There is a great confusion regarding the extent of the apartments in Cyprus and how this is measured. Each group/developer uses his own methodology of calculation, so the unsuspecting buyer does not know what he is actually buying. Various developers and sales people use imaginative approaches of how the extent should be calculated, usually by giving an exaggerating picture of the size.
The “market” uses the gross building area of an apartment, i.e. the external area of the unit, including the covered verandahs and a proportion of the common (covered) area on the floor that the apartment is situated. As such, if the common hall and the staircase of the floor is, say, 20 sq.mts., and there are 2 units of an equal size sharing the floor, the apartment size increases by 10 sq.mts. each (or in analogy with relation to the size of each unit). Uncovered areas/verandahs should be given separately.
Unfortunately various “imaginative” people, include in the sq.mts. of the unit, the proportion of the ground common entrance hall, the store area in the basement/parking and other covered areas which are in common use.
To the whole confusion, the Lands’ Office has chosen to follow its own way, by giving the gross area of the apartment (excluding the common area) i.e. the external building area and in addition, it refers separately to the covered and uncovered verandahs. So, in such cases, the apartment which a developer sells for (say) 100 sq.mts., the Lands’ Office registers the title deed say 85 sq.mts. or even 70 sq.mts., plus say 5 sq.mts. of covered verandah (excluding the common hall).
How then can a perspective buyer be able to compare the various apartments which he is looking to buy if there is no common basis of calculation? – In the U.K. the sq. meterage (sq.feet) is given in terms of internal dimensions, excluding the external and internal dividing walls and also common areas, whereas in Greece the extent is given excluding the common area and the verandahs. As such, we suggest, as a comparative method for would be buyers, to use the following:
1. Gross area of the apartment (external walls included and 50% of the dividing walls with the apartment abutting – if any).
2. Include the share of the common area on the floor on which the apartment is situated in analogy of the extent of each apartment – up to a logical extent of 15%.
3. Include covered verandahs up to 20% of the apartment extent.
4. Include uncovered verandahs but 1/3 of their extent
At least this is a method based on which one can compare with the alternatives.
With the prices of the apartments reaching a high level, you do appreciate that the correct measurement of an apartment becomes quite serious. The prevailing prices in Nicosia now (new units) is around 2000/sq.mt., in Limassol 2500/sq.mt., in Larnaca 1850/sq.mt. and in Paphos 1950/sq.mt. For the tourist areas the prices range from 12000/sq.mt. (beach) to 4000/sq.mt. (non beach but close to it). In the total price, the value of a store (usually 3 sq.mts.) and the parking space is included. Second hand accommodation have a discount price from the brand new ones around 15%-30%, depending on the location and the standard of upkeep, as well as the age. There are instances that second hand units have a greater value than the new ones (e.g. because of availability of titles, mature gardens etc) although this is a rarety.
If you want to compare the value of an apartment in relation to another one, we are giving you below a formula, which, although not precise, is mainly useful in comparing prices.
- Unit area including the external walls. Common walls with neighbouring owner to be measured at 1/2 of its width: Unit 1 (100m sq = 100m sq)
- Covered balcony area up to 20% of the above m sq: Unit 1 (20m sq = 20m sq)
- As above and over 20%: Unit 1/2 (10m sq/2 = 5m sq)
- Common use area proportionate to the apartment up to 15% of the area 1-3 (=125m sq): Unit 1 (19.0m sq = 19.0m sq)
- Over 15%: Unit 1/2 (10m sq = 5m sq)
- Uncovered balcony/garden up to 20% of the area of 1-5: 50%
- Over 20% uncovered balcony/garden: 20%
We hope that this, somehow simple, but based on a common ground formula, is to be adopted by all in order to maintain a comparable method for the benefit of the buyers who are not fully aware of what they are actually buying.
We hope that we are of some help to your search to buy an apartment.