It is a given that Larnaca has so far seen the least growth of the towns, both in the commercial and tourist sectors.
Also noteworthy are the Mayor/Municipality of Larnaca’s continuous efforts to upgrade the city with various infrastructure projects, landscaping, and highlighting antiquities.
The new local plan of Larnaca introduces several new development elements.
At the same time, it adopted a very low building factor (100%) for the eastern seafront, which reduces its economic development with offices and other commercial developments (Dhekelia area).
For the prospects of this front to fully emerge, extensive infrastructure projects are needed to stop the erosion of the beach and its expansion.
Larnaca is the only town that directly and extensively adjoins the beach, in a sandy form, with tourists/visitors located next to the centre/sea, something that does not exist in other resort towns, e.g., in Limassol or Paphos.
The preservation of Larnaca’s old town, the various listed/traditional developments, and the construction of small boutique hotels have also helped attract visitors within the original centre.
However, the bulk of visitors is in the eastern end.
It definitely takes a lot of work and patience for the city to achieve its upgrade, while the latest Mackenzie projects and the new municipal market are helpful elements, as is the creation of various urban parks.
There remain the positive extensions of the port/marina of Larnaca, which are slow to have any effect on the centre, which we expect to be seen in 3-5 years at the earliest.
The attempt of various firms to create a golf course did not succeed, which is a big disadvantage, while it is expected the local casino will help.
Larnaca remains largely unaffected, compared to the other towns, by Russians and other golden passport investors, although it includes the highest proportion of Chinese property buyers compared to the rest of the towns.
We also observe the operation of UCLan University and the American University and lobbying of the Municipality for a local university faculty of the University of Cyprus.
The universities are located outside the city, and we recommend a University of Cyprus department be located within the city on similar lines as TEPAK in Limassol.
The Mackenzie area developed into the most popular place for Nicosia bathers, while the various local establishments are also used for weddings, children’s parties, etc., all year round.
Fortunately, Larnaca is close to Nicosia, which has added an incentive to visitors from the capital with the increasing cost of petrol.
Moreover, the hospitality centres are cost-competitive with other towns.
Larnaca remains a city with the most positive prospects for the future, while we do not expect the upgrading to occur sooner than 3-5 years.
At the same time, some areas of the city (see Makariou) are almost abandoned by commercial users.
To this end, the Larnaca Mall has not helped the whole situation, while the time-consuming process of antiquities excavation is an additional obstacle.
As for the international tourist centre of St. Tropez, although it has similar elements to Larnaca in an upgraded form, it lags in the quality of the sea (unclean in St. Tropez compared to the clean sea of Larnaca), and certainly, the high cost of accommodation is not attractive to those on mid-low income.
The contribution of developer Quality is important, both for attracting foreign buyers and the various Radisson hotels.
Still, Larnaca lags in sports tourism, despite the proximity of suitable plots to the west of the city.
The high unit prices in other cities range from €4,000-€5,000/sqm. (not on the beach) and the high rents, Larnaca has attracted the interest of foreign investors in particular, which in addition to the Chinese, attracts Israelis (with the involvement of the Israeli company in the marina), which shows an increasing trend.
So, the future of Larnaca is positive, but it needs patience.
Antonis Loizou FRICS – Real Estate Appraiser, Real Estate Seller & Development Project Manager