Constantinos Ioannou: Real estate developments, the new permitting system and the government's priorities

The State is trying to put an end to the labyrinthine bureaucratic procedures inconveniencing citizens in matters related to the real estate sector and the granting of permits.

The time for examining and issuing property titles has been limited to three months on average, through a series of measures presented by the Minister of the Interior, Constantinos Ioannou.

Speaking at Altia's 18th Land Development, Design and Construction Conference and Exhibition taking place in Nicosia on 27 March, he first described the current situation, characterised by rapid developments in the construction sector and an ever-changing environment. Ioannou therefore emphasised the need for "flexibility, quick reflexes and adaptability."

He also presented some new figures he has on hand, by city, that make acceleration difficult.

In this direction, the government's goals are mainly focused on the following:

  • The simplification of development and securing licensing processes
  • Improving citizen service
  • The facilitation of entrepreneurs in the construction sector
  • Enhancing growth prospects
  • Establishing flexible and faster processes
  • Eliminating delays

This was followed by an analysis of the above goals in terms of their implementation progress and time horizon.

On the new procedure for issuing property titles, the Minister referred in particular to the introduction of new practices concerning requests for subdivisions (horizontal and vertical) for the creation of new title deeds for plots and other units.

External demarcation and carrying out land surveying work in advance is also one of the key points, as is the introduction of a competent private land surveyor institution to carry out land survey work.

With the above, the government aims, he said, to "remove citizens' suffering, to substantially reduce the total time required to complete the application and the issuance of property titles. The Minister placed particular emphasis on the burning issue of the issuance of property titles, for which the goal is to complete the process within "on average three months."

A special reference was also made by Ioannou to the measures to increase the supply of housing under the "Build to Rent" Scheme on private land, under which three options are offered. First is the subsiding of all the additional units (up to 45%) with affordable rent for a period of at least 6 years, second is the subsidising of 20% of the residential units of the current building rate with market rent for a period of at least 6 years and third, the possibility sale of 80% of the residential units of the current building rate on the free market.

During his presence at the Conference, the Minister also analysed the measures to increase the supply of housing and the Review of Urban Development Incentives as well as the priorities of the government, with the first being, as expected, Local Self-Government. This is followed by the smooth transfer of the competence of development licensing to the new Provincial Licensing Organisations, the full implementation of the housing policy and the offer of definitive housing solutions to socio-economically vulnerable citizens, improving the quality of services provided to citizens and facilitating cooperation with land development professionals,

Among the Ministry's priorities is the abolition of labyrinthine bureaucratic procedures that cause inconvenience to citizens and the modernisation of procedures, more broadly.

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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