Increased property availability could help to stimy soaring rental prices

The city of Nicosia could have an additional 10,180 apartments, which could alleviate rising rental costs and soaring real estate prices, according to a report by Cypriot fintech Ask WiRE, which again highlighted the issue of dormant properties.

Specifically, the company closely examined the Acropolis area to determine the potential room for growth in the total number of apartments, with that part of Nicosia being one of the capital’s more central and sought-after locations.

“In an attempt to demonstrate the severity of the problem caused by underutilised properties in Cypriot city centres, in terms of rental and purchase prices for both houses and apartments, Ask WiRE has extended its investigation to the capital, this time focusing on the Acropolis area,” the company said.

“The aim and purpose of this series of investigations is to accurately capture and highlight the negative impact that land hoarding, combined with the issues pertaining to a property’s building coefficient, can have, during a time of increased real estate demand,” it added.

The company recently conducted a similar investigation for the Papa area in Limassol, where it identified that buildable land, excluding roads, parks and other such patches of land.

It also calculated the building factor and removed any existing and under-construction or planned buildings.

Additionally, for the purpose of greater clarity, it also removed any commercial zones and uses so that the final figures solely represent purely residential zones.

Nicosia, Acropolis, properties and real estate analysis

Nearly half of the Acropolis area in Nicosia is not fully utilised

“The findings of our analysis in the Acropolis area show that only 53 per cent of the allowed building coefficient is being used,” the company said.

“If we calculate an average apartment area of 100 square metres, excluding terraces and storage areas, it follows that 10,180 more residential units could be created, allowing for an increase of 110 per cent over the existing number of units,” it added.

According to the company, 2,369 plots of land were identified in the Acropolis area, with a total area of 1,689,921 square metres.

Within these plots of land, the company identified 9,240 residential units with a total area of 1,131,791 square metres.

pavlos loizou2 (1)

Ask WiRE chairman Pavlos Loizou

Based on the existing urban planning zones, properties with a total of 2,149,741 square metres can be built.

It, therefore, appears that the available land or properties with not fully utilised building coefficients amount to 1,017,950 square metres.

“Having analysed just two areas in the city centres of Limassol and Nicosia, we have noticed that there could be more than 18,000 residential units available to the public for purchase and rent in total, with all of the relevant implications on both rental and purchase prices”, Ask WiRE CEO Pavlos Loizou said.

“It is now clear that the problem must be solved and the solution is simple. As we have mentioned in the past, this can come through the taxation of idle properties in areas with high demand. In this way, the owners of this land will either proceed with utilising it or making it available to third parties who can then in turn develop it themselves,” he added.

Loizou clarified that the company’s proposal does not concern the taxation of peoples’ primary residences or the properties belonging to small owners, but pertains to the issue of the inexhaustible building coefficient.

“It is becoming clear that over the coming years, the issue of high property prices will become even more exacerbated in the suburbs of major cities,” Loizou said.

“Apart from the effect on prices, I dare to say that the utilisation of this buildable land would also have benefits in terms of traffic if we consider the fact that many people, who currently live outside the urban centres, are forced to commute to the centre every day to work,” he concluded.