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Property sales fall for ninth consecutive month

Property sales in Cyprus fell for the ninth consecutive month during March and recorded the largest fall over the past 15 months, heightening fears that the crisis in the real estate sector may be worsening.

ACCORDING to Land Registry figures published earlier today, the number of contracts of sale deposited at Land Registries throughout Cyprus in March was 625 compared with the 792 deposited in March last year; a fall of 21% and the worst monthly drop since October 2009.

Sales fell in all areas. Worst hit was Larnaca, where sales fell 52% followed by Famagusta (-46%), Paphos (-24%), Nicosia (-10%) and Limassol (-8%).

During the first quarter of 2011, property sales have fallen to 1,749 from 2,066 during the first quarter of 2010 (-15%) despite last year’s low base.

In a statement to Stockwatch, property valuer Polys Kourousides said that the downward trend will continue in the next few months and until prices drop, emphasising that “prices must be cut to increase sales due to the lower liquidity and the lack of interest on behalf of the investors”.

Total sales of property in Cyprus March 2011

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Overseas sales

Property sales to foreign buyers also fell in March with a total of 160 contacts in favour of foreigners being deposited compared with 169 in March 2010; a fall of 5%.

Compared to March last year, sales increased in Nicosia (+15%), Larnaca (+13%) and Limassol (+11%), but these increases were outweighed by a drop in sales in the coastal towns of Paphos and Famagusta, where they fell by 25% and 20% respectively.

Sales of property in Cyprus to foreign buyers March 2011

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Readers' comments

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  • out of the frying pan into the fire says:

    SCHOOL REPORT

    The Cyprus Property Action Group , has had a good year and put a lot of effort into it’s work and this should not go unnoticed. However there is room for improvement. 160 people have brought a property in Cyprus, that means 160 new members when things go wrong. The CPAG must make more effort to inform potential buyers of the risks involved in buying property in Cyprus.

    Over all a very good year for CPAG , well done keep up the good work. Must try harder though to warn potential buyers.

  • Mike says:

    Panagia mou. I have had a plot of land with titles on the market in Larnaca which cannot be sold at 30% less for all cash (not under the table) interested parties have offered us apartments (when questioned about titles ” yeh , yeh , yeh ” and cash in exchange).

    So we hear about property prices down 30% here or 20% there, but does this mean they will easily sell at those discounts and what would be a good enough discount to get a sale?

  • @Paul – thanks for your comment

    No doubt some of the properties were resales with full Title Deeds.

    Unfortunately, the Department of Land and Survey’s figures do not provide the information needed to break the numbers down further.

  • Paul says:

    Frankly it amazes me that there are any foreign buyers who are still prepared to buy property in Cyprus. Until the Cypriot government gets a grip on the dubious practices of the developers and banks I’m afraid the property market will continue to go into free-fall.

    But there is also another problem. There are far too many properties for the size and population of the island!

    Ireland fell into this trap and as a consequence now has a huge glut of new, unsold houses which will probably never be sold.
    Cyprus already has a similar problem, but still developers continue to build.
    It is sheer folly and will only end in disaster!

  • Andrew says:

    IF they will not issue clean Title Deeds at the point of sale, then they don`t deserve to sell one single property.

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