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A Game-Changing Player in Cyprus Real Estate: An Exclusive Interview with Christakis Christodoulou, Inland Sales Manager at Aristo Developers

A Game-Changing Player in Cyprus Real Estate:  An Exclusive Interview with Christakis Christodoulou,  Inland Sales Manager at Aristo Developers

We are pleased to welcome Christakis Christodoulou, Inland Sales Manager at Aristo Developers Group, to share his valuable insights and expertise on the current state of the real estate market in Cyprus. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the industry, Christakis will provide a unique perspective on the trends, opportunities, and challenges facing the Cypriot property market.

With a degree in Hotel Management, Christakis began his professional journey in the hospitality industry, holding senior positions in world-class hotels before transitioning to the real estate and property sector. Since joining Aristo Developers Group in 1999, he has taken on various key roles within the company, including Area Manager and Sales and Marketing positions. Today, as Inland Sales Manager, Christakis oversees business development and expansion of the company's associate network across Europe and the Middle East.

  1. With over 40 years of experience in the real estate market, you've had to adapt to numerous challenges. What's the key to your enduring success?
    It’s true that over the 40 years of our journey in the real estate sector we have had to adapt to numerous challenges. We strongly believe that what enabled Aristo Developers to keep its leading position in the real estate market is firstly its core values and principles which are Integrity, Transparency and Accountability, as well as our top-quality product, offered at reasonable prices, and our superb standards of service. Aristo Developers is a 100% people-oriented organization. For us people always come first; and that is not just a motto, it is a proven fact.

    Further than that, what makes Aristo Developers a key player in the market, with enduring success, is our flexibility to challenges and our adjustability to change. Especially in our era, with the geo-political changes happening around us and the digitalization of life in all its aspects, if you are not flexible and cannot adjust to the new business environment, you will definitely stay behind.

  2. Aristo Developers has been a stalwart in the industry, weathering economic downturns and market fluctuations. What sets your company apart from competitors and enables you to remain a trusted partner?
    As I have already mentioned Aristo Developers is a company that is 100% people oriented with strong core values and high business ethics. We have a human approach and especially in our business sector where the product (real estate) we are selling involves a considerable amount of money to be able gain it, for the buyer trust is of fundamental importance. At Aristo Developers we don’t just sell houses, we create lifetime experiences, and we are there any time our clients may need us.

  3. Can you attribute your company's distinct market advantage to its integrated service model, which encompasses a full spectrum of offerings, including purchasing, rental, resale, and comprehensive support services? In your opinion, do these diverse capabilities play a crucial role in driving your company's success?

    Three things that distinguish Aristo Developers from the other key players in the market are our reasonable and competitive prices, our diversified property portfolio -we currently have over 40 developments on the market with an exciting range of available properties for sale - and our high standards of service.
    Aristo Developers is a one-stop shop. We provide literally everything to our clients who are interested in buying a property from us, no matter the reason, own residence, holiday home, investment, etc. Amongst our services we include full property and communal areas management, housekeeping, repairs and maintenance, as well as long-term rental and resale services. We help them to furnish their property, landscape their garden, open a bank account, etc. As the majority of our clients are coming from overseas, these services are very important to them and they are highly appreciated. We have multi-lingual teams of staff who can help our clients to smoothly, easily and comfortably settle in Cyprus because for foreign property purchasers who do not speak English, even a little issue could turn to a nightmare when they don’t know where to go to ask for help and are unable to talk to someone who can understand them.

  4. Which countries have shown increased interest in buying properties in Cyprus recently, and what profiles do these investors typically have?
    Over the last few months we are pleased to see a steadily increasing demand for properties from different markets; not only the “traditional” ones but also from new markets where in the past their interest in properties in Cyprus was quite low.

    At the moment the major market for Cyprus real estate is Israel. The high demand for properties by Israelis started about two years ago and keeps increasing with a very positive outlook. Israelis are mainly buying for investment (buy to let or resell), however there is a number of them who are interested in relocating to Cyprus and live here permanently. After the commencement of the war in October 2023 a lot of Israelis are also buying property in Cyprus to use as a safe escape, especially for their family, in case things deteriorate back home.

    We are also still seeing a high demand for properties in Cyprus from Russians but also from Ukrainians. However, for the Russians is not so easy to buy property in Cyprus anymore due to sanctions and other restrictions they are facing after the war with Ukraine. Both Russians and Ukrainians are currently looking to mainly buy houses and live here through the acquisition of Permanent Residency Permit in the Republic of Cyprus, as they consider the island as a safe destination that enables them to escape from the danger and instability they are facing in their country and have a high-quality living with their families here.

    China and south-east Asia also remain strong markets for the Cyprus real estate and property sector, although since the abolishment of the Cyprus Investment Program (citizenship) we have seen a drop in demand from these countries. Clients from these countries are mainly looking to buy and get Permanent Residency Permit in Cyprus.

    Lately we are also seeing a big number of Germans buying in Cyprus, especially young professionals in the high-tech sector and not only, where they move to Cyprus and work from home with the use of internet and digital technology.

    A promising new market that shows high interest in Cyprus real estate is Poland. This follows the impressive increase of tourist arrivals to Cyprus from that country. Polish are mainly looking for holiday homes and some of them are interested in moving and living here.

