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To build or buy off plan or maybe resale?

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Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
19/04/2008 23:11

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Message 1 of 22 in Discussion

Hi peeps,

I've been reading this forum for months,its very informative!

I'm considering doing a build in NC,what i would like to know is does anyone know a build cost per sq/m for a decent finish,i would source builders myself to keep costs down rather than pay an agencies commission.

The cost would be labour & materials.

Also is it worth doing this,ie would i be saving any money rather than buying off plan?

At the moment i'm doing some work in Montenegro,applying for planning permission to build apts there.The build costs there are 600>700euros per sq/m exc the land,resale approx 2500euro's per sq/m so it's worth while doing.

If i built in NC it would be a villa for personal use.

I'm not a pro at doing this,the project in Montenegro is my first!!!

I realise there's quite a few properties unsold in NC at present,so i would appreciate your views.

Many thanks Stuart.....


Joined: 25/02/2007
Posts: 2641

Message Posted:
19/04/2008 23:21

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Message 2 of 22 in Discussion

Its a buyers market. 100's of property left standing and empty. Lots of choice as a result. Why have the aggro? Find one you like and strike a good deal. On the other hand there are several honest and good builders that come highly recommended and could give you the individual house you have always dreamed of. As usual its a case of research and exploring all your options. What you see is what you get does spring to mind though.

Good luck which ever route you choose.


Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
19/04/2008 23:42

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Message 3 of 22 in Discussion


I am planning going to NC later in the year.

The market in most places is stagnant or falling,credit crunch,weak ,mortgage offers being reduced [LTV],

A few sites,independant & not sponsored by estate agents are predicting NC should pick up,see the Amber Lamb site.

I would of thought if this keeps up for another 6>12 months & the signs are it will & possibly get worse,then developers with unsold stock may start to accept lowish offers to offload their properties.

Many thanks stuart....


Joined: 13/12/2007
Posts: 1040

Message Posted:
20/04/2008 08:46

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Message 4 of 22 in Discussion

Off Plan - 500 to 600 per square metre. This does not include the cost of land or taxes to be paid on finished article.

Finished and never lived in - 700 to 800 per m. Includes land but not taxes payable.

Second Hand where taxes have been paid - 800 to 900 per m. Includes land and taxes.

These are ball park figures and should not be taken as gospel.

There are some 200m villas that cost 1000 per m that include the land but not taxes, but the same villa in another location works out at 600 per m.

Our biggest problem with New Builds is the cost of land. That has what has more than doubled in the last 4 years.


Joined: 10/04/2008
Posts: 1787

Message Posted:
20/04/2008 09:01

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Message 5 of 22 in Discussion

i did read last week in south that building land now carries a brand new tax ,15% vat on top paid at buying the land stage .

so this will send values of land up .

how long before that comes in n.c ?



Joined: 30/04/2008
Posts: 40

Message Posted:
03/05/2008 11:32

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Message 6 of 22 in Discussion

helo timothy

You seem to know quite a lot re property prices. Is there a standard price per sq mtr, as in the UK, for renovation. If so what would it be please? thanks


Joined: 23/03/2008
Posts: 606

Message Posted:
03/05/2008 12:18

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Message 7 of 22 in Discussion


If you've been reading this board, and presumably the other well known board carefully, and digested all the details about water/electric meters (I am concerned that some will 'never' get connected), slight inconveniences with some constructors/land owners, deadlines running a little over scedule etc, then isn't it a no-brainer, buy a resale with services connected.


Joined: 13/12/2007
Posts: 1040

Message Posted:
03/05/2008 13:00

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Message 8 of 22 in Discussion


There is no fixed price for renovations here. Everything is negotiable. Also due to items being bought in foreign currencies and paid for in foreign currencies, prices vary due to exchange rates. An example of which is Ink Cartridges for our printer. They are priced in Euros but once converted to sterling cost 1.50 more than 6 months ago.

As a guide, and this is only a guide, renovations can be around off plan costs, not including the cost of the renovation itself.


Joined: 29/12/2007
Posts: 842

Message Posted:
03/05/2008 20:49

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Message 9 of 22 in Discussion


Excuse my ignorance. What is the 'Amber Lamb site'?


Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
03/05/2008 22:31

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Message 10 of 22 in Discussion


The Amber Lamb site looks at markets worldwide,it's independent & not run or sponsored by estate agents or property developers so cuts through all crap you would hear from that lot!!

