Latest Headlines

Property sales will continue to fall

When asked the question will the volume property sales increase or decrease this year, more than eighty percent of readers said they will fall.

A RECENT mini-poll conducted by the Cyprus Property News showed that 83 percent of the 1,060 readers who expressed an opinion believe that property sales will continue to fall during the year.

Poll results – Property Sales in 2011

According to official figures published last month, overall sales during the first quarter of the year were down by more than 15% compared to the numbers sold during the first quarter of 2010.

The industry will be hoping that the recently amended legislation will encourage more buyers. And undoubtedly some of the new provisions will help to encourage the sale of new property. For example, buyers will now be able to pay the amount that developers owe on a property directly to the lender and their contract will take precedence over any mortgage owed by a third person on the property. This should enable them to avoid the pitfall that many others have fallen into, assuming that their lawyer investigates the mortgage situation and advises them correctly.

Although the number of British buyers has been declining for some time, it seems that the property market would be in a much poorer position if it were not for buyers from Russia who are taking more interest in the Island.

In a recent report Chris Hadjikyriakos, BuySell Cyprus’ sales manager, said that Russian buyers accounted for 60% of the company’s total sales compared with no more than 10% just three years ago. The number of buyers from Norway and Britons who have worked in the Middle East has also increased, but to a lesser extent.

Check out our latest poll on the right: “Who will benefit most from the newly revised property legislation?”

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • andyp says:

    John Swift–I was referring to the crooks John (Lawyers,Developers,Bankers) not the buyers

  • John Swift says:

    Andyp, I don’t call over 100,000 a small number 30,000 of which are ex-pats/overseas buyers.

  • andyp says:

    I think it is all very well being positive and optimistic but the reality of the Cyprus property market is that it has been primarily affected by a small number of not quite honest folk at the expense of the majority.

    Whilst global economics has played it’s part The Government and The Lawyers have not helped, except themselves.

    The title deed problem has dragged on for years and these latest proposals may help new buyers but not existing.

    The market relies on trust. Most people used a lawyer to buy their property. Would they have bought if the lawyers told them about developer mortgages? I think not. Has the Bar Association and the good lawyers intervened to remove the crooks from their midst? I think not.

    How can the market recover if potential buyers are in doubt that they will be protected? It won’t because they can’t.

    The market will only improve when The Government really does sort out the title deed fiasco and The Bar Association can prove that victims can and will be protected from rogue lawyers.

  • dimitri says:

    @Gavin, yup you have hit the nail on the head, frustration and anger all rolled in one package, fish stinks from the head sums it up……in Cyprus nobody in the state machine is punished….

  • Gavin Jones says:

    dimitri (11.45 a.m. yesterday).

    I always applaud your positive approach towards Cyprus and I commend you for it. However, I detect even in your comments a certain amount of resignation and frustration at what you and everyone else are witnessing.

    With my half-Cypriot heritage, I take no delight in emphasizing all the injustices that exist in Cyprus which, with a will, could be eliminated at a stroke if the ruling classes had a mind to. However, it’s evident that this is not going to happen any-time soon and, I suspect, only when it’s too late and/or change is forced upon them.

    All too often, people here say that it’s the same elsewhere. It isn’t. Although corruption and general wrongdoing DOES exist everywhere, by and large in the West this is exposed AND dealt with by regulatory authorities or the courts. A prime example of this was the recent MPs’ expenses scandal in the U.K.
    In Cyprus, nobody is punished commensurately for their transgressions, be they policemen who beat up students on pavements and are allowed to stay in the force, Deputy Attorneys General for fiddling their eligibility for free teeth implants, lawyers and businessmen who are let out of prison on the strength of Presidential pardons and a whole host of other well publicized examples too long to catalogue here.

    Unfortunately, even if the title deeds saga was resolved today, the damage has been done and it would take many years for any form of confidence to return to the market – if at all. Like any business, goodwill, trust and transparency have to be guarded religiously and once lost, spells the death knell to any organisation or, in Cyprus’ case, the state.

  • Denon Mackrell says:

    @ Chris Woodward. Sorry, but your comments suggest that you know nothing of Cyprus. God forbid that you are an investment adviser!! As Gavin says, everyone but everyone who has been here any length of time is busily finding ways of reducing not increasing their financial exposure in Cyprus. Your comment about wise investors smelling an opportunity would have some validity in a normal country – but this ain’t it!

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    @ Maybe Mr Woodward can explain how the new laws solve the title deeds problems ?

  • Peter says:

    @ Gavin Jones,

    Not a question of “lightening up a bit”.

    How many members of the armed forces here in Cyprus today would consider buying here when they retire? How many of the holiday makers would return and buy after a negative experience of prices and treatment? How many Brits will come here and settle after being warned about the existing problems with title deeds?

    In the UK we call it doing a Ratner (after Gerald Ratner) The word is in the English Dictionary, which means the act destroying your own business. Cyprus has done that to itself with indifference and dishonesty.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Chris Woodward.

    “Falling property sales is not something just unique to Cyprus…”. Very true. However, that’s only part of the story.

    I’m afraid that it’s gone beyond “investing shrewdly” in Cyprus as the Title Deeds scandal has taken pride of place here, regardless of the global economic downturn. Invest here? The smart money’s going anywhere else BUT here as most potential investors are now well versed in the Cypriot modus operandi of conducting real estate business. Period. Ergo, the market is dead and buried as a result of the title deed bush telegraph alone.

    As for Peter “lightening up a bit” (perhaps he’s a title deed victim), go tell that to the 130,000 people, 40,000 of whom are foreigners, who for one reason or another are unable to obtain legal ownership of their properties because the state condones the nefarious activities of many of the developers, lawyers and financial institutions.

    Would YOU buy a deedless property? In addition, how would you feel if you’d been duped into signing on the dotted line, only to discover later that unbeknown to you, the house you’d paid for was sitting on a piece of land that had been fraudulently mortgaged? For this to be “resolved”, the 6 billion Euros of indebtedness of the developers to the banks has to be paid. Unlikely. Until then, NO deeds, plenty more heartache for thousands and certainly NO more “investors”.

  • dimitri says:

    And slightly off topic, on the matter of optimism doom and gloom and economy, I continue to think that the ratings agencies have hidden agendas, and who monitors these agencies anyway, after all Lehman Bear Stearns Northern Rock, etc etc did they see these falls coming……?

  • dimitri says:

    @Chris, good to be positive, but deeds issue makes this tricky, as for the truth, well some agents tell you there is oversupply which you would think would bring prices down, and have done so according to RICS Cyprus, and others say the market is stabilizing and prices are steady…if the deeds issue is sorted I could think of many worse places to be…..let’s just wait and see how the island fares with it natural resources find, will be see roads paved with gold? I have my doubts that the people of the island will be benefit….

  • Chris Woodward says:

    Falling property sales is not something just unique to Cyprus and news articles/opinions really need to be more optimist in light of the fact prices at the level they are has to be a positive for the shrewd investor. Yes the deeds issue has to be finally resolved, but come one lighten up a bit!

  • Peter says:

    The building industry has no idea where their customers come from. Many of my friends did National Service in Cyprus and had come to love the Island, returned and bought. All without exception all of these have sold and left. I have other friends who came as tourists, but many of them have also gone. Today’s tourists sees the greed, self-indulgence, and indifference towards them. How many will return to be the next generation of buyers? The developers think the Brits just wake up one day and say. “I know I will move to Cyprus”. It doesn’t happen. As I once said to my developer he doesn’t understand the water he swims in….He hasn’t now built a house for over two years.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

  • Text size

Back to top