//

Culture helps sell Cyprus real estate

5906 views
3 mins read

By Antonis Loizou

With the Xmas spirit coming up we thought of writing a “light” article on the subject of real estate.

A country which is better known as a holiday destination and for its good weather, we are experiencing an upgrade in our standard of living and entertainment, having attracted the attention of international stars, which is now extended to real estate.

To this end, the hospitality of Cypriots plays a major part.

The trigger for this article came about due to the recent concert by Italian international singer Eros Ramazzotti in Limassol.

We were there and by mistake, we sat in the first 3 rows and this “gig” (using a 1970s expression) was most entertaining, with 6,000 people attending (of all ages mind you).

It was a breath of fresh air and a good event for social interaction and getting to know other people.

The next show we will attend is that of Celine Dion in August 2020.

These international artists (and deservingly), are the start of helping upgrade Cyprus living and culture for which we are not known for.

These “gigs” follow other artists such as Elton John, Tom Jones, the Paphos Opera and sports events such as the Marathon Run (especially the one in Limassol), the numerous lectures given by local and international speakers, such as our own Mr Pissarides (Nobel winner), whereas the recent upgrading of the Nicosia Theatre and those of Limassol are nowadays hosting all sorts of cultural events.

Cultural events and the appearance of those international stars are free advertising for Cyprus, it generates interest for real estate and puts the island on the map.

  • Let’s record our own experience on the subject stating the most recent one Shakira, who bought a house in Peyia, Paphos (around €3 mln), which was reported in the international news.
  • The Paphos Opera brings over around 2,000 Israelis p.a. who would not have come to Cyprus otherwise, not only benefiting the hotels but also they get to know the country – In fact 3 Israelis (high-end) investors informed us that having come to know Cyprus as a result of the opera visit they were keen to live within a “peaceful environment”.
  • The Ramazzotti event, in addition to the local attendants, a lot of foreign visitors and in particular Russian speakers, were there in force (the promotion was undertaken by a Russian firm), who was very enthusiastic. Eros Ramazzotti concert costs €500-€800/each abroad and in Cyprus, the average seats cost around €200/p.p.
  • Let’s come to Celine Dion with a good following in particular from Lebanon. Our Lebanese agent told us “let’s advertise the event together with property sales in Cyprus since it is a way out of Lebanon with the mess that we are going through”.
  • Promoting Cyprus also as a place for culture will not be a mistake since we have so many events going on. A recent international company event at a beach hotel in Limassol, the participants (we attended) were more excited by the visit to the wine region’s wineries rather than the seminar given, whereas the quality of our meze/souvla food won them over. We had 2 enquiries to buy property out of lovely food and fun-seeking participants (we are keeping our fingers crossed on the outcome).
  • Selling real estate at “subsidized” prices to international stars is not unknown and David Beckham’s acquisition of a villa at the Palm Island (Dubai) promoted further this successful project.
  • The Limassol marathon (2019) caused us to meet a young German couple, whom we did not take seriously (our mistake). They are now in the process of buying (hopefully with us) a €4.5 mln penthouse!!
  • The hosting of Elton John, the Prince of Monaco, Tom Jones etc at the Anassa Hotel put this hotel on the top list of “best hotels in the world”.

We hope that the new and worthy Minister of Tourism gets the message that culture especially in Cyprus at low comparative costs and quality of life, is an opportunity to explore for the “benefit of the wider Cyprus economy”.

Promote dear Minister Cyprus culture, little as there is at the moment, but we are getting there, be it slowly.

In ending we must tell you our little (true) story of a potential foreign buyer of a £1 mln house from the Leptos Kamares project.  At that time (1990) this amount was huge.

So, we hired a 7-seater Mercedes, we picked him up from the airport, but because we were early for our appointment on our way to Paphos we stopped for breakfast at the Hani restaurant at Pissouri village.  Fried halloumi and eggs.  We noted afterwards he was not so enthusiastic to go further.

Driving through the vine area of Pissouri we crossed a field where grape picking was in full force with around 20 people plus donkeys to help.

The vine owner stopped our car and insisted that we get out, for him to “treat” us (and to be quite honest we did not know how this would have gone).

Thanassis, the owner, insisted that we should have as a gift from him 2 cases of grapes and the whole family came around for photos etc.  Long story short, this Swiss client of ours ended baptizing Thanassis son at Pissouri and more importantly and in addition to the purchase of a house there, he built a couple of hotels in Cyprus (sorry Leptos Estates).

There are so many problems in the world from Bolivia to Hong Kong that we do not appreciate how lucky we are, something which the foreign market, in particular, pays special attention to.