Being traditionally one of the most robust industries in Cyprus, and the backbone of the economy, the real estate sector seems to be withstanding strong. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic and the termination of the Cyprus Investment Program (CIP), the Real Estate & Construction sector maintained its position as one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. Nick Rotsides, COO of leading real estate agency First Class Homes, located in Cyprus and with a pan-European property portfolio, discusses insights and trends.

The real estate market seems to always be an indicator of the local economy doing well or facing challenges. What is the current state of real estate in Cyprus? 

At the moment, the real estate market is crowded with rentals at an all-time high and investors are looking to capitalise on this opportunity, along with the commercial side of our field being very strong at the moment. Relocation is a huge trend and there is an increased interest for this type of requests, which often involve much more than locating a property well into organising a whole new lifestyle change for our clients. Q2 of 2022 is estimated to continue at this busy rate for our sector.

Is there interest from global investors for luxury properties? What do the trends demonstrate about the cumulative advantages of Cyprus as a luxury property destination?

There has always been an interest and there always will be an interest for luxury real estate. Cyprus offers a place in the sun, a great place to live and work at. The advantages of the island as a luxury property destination are paralleled to none. Cyprus is the real deal when it comes to safe and healthy living: 330 days of sunshine, one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, a high quality primary and higher education, a proper welfare and health system, a true family place. On top of that, investors looking into luxury properties are concerned with the quality of life: great beaches and amazing food. Of course, the living advantages are coupled with real business benefits for these investors, who seek out a place which has a sound infrastructure and an advanced services’ system that is beneficial to their entrepreneurial activities.

Local buyers are the backbone of the industry. What do Cypriots look for in a residential property?

Cypriots consist of an important target audience for our business. Our usual requests come from young couples looking for 2- or 3- bed apartments and families usually looking for 3- or 4- bedroom houses, close to their family/relatives. There are also requests for a holiday home in the mountains or by the beach, as a secondary home away from home.

The real estate industry is changing due to technological advances: virtual tours, online property consultancy, social media. Has your company adapted to the tech surge?

As property consultants, we have to adapt to the tech surge and enable our clients to utilise technology for a better experience. Proptech is about the digitalisation of properties and processes in property development and management. Digitalization in property management is about taking advantage of technological advancements and make use of the data generated from properties. This said, the property sector remains largely a touch-and-feel industry: if clients dont’s see the property for real, it’s still a bit difficult for them to commit.

What types of projects are currently in your company’s portfolio? You boast a global portfolio of properties, what regions are in high demand, other than Cyprus? 

With over 20,000 properties, our real estate portfolio is the largest on the island and one of the most diverse: affordable properties to high-end investments, island-wide. and we have everything from cheap properties to the most expensive investments on the island. The highest demand and requests, other than Cyprus, are for Dubai, another luxury investment destination.

How is First Class positioning itself in relation to the competition? What is your focus and how are you strategizing for the future? 

We do not consider that we have competition; we only have co-operations, as we are the biggest estate agency on the island with the largest portfolio of properties and 5 offices in all the major cities. Other agencies always cooperate with our office to assist them in locating the right property for their clients. Our strategy and focus will surely be to continue to dominate the market but you can get inside scoops if you follow us and our work.

Who is Who

Nick Rotsides is the COO at First Class Homes, a leading, licenced real estate agency located in Limassol, Cyprus. The company offers advice in relation to short and long term investments in Cyprus properties. Nick Rotsides is in the industry since 2014 and has extensive experience in real estate and proptech.

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