Set sail to a home in Cyprus

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

The international property market on Cyprus suffered severe casualties in the recession with a serious case of boom followed by bust.  At its peak in 2007 11,281 homes in Cyprus were sold to non-Cypriots but by 2009 it dropped 84 per cent to 1,761. Last year it increased slightly to 2,030 sales but it’s a long way from the golden age of 2007.

At a time of uncertainty, why would a property developer begin work on a £350 million luxury development on the island, aimed at the international market? The developer, Cybarco, were in London last week and we went to the launch of luxury Limmassol Marina to find out more.

Limassol Marina is a new luxury resort in development in Cyprus“It’s the most exclusive marina project in the Mediterranean”, says CEO Michalis Hadjipanayiotou, “Well, that may be a little arrogant, but only maybe”, he concludes.  Hadjipanayiotou (let’s call him ‘Mich’) is Passionate about the new Cyprus property development and tells us about how fabulous it is going to be over a suitably luxury lunch.

What gets Mich most excited is the concept of living “on” the sea. While we indulge our salmon confit with black truffle sauce washed down with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, he explains: “It’s not just a home with a sea view, or by the beach, it’s actually on the sea”. In a similar (but better) design to Dubai’s Palm, Cybarco are building out into the ocean.

Buy a property with a berth at Limassol Marina in CyprusThe selling power of Limassol Marina is the water and it’s aimed at wealthy sailing enthusiasts (also joining us at lunch were Motor Boat and Yachting magazine and All of the homes come with the option of a berth (or two) and with some of the villas you can “drive up to one door and sail away from another”.

If the target market is yacht owners, have they had any celebrity or high net worth individuals interested? Mich says that the international glitterati are interested and arrive in private jets to come and buy. Mainly Russians and Arabs have bought. One client arrived in the sales office and was so impressed with the multi-million-pound villas that he called a friend and told him about them. “My friend will have one as well please”, he said when he came off the phone.

Limassol Marina in Cyrus has properties for sale that are attracting wealthy yacht ownersSo will this brave development sink into the ocean it’s built on or glitter on the sea? Only time will tell but, for now, sales are doing well and the government and locals support it. And it has the potential to put the wind back into the sails of a struggling market and take the island of Cyprus to the next level in luxury living.

Limassol Marina has apartments for sale from £400,000 and villas for sale with either beach or a berth at the back door for sale from £1.4 million. The first show home is scheduled to be ready in autumn this year.

June 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM Leave a comment

Two bedroom flats for sale in London

1. Thames Road, London, W4

£550,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

2. Ockendon Road, London, N1

£549,500 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

3. Lanterns Court, Lanterns Way, London E14

£435,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

4. Larkhall Rise, London, SW4

£385,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

5. The Vale, Acton W3

£279,950 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

6. Marmion Road, Battersea SW11

£485,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

7. Bonneville Gardens, London SW4

£475,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

8. Merton Road, Wimbledon SW19

£385,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

9. Green Lanes, Palmers Green, London N13

£340,000 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

10. Petley Road, Hammersmith, London W6

£449,950 – 2 bedroom flat for sale

More 2 bed flats for sale in London

June 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM 1 comment

Vanilla Ice: Yo! Would you take property advice from this man?

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved. has been digging in the back of the wardrobe for our low-crotch trousers and baseball cap ever since we heard that property – at least in the US – was about to go all gangsta.

For those unaccustomed to early ‘90s rap speak, what we mean exactly is that Vanilla Ice (whose given name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle) has just launched his own property biz called, of course, Vanilla Ice Real Estate.

Van Winkle is already established as a bit of a homie type and has been hosting The Vanilla Ice Project – where he pimps out other people’s houses  - on America’s DIY network since 2009, so his entry into the online property world isn’t completely left field.

And it turns out his new website,, is a fairly pumpin’ operation that promises to teach aspiring property investors how to make paper (that’s money for the uninitiated) by buying and selling homes so they too can enjoy all the trappings of the rock star life – we’re talking Bentleys and bikini babes, of course.

Van Winkle explains it all on his website: “After my record breaking hip hop album, I got rich all over again in real estate,” he says. “I bought properties all across the country and resold them for millions in profits. It was some of the easiest money I ever made.

