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Sales up in 2010 but outlook bleak

Despite the continued fall in sales over the last six months of 2010, the number of properties sold in Cyprus increased by five percent over the year compared with 2009.

FIGURES released this morning by the Department of Lands and Surveys show that a total of 8,170 contracts of sale were deposited at Land Registry offices throughout the Island during 2010 compared with the 8,598 contracts deposited during 2009.

June was the best month for sales when 864 contacts being deposited; the worst was August with a mere 554.

The largest increase was in Nicosia, where sales increased by 13.5% over the year. Nicosia was followed by Limassol where sales increased by 9.7% and Paphos, where sales were up 2.8% compared with 2009.

However, sales in Larnaca fell by 5.4% and those in Famagusta fell by 3.7%.

Cyprus property sale numbers - 2010 vs 2009

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

After a promising start to the year with sales improving on last years figures, property sales declined for six consecutive months between July and December.

Cyprus property sales monthly chart - 2009 vs 2010

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Many believe that this downward trend will continue and that the outlook is bleak for property developers and other companies involved in real estate who will continue to struggle in the year ahead.

Lakis Tofarides, the president of the Cyprus Land & Building Developers’ Association was reported as saying “The real estate sector saw a small light at the end of the tunnel in Nicosia and Limassol,” and that “The problem will continue unless the government adopts the necessary measures to help the industry recover.”

Readers' comments

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  • andyp says:

    Costas. Having made a Freedom of Information Act request to The FCO regarding complaints registered with The BHC regarding property complaints and lawyers I was advised a few days ago that they do not keep such records. I doubt they would be interested in keeping records regarding unissued titles.

    I think the FCO thinks this is a minor property problem for stupid individuals rather than in my opinion an organised scam to which The ROC turns a blind eye.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Hence the need for a published running total of outstanding Title Deeds so that MEP’s and the EU can ask the Cypriot Government why their policies are having no effect on the number of outstanding Title Deeds at a time when the numbers of new contracts being lodged have been at very low levels for at least a year.

  • Peter says:

    If problem with the tile deeds were cleared tomorrow where would the population from the Land Registry go and work? They would be unemployed, and there’s a lot of that around at the moment.

    You have to realise they have a vested interest in keep the ‘status quo’. They have a job for life, so if you think this problem will ever get sorted, think again.

    Working for the Government is so secure and a job for life that’s why all school leavers want to work in a Government Department and not in private industry.

  • Andyp says:

    Richard. The Cyprus Government could employ the entire population of about 800,000 to try and clear title deeds but actually it would make NO dent in the numbers of outstanding title deeds if the developer has not paid off the mortgage on your land. Land Registry CANNOT issue a title deed to you in this situation.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Happy New Year to all.

    I do find it very puzzling that organisations like the Department of Lands and Surveys and CYSTAT can produce and publish all of this detailed information about numbers of sales contracts lodged, and the number of Title Deeds transferred, but cannot apparently produce a report showing the running total of outstanding title deeds so that it can be proved one way or the other if the outstanding total is increasing or decreasing.

    Maybe it’s not a case that they cannot, more like they will not?

  • Richard Bodger says:

    I strongly believe the reason property sales are staying so low is due in no small part to the fact that one cannot obtain property title deeds in a sensible time, this is a cause of major concern for potential new buyers and a serious inconvenience for people who already own property and may wish to sell.

    We were being told 5 years ago that there was such a property sales boom and this was causing the delay. ( I was told 7 years absolute maximum) surely in this time of vastly reduced sales, things should now have caught up.

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