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Increased transparency to benefit property buyers

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Real estate agents being granted access to property price data is beneficial to property buyers, Council for Registration of Real Estate Agents president Marinos Kineyirou said on Wednesday.

This refers to a recent decision by the land registry to allow real estate brokers to access comparative price data of property sales in Cyprus, the first time this has been allowed, with only property appraisers previously being able to access this information.

“This greatly enhances the quality of services that real estate agents can provide to their clients,” Kineyirou said.

“This is a development that increases transparency in the market, enables real estate agents to know the real facts about the transactions that are being carried out and, consequently, to be able to inform their interested clients or buyers about property market trends, the price trajectory of real estate that interests them, but also the data of the geographical area that they are interested in,” he added.

marinos kynaigeirou
Council for Registration of Real Estate Agents president Marinos Kineyirou

The council president also said that this development will aid the entire sector, particularly property buyers, while also praising the land registry and the government for this practical implementation of an open data policy.

Meanwhile, Kineyirou also spoke on the issue of the general property evaluation, whose results, indicative of property prices as of January 2021, will be published in May of this year.

The property evaluation is carried out by the land registry every three years, taking into account a property’s natural and legal attributes, including building type, the land and all details related to it, property size, building zone, as well as the property’s access, among other factors.

Kineyirou said though the evaluation, which concerns approximately two million properties, is carried out primarily for tax purposes, it also helps in providing a snapshot of the Cypriot real estate market at the time of the assessment.

“We applaud the practice for the general assessments conducted by the land registry, which beyond their tax-related use, also provided valuable data that, if used correctly, can help develop the real estate market,” he said.

However, Kineyirou said that conducting this evaluation every three years is not ideal, proposing to increase the gap between evaluations to five years instead.

“This is a costly process and since property prices are not greatly affected over a period of three years, there is no reason to repeat the process in such a short time,” Kineyirou stated.

The first property evaluation by the land registry took place in 1920, followed by evaluations in 1980, 2013, 2018 and 2021.

Kineyirou also called on property owners to study the evaluation’s results once they are published, in order to make sure that the evaluation was in line with their property’s attributes.

“In case they have any objections in relation to the attributes of the property in question, then the objection can be made free of charge within six months of the results being published,” he said.

If property owners wish to object to the evaluation of their property, even if all attributes were correctly taken into account, then certain charges apply.

However, Kineyirou cautioned property owners and other interested parties that the evaluation amount should not form the basis for any property sales.

“Property transactions should only be carried out after an evaluation conducted by a specialist and taking into account real market data,” he concluded.

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