Friday, February 28, 2014

Cyprus Property for sale in Paphos

A new build commercial investment property is available for sale in Paphos in Cyprus and has a new website. For those interested in seeking out a major real estate in Paphos for their portfolio, our friends over at cyprus-property.eu are offering for sale a development called G&D Hotels Project 2, on the junction of Tomb of the Kings Avenue and Aristarhou Street, in the very centre of the Tomb of the Kings tourist district of Paphos. 

The development is offered for sale with 36 apartments (fitted and furnished) of which 24 are single room and 12 are studio; a restaurant with full frontage on the Tomb of the Kings Avenue; a commercially licensed basement complex suitable for night club or leisure use; as well as a clearly defined and enclosed off-road paved car park suitable for up to 60 marked spaces (part covered). 

We are advised that the owners are offering the freehold for sale with full title deeds, and are able to entertain reasonable offers competitive to local comparable prices for the area. 

Prospective parties are advised to make contact through the website to register their interest in arranging a viewing at their convenience. 

Please note that the website includes a broad range of photos, specifications, drawings and description of the premises proposed for sale. G&D Hotels Ltd (Cyprus) are able to provide further supplementary information through written contact. Please use the web contact form located on  the website.


Key Question: Why is this premises desirable for an investor? 

The premises is being offered at market value, which as of 2014 is very competitive due to financial and economic considerations. 

Since the premises is located directly opposite to the entrance of the Tomb of the Kings UNESCO World Heritage and Archaeological area (a distance of 40 yards linked by pedestrian crossing), the frontal restaurant and commercial basement unit will enjoy consistent and clear landmarking and passing trade from tourists, as well as by visitors to the area using the main Avenue to pass through the Tomb of the Kings tourist area. 

In addition, the provision of 36 ready apartments, several ground floor office / storage spaces, and one of the largest fully enclosed car parks in the area, adds major rental and resale value to the development. 

Key Question: What sort of return can I expect on my investment? 

In our opinion, the higher rental rates in the Kato Pafos area for both apartments and commercial units potentially offer a combined rental income that could allow an investor to see their initial investment returned within 6-9 years depending on utilisation and expenditures. However, investors are invited to make their own arrangements for a financial assessment of the property, and obtain their own legal and surveyor services. 

See further details at the official property website: 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Closing Bakeries in Cyprus - A Stale Industry with Over-Baked Regulation

This week the Cyprus Weekly reported that some 100 bakeries in Cyprus were forced to close down over the last six months due to serious financial problems, citing the Cyprus Bakeries Association as saying that longer universal shopping hours and the economic situation had forced these businesses to close.

Apparently opposition party AKEL MP Andreas Fakontis stepped in to say that longer opening hours for all shops has created "unfair competition" while also encouraging abuse of the minimum age and working hours of employees - raised as an opposition argument against the Labour Ministry and its current decree on increased hours for shops.

I almost laughed when I read this article due to the political nonsense raised by this matter, although I feel bad for smallholders who have failed to make their businesses work through the economic disaster in Cyprus since 2013.
I would like to raise the following points -

1. How many bakeries are there in Cyprus, and indeed, how many were there before a whopping ONE HUNDRED of them closed down?

Is this a stupid question, or am I correct in asking? Cyprus has a population of less than a million people, and even during the prime tourism months, it seems unlikely to push well beyond double that during the current crisis. How many bakeries have been set up by enterprising smallholders in such a small island and its tiny market? Do many entrepreneurs have no imagination? Or is this simply a case of anyone setting up their own bakery because they think it is an easy and uncomplicated affair, despite the fact that there are already three bakeries and a supermarket in the immediate area?

2. Universal Increase in Shopping Hours benefits the Economy - and undermines AKELs grassroots supporters - the Trade Associations and Trade Union groups.

The directive issued by the Labour Ministry in July 2013 allows all shops to remain open much longer during both weekdays and weekends. Although I have long argued that over-regulation of the retail market is rife in Cyprus, I find this move to be beneficial. People want to go shopping when it suits them, and not when it suits the market rules. Finally we have seen the Labour Ministry of Cyprus move in favour of consumer interests and away from the old-guard power base of trade associations, who attempt to control their various markets through absurd regulations - like forcing supermarkets not to sell bakery products at certain times of the week so as to favour the independent bakeries during prime shopping periods.

3. Industry Diversification is essential, and the stranglehold of absurd market regulations must be removed

Competition is essential. The best businesses with the best business models, best management, best service and best products must be allowed to thrive, while the weakest and worst business that they are in competition with must be allowed to fail. This is the core principle of free market economy. If someone cannot run a business well enough to make it work, then they are either in the wrong business, or they are incompetent. For too long, Cyprus has rewarded welfare, incompetence and populist trade groups, whilst equally punishing entrepreneurs who, under the right market conditions, would thrive - creating new skilled jobs, new income for the economy, new ideas and innovation, and greater strength for Cyprus to trade with the outside world in the form of exports.


The fact that 100 bakeries have closed down as a result of the longer shopping hours and the economic situation is CONTRARY to what opposition party AKEL would have you believe - a shaking of the tree to remove the rotten apples that cannot compete with more successful businesses. How long did we expect such market conditions to last before the 2013 economic crisis? The Republic of Cyprus failed because of its own stupidity - not because of some absurd notion of Troika conspiracy, the Turkish military occupation or the global credit crunch. The country fell down onto its over-bloated ass because the Cypriot concept of free market is rotten at the very core of the country's ability to make money and keep money. Blaming the welfare state, obsolete communism and the populist politics of Cyprus is simply not sufficient. We must also lay blame at the feet of every person who decides to set up a common business (like a bakery) in an overloaded market with too few consumers and almost no conditions or willingness to diversify.

