The pandemic, which seems to be affecting the real estate sector in various ways, is bringing new data and changes in rental price levels.
For example, travel restrictions and bans that result in reduced arrivals for tourists and students alike, and reduced demand for Airbnb accommodation.
The equation offered by universities for distance learning can not be missing from the equation. Dr. Thomas Dimopoulos, Lecturer in Real Estate at the University of Neapolis, Paphos, and President of RICS Cyprus, gives his own assessment and analysis of the data as it is formed. Capturing the picture after the quarantine, the return to "normality" and the fear of new measures, he states that the feeling that exists shows a decrease in rents for certain categories of real estate. The biggest issue seems to be in commercial real estate.
Demand is changing
It is a fact that Cypriot universities have relied on students from abroad, who have recorded an increase in recent years to reach percentages of around 50% of all students. The foreign student current was also the basis on which a new product was created in the real estate sector, that of student dormitories for the construction of which private universities and investors have channeled significant amounts.
However, they were not enough to meet the housing needs of students mainly in Nicosia and Limassol. As a result, demand for apartments and housing units in city centers skyrocketed beyond the hearths, significantly increasing the cost of the rent.
The question that arises is whether this demand will continue to apply in the new academic year, given the new data created by the pandemic.
In the case of universities, it remains unknown how many students will choose to come to Cyprus while the picture of the pandemic remains fluid. Especially since a significant number of students come from countries outside the category A and B, or are in category C. Barometer for enrollment levels and student flow will be the model of education that will be implemented.
If, for example, it is deemed necessary for the courses to be done online, a model that was applied during the quarantine period, then the numbers of students who will arrive in Cyprus in September are estimated to be clearly reduced.
"The improvement and adaptation of the Universities to the new data for online learning is expected to increase the number of students as a whole, but at the same time, I would expect a decrease in the number of students for lifelong learning. The latter will have the consequence of reducing the demand for real estate aimed at students ", points out Dr. Dimopoulos.
The similar situation has been traced in Europe, where the decline in rental prices has already reached 5-7% compared to the same period last year.