There is great confusion when it comes to apartment size and how it is calculated. Different companies and developers each have their own method of calculating, so, often, buyers don’t actually know what they are getting. Some entities use imaginative approaches which often inlfate the size of an apartment they are selling.

The standard approach has been to include the gross external area of a unit, including covered verandahs and a proportion of the common (covered) area of the floor on which the apartment is situated. As such, if the common hall and the staircase of the floor is, say, 20 sq.m, and there are 2 units of an equal size sharing the floor, the apartment size increases by 10 sq.m for each, or if the units are of different sizes then proportionally to that ratio. Uncovered areas and/or verandahs should be given separately.

Unfortunately some sellers include other common areas. such as the of the ground entrance hall, storage areas in basements and other shared or private covered areas.

To add to the confusion, the lands office has chosen a different way of its own. It uses the the gross area of the inside of an apartment, excluding the common area, and refers to both covered and uncovered apartments separately.

So when an apartment is sold by an entity using a different approach there is a discrepancy. For example an apartment may have been sold by a developer who claimed it was 100 sq.m but when the lands office registers the title deed it may find it to be 80 sq.m or even less.

This methodology is now more accepted by the market and new titles record balconies and common areas separately.

But how is a perspective buyer to be able to truly compare the sizes of apartments that they are looking at if there is no common practice?

In the UK it is the area inside an apartment that is given, excluding the external and internal dividing walls and common areas. In Greece the area given excludes the common area and the verandahs.

We suggest the following guidelines be applied:

(a) Gross area of the apartment (external walls included and 50 per cent of the dividing walls with abutting apartments, if any)

(b) Exclude all common areas

(c) Include covered verandahs up to 50 per cent of the area of apartment depending on its size.

(d) Include 1/3 of the areas of uncovered verandahs, or less depending on size

Prices of new units in Nicosia are at around €2.500/sq.m, in Limassol €3.000/sq.m, in Larnaca €2.200/sq.m, and in Paphos €2.000/sq.m. For new properties and in the tourist areas the prices range from €12.000/sq.m (on the beach) to €7.000/sq.m. Usually a storage space and a parking space are included in the price.

Older units would be around 15-30 per cent cheaper, depending on location, condition and age. In some cases older places can be more expensive than new ones because of coming with title deeds or having mature gardens for example, but this is rare nowadays as new units include modern facilities.

As the prices of apartments have been getting higher and higher, the correct calculation of it’s size is even more important.

Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]