It rates Northern Cyprus highly,it's worth a look if that sort of thing interests you.

They've been right about other places such as Montenegro,where i'm working at the mo,i'm looking at NCyprus because of what their forecasting,of course this depends on politics!!!same as montenegro,that has problems to.


andre 514

Joined: 31/03/2008
Posts: 1163

Message Posted:
03/05/2008 23:35

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Message 11 of 22 in Discussion

hi syebba,

you dont mean that amanda lamb

who was previously a scottish widow

and then presented a place in the sun?

she rated riga latvia and talinn estonia two of the best prospects

but apart from the fact that is freezing cold eight months of the year

and although they are in natio and the eu...

they seem somehow to have seriously upset

their very large and increasingly truculant neighbour

I shall not elaborate but the phrase

"whose been eating my porridge"

strikes a certain resonance

amanda rated north cyprus as fairly crap

but gave top marks to romania and bulgaria which IMHO

are not universally wonderful places

and despite truckloads of *u****** from estate agents

when I was last in constanza

you even now cannot own property in either country

unless a shifty local firm is used as a nominee

I heard that seaterra are currently looking at montenegro

perhaps the bay of kotor, I would imagine...

although that is supposed to be a world heritage site

what do you think about montenegro generally?



Joined: 23/03/2008
Posts: 606

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 10:47

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Message 12 of 22 in Discussion

Montenegro - well Abramavich is buying it up in wholesale quantities to build 'the next Dubai'


Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 13:33

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Message 13 of 22 in Discussion

andre 514

Hehe,No not that Amanda Lamb!!!

I love montenegro,i'm working in Kotor bay which is stunning.

Parts of the NC coastline look similar to montenegro,that's another reason i'm planning to visit NC.

The Russians now own vast parts of monty,as well as Brits/Irish & Americans.

A few developers in monty are now looking at NC as prices in monty are now high on the coastline,cheapest is 2500euro per sq/m & some areas are now 5000 euro per sq/m for a finished build.

The Russians i've heard have been land banking in NC,this is how monty started,the investment is huge out there,i've a feeling NC could go the same way!

NC has a better climate & is a lot cheaper,both countries have their problems,but hopefully progress will be made on this front.

The main problem in monty is between the serbs & kosovans,but touch wood with promised EU entry,it may be resolved fairly peacefully.

In NC you have a fairly similar problem between the turk & greek cypriots,the greek cypriots from what ive read want the whole island back,there seems to be no compromise with them & the serbs want kosovo back & refuse to recognise its independence.

Has Abramavich been looking at NC yet?

Ive also read land prices have doubled in 2 years in NC due to Russian buyers,in my opinion land prices are the first sign a country is going to take off,so there are a lot of peeps keeping a close eye on developments over there.

Thanks for your advice its interesting & this forum is great for info & opinions.


andre 514

Joined: 31/03/2008
Posts: 1163

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 14:18

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Message 14 of 22 in Discussion

hi syebba,

thanks for a most gracious reply:

obviously the "secret" of montenegro property is not as well kept as trnc's

the potential for russian property investment is vast

the country is raking in around three hundred million pounds a day

in gas and oil taxes and despite continuing inflation problems

its economy is still expanding fast

when I am sober, I can see that north cyprus is on a longtitude

exactly due south of moscow...

granted that serbians are very unhappy about montenegro's independence

but alone they simply have not the strength to do anything about it,

in any forseeable future

kosovo is a much closer parallel to the history of north cyprus...

invaded by foreign armies to liberate its islamic people etc etc

but kosovo is very well recognised by western states, probably

because it is they who chose to do the "liberating" for their own reasons

(sorry for the use of inverted commas but it denotes " a controversy")

for the serbs, "kosovo independence" is like a dagger in their hearts

and it was there they made a huge sacrifice at the hand of the ottomans,

suffering a catastrophic final defeat at the so-called "field of blackbirds"...

glossing over the fact that the regime in belgrade

made the ethnic population in kosovo very unwelcome for the last ten years

of their control of the area,

highly motivating the ethnic albanians' campaign for independence

sound familiar?



Joined: 14/05/2007
Posts: 1179

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 14:45

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Message 15 of 22 in Discussion

I agree with Bradus. I have just received my final bill from my developers who never answer e-mails. I have over 100 unanswered.The whole journey since November 2005 has been one long tussle with money grabbing unprofessionals who now send a bill for 3000 for connecting water and e,ectricity which is not connected at all and 6000 for extras which should be 2200 with no breakdown of either amounts. Guess what no reply to requests for breakdown. This is just typical of the whole saga.

