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Cyprus property sales: December 2009 report

The number of properties being sold in Cyprus improved marginally last month. However, demand is still very low compared to previous years and some believe the Island’s property market will never return to the heady days of 2007.

ACCORDING to the latest figures from the Cyprus Land Registry, there was a modest increase in the number of properties sold during November this year compared to November 2008.

Overall, 792 contracts of sale were deposited at Land Registries throughout Cyprus in November, compared to 723 last month and 782 in November 2008. And although 1% more properties were sold last month than a year ago, demand is still very low compared to previous years. In November 2007 for example 1,979 properties were sold and in November 2006 1,587.

Number of Property Sales – 2008/2009 Comparison
 LocationNicosiaFamagustaLarnacaLimassolPaphosTotal
 Month200820092008200920082009200820092008200920082009
 January3671011873734577301152415911615458
 February349161269523121123451323061011581558
 March36516214249229973171602731121326580
 April296162143712961223101262911221336603
 May325184216682821342681462751071366639
 June298188166822891522971893361421386753
 July3302542251142661413692143521791542902
 August15517312864165135236148252122936642
 September238235196832411132331742491521157757
 October228195128882111142351822141441016723
 November1782218292128134197191197154782792
 Total Sales312920361882800276413313108181431601426140437407
 % Change-35%-57%-52%-42%-55%-47%

Property Sales to Cypriots & Foreigners (Source: Cyprus Land Registry)

Some believe that this ‘reheating’ is attributable to price reductions on overseas holiday homes being offered by some of the property developers who target that segment of the market, while others believe it is due to Cypriots taking advantage of price reductions.

Chartered surveyor, valuer and real estate agent, Antonis Loizou believes that that the slight increase is due to Cypriots snapping up cheap deals and that a further improvement will occur in mid 2010 followed by a recovery in 2011.

However, real estate agent Elias Danos said “The increase in sales is occasional and the market will recover after summer”.

Those in the property industry believe that the recovery will take a long time and that it will not return to the heady days of 2007 – even after the market has recovered.

Chairman of the Land and Building Developers Association, Lakis Tofarides is more pessimistic, saying that sales in the past few months are like “a drop in the ocean”.

There are thousands of unsold flats and houses. The sale of 100 – 200 properties does not change the situation, given that there were many big developers who sold 10 – 15 properties per week and now they sell 10 per year”, he said.

(In a statement released earlier today by Dolphin Capital Investors, the total gross sales booked by Aristo Developers (‘Aristo’) in September, October and November were €11.6 million, an increase of 25% over the same period last year).

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