Fewer apartments will be rented from first-year students who will stay at home this year and follow remote lessons, while older students struggle to pay rent at pre-Covid-19 pricing, student union told the Cyprus Mail.
In previous years, most local students who decided to study at a Cyprus university based in a different city than their hometown chose to rent a small apartment near their institution. This year, however, more parents are keeping their children at home.
“Many students will stay at home this year because universities announced they will provide remote lessons at least for the first semester” a person from the Proodeftiki student movement told the Cyprus Mail on Monday. The left-wing movement, that used to help students find accommodation in previous years, said most used to start looking from May or June. “This year they are still unsure. If they will choose to rent, it might be from the second semester, but things remain uncertain” Proodeftiki added.
The mother of a teenage girl who studies at the university of Cyprus said she prefers for her daughter to commute for an hour from Limassol to Nicosia to follow her lessons. “It’s just cheaper this way, there is no reason for her to move since she already has a car” the mother said. The UCY will be offering a blend of remote and physical lessons this year, the student movement said.
International students are also expected to stay at their home-countries due to the pandemic.
“Lab courses will also attempt to be done remotely when possible” Proodeftiki said, “But even if physical presence is required, very few students will have to attend” they added.
The main problem, according to Proodeftiki, remains for a large percentage of older students who have already rented and renewed their contracts with their lessors.
“No help has been provided for those students” said the union.
Property prices, steadily increasing since 2014, have remained in similar levels as prior to the pandemic according to real estate agencies across Cyprus.
“There is no reason for apartment prices to go down” said the sales executive of real estate agency Antonis Loizou & Associates Antonis Kleopas. Based in Limassol, Kleopas explains that property prices will remain in the same high levels in the town, due to the foreign investors. “There is huge demand and limited supply of rentals” Kleopa said.
A studio in Limassol is over €500, while pricing for a one-bedroom apartment start from €650 and reach up to €900. Prices for a two-bedroom apartment begin from €800 and reach to €1500, according to real estate agents. All prices include furnished apartments near universities.
“All students should stay at home, and avoid rentals.” Kleopas noted.
Properties to rent in the capital are slightly cheaper, even though prices have not been massively reduced. But real estate agents said property owners might notice a decrease in demand due to the lack of students and choose to lower their prices.
Currently, Nicosia studios are priced approximately €500 on average in areas like Aglandja, while cheaper ones (€400) can be found in the centre -away from universities-, and studios in Egkomi can reach €550.
“Egkomi is a more commercial area and provides more job opportunities” said a Nicosia-based real estate agent.
For a one-bedroom apartment, prices start from €550 in Aglandja, and €600 to €800 in Egkomi. The average price to rent a two-bedroom apartment is €750, with prices varying from €600 to €800 in Aglandja, and €900 in Egkomi.
“There were some individual cases of small pricing reductions, but nothing drastic” said sales advisor at Antonis Loizou & Associates real estate agency Eva Christophorou.
The sales advisor expects more significant price reductions by the end of September. “I am expecting to get a lot of phone calls from unrented properties to change their prices to be more competitive” she said.
The only noticeable decrease was noted in Paphos, where Neapolis University is located.
“Prices fell slightly this month due to the pandemic” sales executive Eleonora Christophorou told the Cyprus Mail.
For a furnished studio apartment, prices decreased to €300 from €400, which is now the average price of a furnished one-bedroom apartment. For a two-bedroom, prices fell to €450 from €600, the sales executive said.
Christophorou expects rental prices to fall even further “It is the only good that came out of this virus” she said.