Property in Cyprus and earthquake zones
Cyprus is an island of contrasts. Old and historic buildings coexist with a wide range of recently built investment opportunities. Cyprus marketplace grows day by day with many high-quality and luxurious properties that shine in different island corners. But there is a reality: all buildings are exposed to earthquakes.
As we well know, an earthquake is an action where the Earth vibrates suddenly, releasing a lot of energy. Of course, some earthquakes release energy like that of lightning, but others can overcome the explosions of the most powerful atomic bombs.
Diverse kinds of properties are featured on every street in Cypriot cities. Old stone houses mix with commercial properties of steel and glass. The real estate industry emerges vigorously, offering resale properties options to many who prefer bricks to the stock market.
In any case, the earthquake that occurred on October 30 last year in the Aegean Sea alerted everyone. This is because so many houses and apartments were damaged, and different sectors of the cities were put at risk. Especially all those properties built before 1994, when a Building Code was established for the entire island.
Nowadays, an excellent real estate agent considers the age of a property before selling it and the quality of its construction. Property in Cyprus may look flawless from the outside, but it is always good to have the preliminary report from a licensed real estate agent and a Civil Defence authority. Cyprus real estate has evolved a lot in recent years, and precautions are taken that were previously dismissed in the property market.
The last decades have marked the island's destiny, and its inhabitants, especially with all that means. Due to the relocation of many families, Cyprus offers a wide variety of properties for sale. They are ideal to be demolished (due to its risk of an earthquake) and build a new building. Carrying out a great investment requires having a long-term vision and contemplating these types of alternatives.
It is worth noting that Civil Defence indicated that more than 50% of the properties built of stones could be affected by a meaningful earthquake. This data is relevant, considering the enormous number of properties of this type throughout the island.
In this scenario, the important thing is to protect current properties, especially those that are part of the historical heritage. There is a wide variety of constructions that are essential locations to understand the history of the most famous island in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is precisely where the African and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, in a strip where they occur on the 15t% of the world's earthquakes.
For now, licensed estate agents act like detectives when identifying properties to buy or sell in the real estate market. Understanding the quality of buildings, their age, and their useful life are critical in the Cyprus investment world.
Making a bit of history, we can mention that in 1953 a strong earthquake destroyed about two thousand houses and more than 10 thousand buildings were damaged. On that occasion, 40 people died due to the double earthquake.
In this context, coastal cities are more prone to earthquakes, as is the case with Ayia Napa. Even today, many abandoned buildings are confused with the classic ruins.
In Cyprus, there is a lack of culture when building a house, to the point that not all of them conform to the standards established by the European Union regarding earthquakes. It always gives the impression that minimal measures are taken, such as to comply with municipal regulations. And this should not be so. Much more is put at risk than building a property and the surrounding land: human lives are at risk.
Estate in Cyprus requires an awareness of all this, but it is undoubtedly a cultural problem. Time will tell how willing Cypriots are to behave according to the law. Nevertheless, the cultural change must take place, favoring the real estate and cultural development of the constructions in Cyprus. This behavior has the owners of the houses and apartments as the main responsible for their conservation, in compliance with current regulations.
In 2018, more than 6,300 homes were classified by government authorities as cultural heritage and protected. This decision does nothing but strengthens everything that has been stated, directing the preservation to a place aligned with the norms that the European Union provides for all its member countries.