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The Rise and Fall of Cypriot Developments: From Dream to Nightmare

18 October 20233 min readby Tom Miskelly

The Dream…

In the early to mid-2000s, Cypriot developments and resorts were aggressively marketed to foreign investors as paradisiacal destinations offering a luxurious lifestyle. Brochures and promotional materials showcased breathtaking before-and-after pictures of what these developments were meant to look like – pristine beaches, opulent villas, and modern amenities. The promises of a Mediterranean haven, excellent weather and a ‘guaranteed’ return on investment captivated many potential buyers. 

The Dreaded Swiss Franc Mortgage…

One significant reason for the influx of investors was the Swiss Franc currency. Mortgage providers pushed buyers to take out loans via Swiss Francs. At that time the Swiss Franc offered significant savings as opposed to the local currency. Many buyers saw this as an opportunity to invest in Cypriot properties with favourable financing options, making it seem like an irresistible chance to secure their dream holiday home or a lucrative investment. Watch our video here to find out more about the mis-selling of Swiss Franc mortgages.  

Current Issues…

Fast forward to the present day, several Cypriot developments have become ghost towns or are now occupied by squatters. The 2008 financial crisis in Cyprus and various other factors led to unfinished projects and abandoned properties. Owners were unable to sell their property due to overly inflated asking prices and were unable to keep up with repayments. Their only option at that time was to leave the property and the country. In some instances, individuals facing homelessness sought shelter in these deserted resorts. Thus, leading to a deteriorating environment and rendering the properties unliveable. 

Cypriot Property Problems

The presence of squatters is not unique to Cyprus, as it has been observed in other Mediterranean countries like Spain. 

The occupation by squatters has caused significant problems for property owners and investors. The value of these properties has plummeted, leading to negative equity for many buyers. Additionally, the Title Deed issues have made it difficult for owners to sell or even transfer ownership of the properties legally.  

We have spoken to several affected parties in Cyprus. They have offered a poignant insight into the challenges faced by both property owners and the squatters. Owners have expressed frustration at being trapped in a property that has lost its value, unable to sell or recoup their investments. 

The Solution…

The rise and fall of Cypriot developments serve as a cautionary tale of how initial dreams of luxurious living can turn into nightmares when unforeseen circumstances take hold. The challenge now lies in finding a balance. This is the balance between addressing the needs of the squatters and refugees while restoring these once-promising resorts to their former glory, ensuring a more sustainable and equitable future for all stakeholders involved.

For up-to-date information on the Cypriot Property market, you can view our webinar here.  

If you have abandoned your Cypriot Property and are unable to deal with your mortgage shortfall, we can help. Please contact us today at +44 (0) 330 124 1230 to schedule a free consultation. You can also email us at [email protected] for more information.  

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