to stake a claim for the return of the house. I understand that there is agreement between the two sides on giving the right to return to the house under such circumstances,” Sungur was quoted as saying.
He also said that a final agreement on the right of return for Greek Cypriots to the north could have a significant impact on Kyrenia because of ‘government’ decrees in 2005 and 2006 limiting the height of the new buildings, thus many older houses remain standing.
Sungur said that 9,000 Greek Cypriot families could return to Kyrenia alone and this would make many of those living in former Greek Cypriot home tenants, because many of those homes were not demolished.
He added that the Greek Cypriot side has made requests for the establishment of a separate category for foreign property owners and that foreign buyers should not worry as they will enjoy all the rights afforded to citizens of the regime in the north.
In the case of land that had been developed, Sungur said, its former owners would be compensated.
The fate of property in the north post-solution has been a great concern for British expats living there.
Thousands of Britons and other Europeans have taken advantage of the situation on the island to buy real estate at highly affordable prices in the north where the majority of the houses were built on land belonging to Greek Cypriots.