  5. Cyprus offers numerous advantages to investors, from its business-friendly environment to its EU membership. What, according to your experience, is the key factor that convinces potential investors to choose Cyprus?
    Cyprus is a great destination for residency and investment. The best proof is the big number of foreign nationals who have already purchased property and live here or invested in the island’s real estate. Obviously people have different needs and buy property for different purposes. Cyprus offers indeed numerous advantages to international property buyers to invest here. Some of the key factors that make Cyprus one of the most attractive countries in the world for property investors is the great Mediterranean climate - especially for clients from northern Europe. The Permanent Residency Programme of Cyprus is another reason many non-EU residents choose the island to buy property. The country’s high safety level along with the warm welcome and hospitality they receive from local people is definitely something that plays a significant role in choosing Cyprus. Also, foreign real estate investors find the tax system of Cyprus very appealing as it’s one of the most favourable in the EU.

  6. The world has faced various exogenous shocks in recent years, from global pandemics to geopolitical tensions. How has Aristo Developers adapted to these challenges, and what strategies have helped you overcome them?
    There is no doubt that over the last few years the world faced unprecedented challenges and shocks that caused dramatic changes to people’s lives. At the beginning of our conversation, I said that one of the key factors that lead to our enduring success is our flexibility to challenges and adjustability to change. For example, during the pandemic we had made use of technology and implemented systems that enabled us to remain fully functional and be productive by working online remotely.

    Also, the geopolitical tensions had a negative impact on some of our key markets. To overcome these challenges, we managed to identify opportunities arising from these markets, enabling us to minimise the loss.

    We furthermore searched and identified new markets with potentials which we targeted and I am pleased to say that the results so far have been very positive. The future of these new markets in relation to the real estate sector of Cyprus looks quite promising.

    I would also like to point out that at Aristo Developers we are environmentally sensitive, and we are taking into serious consideration the global climatic change; perhaps the biggest challenge and threat that humanity may face in the coming years. We have therefore adjusted the design of our projects, the methods of construction and the materials we use to make them more energy efficient. We also try to make the best possible use of natural resources and minimise their waste. We have planted thousands of trees and where we develop, we are very cautious to protect the natural environment to the highest possible degree. The world is going green, and Aristo Developers is leading the way.

  7. The surge in property prices due to foreign investment has made it challenging for local buyers to enter the market. Does this trend concern you, and do you see any signs that locals will be priced out of the market?
    It’s unfortunately true that foreign investment has caused surge in house prices which are not affordable anymore for a big number of the local population. Although it’s well known that the prices of Aristo Developers are very reasonable and competitive, and not inflated at all - that’s why a big number of Aristo homeowners are local Cypriots - but still we need to admit that for many locals to buy their own home is a big challenge and a dream that cannot be fulfilled.

    Here we have two facts: The small size of Cyprus (in territory) and the big demand by foreigners to buy property here. Therefore, the demand constantly exceeds supply. Consequently, property prices keep escalating. This is one of the fundamentals of economics.

    The demand for properties by foreign buyers has an impact on the value of land that is needed to develop a project. When land prices increase this affects immediately the prices of the “end product” (houses).

    Further to the high demand that pushes prices up, the recent geopolitical tensions have played a significant role in the increase of property prices, as these tensions are considerably affecting the prices of raw materials and transportation/ shipping costs.

    I don’t like to sound negative or pessimistic but under the circumstances I believe that the only way to create affordable houses for the big mass of the local population is through targeted governmental plans and visionary state housing strategies that will support the local people to buy, as well as the property developers to sell at lower prices. With the current market conditions, I really don’t believe that things could change considerably for the benefit of the local buyers without the involvement of the public sector.

  8. In an era of uncertainty, what's your outlook on the Cyprus real estate market for the near future? Are there any measures that can be taken today to mitigate potential future challenges?

    Despite the multiple challenges the world is facing and the fact that we are living in an era of uncertainty, myself I am very optimistic about the future of Cyprus real estate market which I believe will continue to flourish. As I mentioned during our discussion, Cyprus offers numerous advantages to international property buyers to invest here. Our country has some unique characteristics that attract people from many different countries to buy property on our island. We are at the crossroad of three different continents; three different worlds. We are a stable and safe EU member state, a true “shelter” in an area which is characterised by instability, violence and tension. Cyprus today is a modern country with high standards of living that can be compared with the advanced countries of central and northern Europe. However here we also have a great climate, something that is missing from those countries.

    And for buyers looking for properties purely for investment, and not coming and residing here, Cyprus will continue to be high on their list because of the low real estate taxation, as well as the high rental yields and properties value appreciation.

    Of course, as we already said, we live in an era of uncertainty and the world is facing a lot of challenges. Therefore we need to be alert and take certain measures and actions that will enable us to safeguard and strengthen our country’s presence in the global economic environment, maintaining Cyprus this way as one of the most attractive property destinations for international buyers.

    I believe that the three most important actions that need to be undertaken on a government level, that will help Cyprus real estate industry to expand and flourish even more are:

    Maximisation of our efforts for the solution of Cyprus political problem. This is the most important challenge we are facing and the solution of this issue will undoubtedly open endless horizons for the real estate industry of Cyprus.

    Simplification of government procedures and regulations that will speed up the process of projects licencing (permits) and title deeds issuing. This can be achieved through digitalisation.

    Better, more intensive and targeted promotion of Cyprus as a destination for investment in real estate by the competent ministries and Authorities.


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Tags: Real estate in Cyprus

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