To put it simply, the bead is baked. But there is either no one to buy it, or you are not allowed to sell it. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Review of PlusSea Lifestyle Bar in Limassol, Cyprus

On my latest visit to Limassol, I visited PlusSea Lifestyle Bar, located very close and opposite to the Amathus archaeological area on the main coastal road east of Limassol, having heard very good things about the venue. 

We visited in the early afternoon on a weekday in September, and found the bar to be busy with both tourists and  locals. The venue was clean, tidy and well presented and the staff were both helpful and polite - a set of criteria which often seems hard to find in Cyprus these days . We were offered a choice of tables, and since the weather was warm, I asked for a beach-front table. One was available, and so we sat down (I was with my cousin and her friend, so there was three of us all together), and found that the tables were large and well spaced, with no discomfort and a privileged view of the sea. We were keen to have some cocktails and were given a set of menus. The food menu looked appetising, so we ordered some shared platters and three large cocktails, and since I was driving, I was pleased to see non-alcoholic options. The food was fresh and well presented, and served quickly. Very impressed, I  tried my cocktail and found it to be also very good.

We ended up staying for about an hour before wandering of down the beach for a walk. We returned again the following Friday night for some drinks, and I tried a raspberry cocktail which was excellent. The service was consistently excellent, and the provision of off-road car park was a big plus since it is often hard to find parking space in Limassol.  All in all, I would recommend PlusSea to visitors to Limassol, especially if you are staying in any one of the hotels near the seafront walkway which stretches for several miles along the Amathus area coastline.

In terms of menu prices - the PlusSea menu prices are near the higher end of the market for tourists and locals - in this instance you are getting very high quality for your money, and generally I would expect to pay 30-40 Euros for 3-4 people at a bar anyway when I am on holiday, excluding food etc. There are many bars and restaurants, especially in the affluent seafront areas of Limassol that have attempted to replicate this sort of repertoire, but this venue has consistently achieved the top level of score for service, menus and setting  during these and my previous visits in the last few years.

Recommendation -5 stars / out of 5 stars 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Petition for UK Property Buyers affected by Cyprus Property scandal

I would like to inform readers of the current petition taking place on the popular website change.org, which is being utilised to call for a BBC Panorama investigation into the scandalous practices that has been, and are still frequently used in selling off-plan property in the Republic of Cyprus. In many cases, UK citizens wishing to purchase property to order in an off-plan format (i.e. before the property is built) have had their property rights contested by banks, even though they paid in full for their properties, because the developer has defaulted on outstanding bank loans. Additionally, the obsolete and bureaucratic system of issuing title deeds in Cyprus means that many people have gone without having them for more than a decade after applying to receive them. Additionally, a developer can choose to engage in corrupt practices, withholding title deeds for ransom, and forcing the buyer to go to court (a lengthy process in Cyprus, often taking many years and great legal expense). The property industry has also been affected by scams involving developers and property lawyers working together to ensnare prospective buyers, forcing clients to pay far in excess of what they initially owed for the property by confidence-scamming the due legal process after the initial deposit.
It is abundantly clear to me that the property industry in Cyprus is in need of radical overhaul and must be subjected to rigorous administrative regulation, enshrined in law and supported by a streamlined, property-specific claims court circuit with dedicated judges and clerks.

By reforming the property industry in Cyprus, both the Cypriot economy and its stakeholders will benefit, and it is clear that the current system of shoddy and disturbing practices has often treated trustworthy and respectful British clients as scam targets, rather than full and proper stakeholders in Cyprus PLC.
It seems likely that a BBC Panorama investigation will pile pressure on Cyprus to conform with good international standards, as a full media uptake of this story will alert prospective British buyers, as well as their social networks and MEP representatives to take action.

You can visit the petition site at the following link:

I would like to thank Mr Barrie Hardy for alerting me to this story by email.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cyprus Naval Base Explosion - New Photos of the 2011 Disaster

On 11 July 2011, the Republic of Cyprus suffered a major man-made disaster at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Zygi, adjacent to a major power station. A consignment of explosive ordinance, held in heavy containers had been confiscated from a ship attempting to smuggling illicit weapons, principally in the form of gun and rocket propellant. Just after sunrise on 11 July 2011, the huge stack of containers (which had been stored improperly in the open air, close to major and vulnerable infrastructure, and in dangerous environmental conditions) was apparently compromised by a small bushfire ignited accidentally close to the storage site. Escaping vapours from the containers ignited, causing a huge primary explosion in the multi-kiloton range, with a number of much smaller secondary ignitions. The main power station at Mari, just a few hundred metres away, was effectively demolished, whilst 13 sailors and firemen were killed. Traffic passing on the nearby Limassol-Nicosia highway was impacted, with windows of vehicles shattered and drivers crashing as the concussion and overpressure wave passed from south to north across the highway. 

The photos you see presented in our YouTube video were taken by G.Vassiliou with an LG mobile phone, a few moments after the explosion, from the village of Pareklisha (alternative spelling: Pareklissia) situated about five miles distant to the north-west of the explosion. A total of six photos were taken, but only three were used in this video due to poor light conditions and shaky photography. The photographer reported that there was a strong odour "similar to burnt fireworks" that permeated the early morning air for up to an hour afterwards. The electricity supply was unavailable in Limassol for some time afterwards, meaning that many people had to use transistor radios or their cellphones to get information. 

The effect of the disaster was enormous to both the morale and the economy of the people of Cyprus - just weeks later, it became clear that the country was heading for financial ruin under the Government of Dimitris Christofias and the ruling Communist Party, AKEL. An urgent Government enquiry headed by Polys Polyviou pointed the majority of blame directly at the incumbent President Christofias, who rejected the findings. 

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