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February 23, 2011

Luxury Villas in Cyprus – can Croatia learn a lesson?

Posted in: Lead article

villa in cyprusHaving just returned from a short break in Cyprus, it was interesting to compare the Cypriot property market with that of Croatia’s. It appears that Cyprus villas for sale at the luxury end of the market are much more developed and better organised than villas in Croatia.

Both countries are Mediterranean, and whilst there are a number of similarities, the differences in the property market between the two countries are striking. As with Croatia, the Cyprus property market also targets people in search for homes in the sun, either as holiday homes or as a place to retire. The biggest differences we found are at either end of the property market scale – the luxury end and the cheaper budget end.

The luxury villa end of the market

At the luxury end of the Cypriot property market, entire villages are often built on generously sized land plots complete with comprehensive infrastructure, sometimes based around golf courses or close to the top beach resorts. These purpose built villages are designed to offer complete luxury and privacy to their residents, many times including walls around the entire village and security guards manning gated entrances. As such, these villas for sale in Cyprus tend to command premium prices that can range from EUR 800,000 up to EUR 3,000,000 + in some cases.

Conversely, in Croatia, luxury villa properties are more often than not built “stand alone”, typically a large villa on a nice sized plot, but the neighbourhood and surrounding area is often missing the level of sophistication and facilities that can easilly add 40% to a property’s price. As they say, location, location, location!

Lessons for Croatia

As Croatia gradually moves towards building more golf courses surrounded by villas and luxury apartments, we do hope that those involved can learn a few lessons from their counterparts experience in Cyprus. Wealthy people do have more money, they are looking for the best, BUT, they are just as price conscious as anyone else and want to ensure they get value for money. It just tends to be value for money at a different level to us mere mortals.

Croatia’s main property related advantage over Cyprus currently tends to be at the cheaper end of the market. In Cyprus, gone are the days when properties would be passed down the inheritance line and be put up for sale at under EUR 100,000. Run down old stone houses are largely non-existent in Cyprus any more, particularly those within close proximity of the coast or beach resort. In Croatia, however, there is still a reasonable supply of old houses requiring renovation that can be transformed into stunning rural gems complete with sea view. So, if you are looking for an old stone house that can be transformed into a fabulous holiday home, then head to Croatia!


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