I have seen finished villas in similar positions, taxes paid for less money and no aggravation from developers or government moving of goalposts. Have a look at my neighbours post, Discovery. You also get what you see without insinuations of what you might or might not get.

Buy completed it keeps the blood pressure down!


Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 14:49

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Message 16 of 22 in Discussion


You know a lot about this!

As regards montys independence from serbia,that went smoothly with no recriminations from serbia.

Many serbs have holiday homes in monty & are now selling to the Russians for exhorbitant prices.

The serbs will never accept kosovo as an independent state,however all parties in serbia have ruled out any sort of military conflict as futile & pointless.

Serbia is in a difficult position,Russia is buying up its infrastructure inc energy supplies & the EU is promising huge financial aid to progress the country.

The EU & Russia have opposing views on the independence of kosovo.

The Russians are concerned this could set a precedent in other states or countries seeking independence,primarily its own!!

With regards to NC i really cant see reunification working between the greek & turkish cypriots,too much bloods been spilt.

What are your views on this?

Russian investment seems unstopable due to their oil & gas reserves,they simply outbid everyone else be it land or properties,prices when they invest rise staggeringly fast!

Do you live or have a place on NC?

It will be interesting to see if the Russians start to buy up Albania,great beeches,cheap,easily accesible.



Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 15:06

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Message 17 of 22 in Discussion

Sorry to hear about your problems breezyboy,i would be fuming in your position.

Can solicitors not do something about this or are they corrupt also?

Resale or fully completed builds looks the way to go.

Developers seem to be holding their clients to ransom with water & electric connection charges,i'm new to this scene,is this a new government policy or the developers greed?



Joined: 14/05/2007
Posts: 1179

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 15:29

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Message 18 of 22 in Discussion

Hi Syebba

No most are not corrupt especially mine , they are very good. The system takes 2 - 3 years to accomplish anything and then there seems to be a problem satisfying judgement even if you get it. I have been into this route quite carefully and shelved it for the time being. A quick writ english style would have been sent, probably more than once if it were available.

I can live with being a year overdue if I got any answers let alone straight ones. I have had 5 totally spurious completion promises in the past.

Even given that now it is a buywers market and I could possibly save money, I would gladly have paid more for a resale for peace of mind. I cant find that website which sells hindsight online!!


Joined: 23/03/2008
Posts: 606

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 16:42

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Message 19 of 22 in Discussion


Re: msg 17 - Resale or fully completed builds looks the way to go.

Like I said in msg 7 - .......

If you do go 'completed build' (i.e. no services) make a condition that you pay only 25% until services connected, maybe a further 25% when first of water/electric connected, balance within 14 days of latter, if no-one agrees, walk away, it's a buyers market.

Beleive me, most constructors have contacts in these places and this will speed things, and they will give you all the help you need so long as you owe them.

andre 514

Joined: 31/03/2008
Posts: 1163

Message Posted:
04/05/2008 20:58

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Message 20 of 22 in Discussion

hi syebba,

for many reasons I cannot see anyone buying up albania, it's too dire

although there are one or two firms trying to make it look a steal

apparently prices go up ten times if they realise you are a foreigner

the creaking infrastructure I saw in '75 must have seized up by now

even in supposedly tame croatia and monte there are said to be

serious inheritance ownership issues resulting from

bestowed property splitting into tiny slivers

and it always tempts fate to say things went smoothly

because there may well be a pronounced "morning-after" effect,

especially in regard to who paid for what, who is the real "democrat"

and trouble with populations left on the "wrong" side of the line

don't forget the problem of cyprus was apparently "solved" in 1960

when all and sundry signed up for a very fair and workable arrangement:

or was it?!?!?!?

I once made the great mistake of asking two educated greek ladies

what they thought about the turks:

this prompted twenty minutes of absolute raving,

words like animals primitive and savage cropping up repeatedly

just as my self-control was at breaking point they finally ran out of breath

and perhaps sensing I wasn't any threat,

one of them softly muttered "and we are exactly the same..."

