The city of Limassol is seeing considerable rent hikes, due in no small part to the abundance of wealthy expats who call this coastal business center home. In fact, according to real estate experts, Limassol rent prices are far beyond any other metropolitan area in Cyprus.
According to property appraiser and real estate consultant Antonis Loizou, the monthly rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment in Limassol comes in at about 900 Euro for units within walking distance of the beach, though even residences that are further inland still boast prices of around 600 Euro per month.
Meanwhile, Kyriacos Talatinis, Chairman of the Cyprus Property Valuers Association, says that the same type of apartment in Nicosia can be rented for around 500 Euro, including in parts of the city densely populated by students (i.e. Engomi and Makedonitissa), which tend to have higher rent rates than the average.
It isn’t hard to see why this state of affairs has locals in Limassol less than thrilled.
Some have even taken to social media to voice their concerns with comments about the extreme discrepancies in rental rates between Limassol and other parts of the island, including outlining the trouble this creates for local families who simply can’t afford to pay 1,000 Euro per month in Limassol for the same kind of apartment they could rent for half that price in Larnaca or Paphos.
Mr. Talatinis pointed out that the considerable number of Russian residents in Limassol plays a large role in the rental rate increase, with the city housing an entire category of businessmen from the northern country who have no trouble paying rental rates from the higher end of the sprectrum.
Mr. Loizou also noted that Limassol is special because of how attractive it is to foreigners looking to do business in Cyprus. Protaras and Pahos, for instance, are popular rental locations as well, but their popularity is seasonal, with tourists looking for living space mostly in the summer, while Limassol’s demand for rental properties is high all year long. This results in a consistently multicultural environment full of opportunities of interest to wealthy Russian businessmen with more resources than an average Cypriot.
This has all led to Limassol hosting numerous new projects, including harbor development and the planned construction of a casino, though the city proper has benefited from considerable improvements as well.
However, while Limassol retains special status among Cyprus territories, rental properties all across the island are seeing an increase in demand.
Mr. Loizou has outlined that since the financial crisis of 2013, the increased difficulty of acquiring loans for property purchases led to an increase in demand for rented space. Unsurprisingly, this has led to lessened supply, with a particularly strong rise in demand starting in 2015 and continuing to this day.
In Mr. Talatinis’ view, this demand is further boosted by the ongoing restructuring of Cyprus society, so while challenges with loans are a large contributing factor, another reason lies in the social trends that have led young couples to be more likely to move in together in a rental property before considering anything more permanent.
Though Mr. Loizou added that these trends can just as easily lead younger generations right back to buying property, as they might consider paying 1,000 Euro per month for their own home more advantageous than the 700 Euro or so they would pay monthly for a rental.
According to Mr. Talatinis, Limassol is also likely to see a tendency of people with lesser budgets