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Sales up on last year but foreigners holding back

Property sales in March indicate that the Cyprus market may be on the road to recovery, but foreigners are still not buying in the key tourist areas.

ACCORDING to the latest figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys, property sales were up in March by 37% compared to last year and by 31% over the whole of the first quarter.

During the first quarter of 2010 the number of contracts of sale amounted to 2,086 compared to 1,596 during the same period last year; an increase of 31%.

Cyprus: All property sales March 2010

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Overseas sales

Although overall sales are up, foreign buyers are still holding back. With the exception of Famagusta, where sales were up 39% during the first quarter of this year, foreign buyers have yet to return in any great numbers to the key tourist areas of Paphos, Larnaca and Limassol.

However, foreigners are buying in the capital, Nicosia, where sales during the first quarter are up 169% compared to last year. But it is likely that these will be business acquisitions as Nicosia is not a destination favoured by tourists and holidaymakers.

But there are some encouraging signs in Paphos and Limassol where sales during March exceeded those of last year.

Cyprus: Foriegn property sales March 2010

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Pundits believe that during 2010 the Cyprus real estate market will stabilise after a period of uncertainty and doubt. The property industry is also hoping that the long-awaited changes to Planning and Title Deed legislation will help restore investor confidence in the market.

As previously reported, some property developers are developing new marketing strategies in the hope of attracting a more up-market overseas clientele.

Readers' comments

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  • Andy says:

    I can only hope that small numbers of properties that have been sold all come complete with Title Deeds.

    Anyone who has has bought a property without Title Deeds will be stuck with it for a long time.

    They may even lose everything if their developer decides to secure a mortgage on the land without their knowledge and then declares bankruptcy.

  • Peter says:

    Not a shock that sales are still very slow and in particular to foreign buyers.

    This situation will not improve, even with the slight improvement of the economy in the UK and other parts of Europe. I have lost 3 buyers for my property, due to the lack of Title Deeds that were applied for in 2006 and still not available !!

    I am sure we are not the only sellers facing this problem and only the Cyprus Government can bring it to an end by sorting their own systems. Oh, and this would release millions of Euros into their coffers to help with their debt !!!

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