I think a simple re-unification with eventual gc domination

would be a total disaster for the north and sincerely hope this never happens,

there may be some sort of half-way accommodation deal possible

but let's see what the technical committees come up with in 2008 (annan II ?!)

and see who is the first to blink

chairman mao was asked what he thought about the french revolution,

and he replied "it is too early to tell"


nah! things could be far worse than they are, I shall not elaborate...

as regards other questions please see my earlier postings



Joined: 19/04/2008
Posts: 17

Message Posted:
05/05/2008 14:16

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Message 21 of 22 in Discussion


I agree simple reunification with the north would be a disaster,even more so under gc control.

My main concern is Turkey may pull the plug on NC to help its accession to EU membership.

In any emerging market its crucial to triple check title deeds & how many owners have a vested interest in the sale of land or prop.

On tv there was one guy who bought approx 3000sq/m of land with sea views just outside Dubrovnik in Croatia in 2003 approx.

He got planning on the land & decided to sell it approx 2005/06 & had a nasty shock.The land was'nt all his!!

The land had been passed down amongst croatian family members for generations,some of them had'nt signed the contract to pass the land over to the british guy.

The brit went to court & sold the land for 4 times what he paid for it,but 50% of the proceeds had to be paid as compensation to the croation family members who had'nt signed the sale contract!

From memory this cost him 200,000.

Solicitors not doing their job properly?

Albania is interesting,yes it's primitive & corrupt,but who'd of thought Bulgaria would be so popular now?

There's fantastic beaches there,some interesting architechture,EU funding new roads & infrastructure,airport rebuilt & doubled in size,club med buying up beach plots & easy flight access.

Finished builds on the beachfront with no road in front can be had for approx 800>900euro's sq/m.The beach is opposite Corfu.

Northern Cyprus has many advantages over these new markets,it wins hands down on climate,personal safety,crime is low etc.

Last point you are 100% correct about foreigners[us]buying property or land abroad,the price does increase dramatically,it's like a skin tax!!

Does this not happen in TRNC?

Do we pay the same price as locals?

Ta for now......

andre 514

Joined: 31/03/2008
Posts: 1163

Message Posted:
05/05/2008 22:13

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Message 22 of 22 in Discussion

thanks for the update syebba, very interesting

no I cannot imagine an "eu turkey" let alone turkey pulling any plug,

although britain, as far back as the john major regime at least,

has always promoted turkish membership of the eu

while nearly all the other eu members are strongly opposed...why?

well, britain is desperate to weaken eu control by the franco-german bloc,

and turkey will soon have more people and potential eu votes than germany,

while the uk faces little direct trade competition from turkish exporters

on the larger world stage the anglo-american alliance sees a strong turkey

as a major western bulwark, if a not entirely tractable one, nuff' said...

for the other north european countries IMHO,

they don't exactly warm to the idea of a large non-christian member of europe,

while the south european eu states greatly fear increased competition from

turkish farm exports, especially since many of the "olive groves" and "vinyards" they have always claimed rich eu subsidies for,

mysteriously appear not to show up even on high-resolution satellite pix

yet the eu circle of gold stars exists because of turkey!

the "western european union", a cold-war political creation,

was set up by the start of the 1950's with turkey a founder member

now since the nato symbol features a cross in a circle, turkey objected to yet another logo with any sort of cross ie an inappropriately christian token

so in deference to turkey a circle of stars was agreed to represent the weu,

and this later inspired the original common market to adopt the same flag

as far as I can make out, the formal accession process is grinding on painfully

with one ray of hope that relations between greece and turkey are very slowly

improving, provided a ruck over oil rights doesn't start up in the agean area

word from the wise is about 15-20 years to turkish membership or never...

but any imaginable turkish state could hardly abandon the turkish cypriots

although it is just possible that a deal could be on offer

where turkey pushes the tc's into a less favourable agreement with the south

solely to get eu membership, rather like the gc's did with the annan plan

though in that case their leaders including christofias as a matter of interest,

never had the slightest intention of going ahead with the deal

anyway this business of "I'll do this for you, if you do that for me"

doesn't really work in international relations, to give two examples:

a japanese businessman offered yeltsin's russia one trillion dollars for siberia

the russians said no, firstly for reasons of national pride, secondly because they might never actually get paid

and thirdly because of bitter memories of the disasterous 1896 alaska sale

serbia was supposedly offered fast-track membership of the eu in exchange for accepting the loss of kosova, they would not even discuss this

because firstly kosovo is "ours" anyway so why should we negociate its loss?

and secondly "stick your eu" bloody-mindedness

please note:

the above comments and opinions are not necessarily those of the undersigned


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