Q - I would like you to talk to us a bit about your company and future plans.
A - Property Gallery has rapidly grown to become one of the largest developers on the island, currently engaged in the construction of more than 40 projects across Cyprus. Our developments, both residential and commercial, are renowned for their uniqueness and innovation, and we believe that this plays a major role in the success of our company.
Our flagship project is currently Dream Tower Resort, a high-rise new development near the Four Seasons in Limassol that is moving forward at a rapid pace. It comprises one, two, three, and four-bedroom apartments as well as duplexes, penthouses, and the unique Sky Garden Apartments. The complex will offer a 24-hour concierge and security service, restaurants, exclusive-resident-only areas and 5 star hotel facilities.
We are also focusing on another upcoming project, the Nereus Tower, which is an ultra-modern mixed-use tower with panoramic sea views on the main Limassol beachfront. It is geared towards progressive businesses seeking a luxury, modern facility in which to set up their business.
As always, we pride ourselves on carefully selecting projects that are ambitious, contemporary, and eye-catching, but also boast superior quality and design. This has helped us garner many international and European awards over the years, and we aim to add even more to our collection going forward.
Q - The investment citizenship project helped developers and real estate companies. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance mentions that it only helped the overall economy by a small percentage. What is your opinion on this?
A - The contribution of the Cyprus Investment Program to the overall growth of the economy, and to the establishment of long-term conditions of prosperity cannot be overstated. It has been proven that since its launch, the Program has led to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across many sectors of the economy, affecting virtually every household on the island. It is also a good driver for foreign investment in Cyprus, as more and more investors understand the potential of Cyprus, and this has led to the completion of development projects, an increase in state revenues, and the stabilization of the finance system by reducing non-performing loans. Therefore, the effects and reach of the Program go far beyond just the developers and real estate companies.
Q - For companies like yours, which are addressing clients through the investment citizenship project, its termination wouldn’t be a negative outcome?
A - As I mentioned earlier, Property Gallery prides itself on selecting projects that are ambitious and eye-catching, with a focus on quality and design. We offer luxury residential properties in some of Limassol’s most prime neighborhoods, state-of-the-art commercial buildings with well-equipped facilities for forward-thinking business, and mixed-use buildings that combine modern office space with luxury, comfortable accommodation. In other words, are properties are geared to towards real customers and their very specific needs; they are not merely to serve requirements of the Cyprus Investment Program. For our company, the CIP merely acts as an added benefit. Our focus is to make sure our clients find the right fit. This is why our expert team goes the extra mile to deliver complete end-to-end solutions to clients, offering advice on acquisitions, planning, construction, and sales, and securing the ideal property to suit each client’s individual needs.
Q - Do you believe that it’s possible to improve the investment citizenship project or it is already a lost case, based on the latest updates?
A - There have been many negative updates and plenty of speculation lately, but a lot of it is not based in reality. The unfortunate fact is, it’s always the sensationalist news stories that make headlines, and the truth gets lost among these loud accusations.
Firstly, it is important to note that programs such as the CIP are common practice worldwide. And as is the case with any newly launched program, there are always wrinkles that need to be ironed out at the beginning before everything runs smoothly. This was the case with our island as well, as the first iteration of the program unfortunately allowed a few ineligible investors to slip through the cracks. The plan has since been updated and strengthened to become one of the best in Europe, with sensible restrictions and conditions that benefit the entire economy.
Cyprus has always been a popular choice among foreign investors. This is a result of the high quality of life the island offers, its year-round sunshine and natural beauty, and the many incentives and support services that make doing business here an easy, stress-free experience. The CIP has given investors an additional impetus to invest in all that the island has to offer, and I believe that the Program will continue to strengthen in terms of efficiency and transparency, and retain its spot among Europe’s best.
Q - What’s your opinion on the online auctions?
A - All businesses are making the shift towards digital today, and digital transformation is a big buzzword in Cyprus at the moment. These advances however as not as rapid in the real estate industry, not because we are lagging behind, but because of the nature of this construction-based industry itself.
That is not to say, however, that there is no room for digital expansion in our industry. Software solutions and technology integration have already begun making their way into the real estate sphere – in fact, we have recently launched an innovative application wherein prospective clients can tour through our project Dream Tower from the comfort of their own home, and even chat with our experts.
I therefore expect that online auctions won’t be too far behind. While we may not have such capabilities in Cyprus at the moment, I believe that with the development of the right platform and the right technology, this will be a very useful tool that will benefit the entire real estate industry.
Q - Do you believe that the real estate prices in Cyprus became a bubble ready to burst? If yes, which actions could prevent this phenomenon?
A - As with any industry, the pricing strategy is determined by the demand. An unsustainable surge in demand can push prices upwards, with the risk of creating a bubble, and any sort of price pressures could have a negative impact overall.
However, I am hesitant to call it a bubble. For one thing, due to their significant impact on growth, property prices are carefully monitored and official reports from the House Finance Committee show that this is a remote scenario.
There is plenty that can be done to avoid the creation of a bubble, and it requires our rapidly-changing real estate market to innovate, update, and transform. The aim is to create a product that is easily sustainable in the market, and not oversaturate it. For example, we are currently experiencing a shortage in commercial and retail real estate, while demand is at an all-time high. There is a lack of suitable office space which meets the standards of high-caliber companies. The good news is that market segments are catching up, and we are entering a new expansion phase wherein new business complexes and facilities, such as Property Gallery’s Nereus Tower, are now being developed.
This, along with the intense development of the residential market, must continue to be carefully monitored. Good planning and analysis are imperative, so that development projects are fully adapted to the needs of the market, whether this means in terms of location, quality, price or general expectations.