“Then I reinvested those profits into more deals, both residential and commercial, making money (and many mistakes) along the way. Although the camera is now spotlighting my skills as an investor on DIY’s The Vanilla Ice Project, the truth is, I have been investing for more than 16 years.”

Anyway, don’t take it from us, let the man himself guide you.

June 28, 2011 at 3:52 PM 2 comments

3.45 million homes bought in last 5 years, now ‘Underwater’

There is an unprecedented number of homeowners ‘stuck’ with homes they bought in recent years with the expectation that prices would continue to sky-rocket. Our latest research shows that 4 out of 5 homes purchased in Britain since 2006 have a property market value today below their purchase price.

As as a result, home owners do not want to take a loss on their asset and many owners have been unwilling to set realistic asking prices to sell them. Of the 4.32 million homes purchased since 2006, and where the ownership remains the same, 3.45m (80%) of these homes are ‘underwater’ (worth less today than their purchase price).

Those worst affected are the homeowners who bought at the peak of the market. 93.2% of homes bought in 2007 and 88.9% of those bought in 2008 are now ‘underwater’. Over the last 5 years, buyers who have fared best are those who bought in 2009, having successfully timed the bottom of the market during the recent downturn.

At a regional level, the North East of England is the worst affected area, with 93% of properties purchased since 2006 yet to climb back to the values paid for them by their owners. At the other end of the scale, the London market has been unique and bounced back very strongly from the recent market lows of 2009. Consequently less than half (46%) of homes bought over the last 5 years in London are now valued below their purchase price, underlining how much more resilient the capital has been to the property downturn versus the rest of the country.

Number of homes ‘Underwater’ by year of purchase

Year # Transactions # Below
Purchase Price
% Below
Purchase Price
2007 1,184,000 1,103,240 93.2%
2008 631,964 561,902 88.9%
2009 607,502 288,664 47.5%
2010 638,626 561,797 88.0%
Total 4,320,569 3,458,513 80.0%

Source: (June 2011)

Number of homes bought in last 5 years ‘Underwater’ by region

Region # Transactions # Below
Purchase Price
% Below
Purchase Price
North East 231,088 215,264 93.2%
Yorkshire & TheHumber 306,507 283,920 92.6%
East Midlands 322,987 293,838 91.0%
Wales 178,604 158,156 88.6%
North West 453,840 398,375 87.8%
West Midlands 352,124 308,181 87.5%
South West 442,365 373,062 84.3%
Scotland 374,387 306,032 81.7%
East 459,174 360,911 78.6%
South East (exc.London) 708,189 533,630 75.4%
London 491,300 225,779 46.0%
Total 4,320,569 3,458,513 80.0%

Source: (June 2011)

As always, please feel free to share and use this information, all we ask is that you credit the source as and link to any of the links above or Thank you.

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June 27, 2011 at 12:57 PM 1 comment

First-time buyer blog: What it’s like to find your first home by Emma

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Hello, my name is Emma and I have officially been branded a First-Time Buyer (FTB). It’s exciting, challenging, daunting, extremely interesting and rather amusing at times. I’m hoping to share the journey with you in this blog. First, as a way of an introduction and a bit of background I’ll tell you a little bit about myself.

I currently live in a rented property with my boyfriend in Reading. It’s more-or-less halfway between our jobs so it was an ideal location.  We are now looking to buy our first home together.

The first step was to find a mortgage, and to figure out what we may be able to afford. After many sums, long conversations with Mortgage Advisors at various banks we had a good idea of interest rates, different types of mortgages and the many insurance policies that go along with them. Personally, I couldn’t wait to get this part out of the way. It was overwhelming, actually.

We have been looking at properties for five weeks now. It has been the biggest learning curve, but despite not finding “the one” just yet I would really encourage FTBs to vary their first few weeks of looking. We thought we had an idea about what we were looking for in a house, when infact this does not become clear until you have seen many properties. We have seen brand new, very old, large, small, clean, filthy, crowded, empty, ugly, pretty and down-right uninhabitable properties.

We are still looking, although now being a bit more selective. Armed with a note book, a keen eye and an open mind maybe this weekend will be the winner. In which case this could end up being a very short blog indeed! Until then I’ll keep you all posted and will share some of our experiences to date.

I hope you enjoy the blog, if you would like to keep updated with some classic estate agent lines you can follow me on Twitter @polkadotcherry


June 27, 2011 at 10:41 AM 3 comments

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