The coronavirus has produced many negative effects on the Cyprus economy and by projection to the real estate market. The precautionary measures taken by the government to reduce the effects of the virus also hope to protect the economy as well, which has only started to revive.
The foundation of the Cyprus economy is tourism, which will not reach last year’s four million . Even with the bookings earlier this year, arrivals will be reduced at best by 50%, which will bring everything upside down. This inevitably seriously affects the economy and the expected growth of 3% does not look likely to be attained. In terms of tourism this will also affect all the other competitive countries of ours but then, we have the real estate market/building industry, being the third largest foreign/earner which other countries do not have.
This will cause a reduction in sales prices of real estate with the extent of the reduction depending on the time frame that these measures are in place.
This again will increase demand at least for this/next year rentals, especially for residential apartments in all towns possibly increasing rental levels further. To this end the new restrictions of the Airbnb (in addition to tourism reduction) will increase somewhat the supply at least for the summer season, having a sort of a counterweight to rental levels/demand.
It is certain that business/government will suffer, but on the other hand the various measures (e.g. working from home) might be to our benefit with a new way of doing business and which might be adopted post the virus era (less office space requirement, internet conferences etc). If successful, there is no turning back which might at the end work to the benefit of the economy.
At this point of time there will be “opportunities” for the reduced sales prices depending always on the time frame, especially for those units that are directed towards the foreign market.
The plight of other competitive countries has helped the Cyprus economy in the past, this time however the circumstances are different since we have in addition to the above, the oil matter between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which has dropped oil prices to a historic low.
The world economy is now in trouble and it seems that yet again real estate in Cyprus remains the only ‘stable’ investment in terms of returns and security of asset/rental income (for the local residential owners).