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Cyprus property sales down 21 percent in October

The Cyprus property market shrank by 21% in October compared with October 2010 and the number of sales recorded so far this year are down by more that 11% on the number sold in 2009, the year the market collapsed.

LIQUIDITY problems, record levels of unemployment and the huge uncertainty in the market continue to send the Cyprus property market into a tail-spin; there are still no signs of a recovery.

Sales fell for the 16th consecutive month in October, according to Department of Land and Survey figures published yesterday.

The figures reveal that the number of contracts for the sale of property deposited at Land Registry offices throughout Cyprus fell to 565 compared with 714 in October 2010; a drop of 21%.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

During the first ten months of this year, sales have fallen by nearly 18% – and they are now down by more than 11% on the numbers sold in 2009; the year the market crashed.

The area hit hardest by the decline is Larnaca, where sales during January to October this year have slumped 27%. In Nicosia, sales have fallen 26%, in Paphos they are down 22% and in Famagusta they have fallen 15%. Limassol seems to be weathering the crisis well with sales falling by just 0.2% over the year which has been attributed to an influx of Russian buyers.

Overseas sales

Overseas sales fell by 36% last month with the number of contracts deposited reaching 123 compared with 191 deposited in October 2010.

Although sales during October went up in Limassol by 3%, they fell in all other districts. Sales in Famagusta fell 74%, while those in Nicosia fell 63% followed by Larnaca, where sales fell 47% and finally Paphos, where sales were down 36%.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Total overseas sales during the first ten months of the year totalled 1,433; a fall of 10% on the 1,593 sold over the same period last year.

Comment/opinion

Commenting on the falling sales numbers to Stockwatch, property valuer Polys Kourousides said that the fall was anticipated due to the lack of liquidity and the uncertainty in the economy.

According to Mr. Kourousides, parliament’s approval of the draft law on the suspension/reduction in Property Transfer Fees will make a positive contribution to the market and it was actually one of the proposals made by the Valuers’ Association three years ago.

The Vice Chairman and spokesman for the Real Estate Agents’ Association, Solomon Kourouklides, said that reduction in VAT to 5% and the reduction in transfer fees were two small steps in the right direction and his Association welcomed them, but added that they should have been taken three months ago.

Mr Kourouklides believes that the biggest problem is the lack of liquidity and that the measures cannot change the market by themselves; further incentives are needed.

He also expressed his concerns over yesterday’s decision by the government to suspend/reduce Property Transfer Fees as the law only applies to building plots and buildings – and it also excludes resale houses and apartments.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    @ out off the frying pan into the fire

    I think you are right time the UK Government, MEPs, EU took a firm stand. As it stands just now the Attorney General & Cyprus Bar Association leadership are not making lawyers accountable for there actions.

    This rusfeti protection off CBA members is bad for Cyprus and for all clients and only produces.

    A protected class of people who appear untouchable even when they break Cypriot & EU Laws. Even Al Capone did not have the same protection.

  • out of the frying pan into the fire says:

    What can you say? Costas Apacket and Andrew have said it. Corrupt Lawyers, Developers, Banks, the list goes on.

    And David Cameron wants to alter the terms of our entry into the EU. Well here is one term British subjects get British law in all property matters in Cyprus in a British court. Enforced in Cyprus. Ouch!, that would Hurt.

  • Andrew says:

    I missed lawyers. Lawyers who hide behind the good name of British law. Lawyers who charge an arm and a leg and don’t even bother to do searches. Lawyers who lead you like a lamb to the slaughter.

  • Andrew says:

    When Cyprus adopted the Euro the developer chancers rounded up their property prices to the nearest hundred thousand and because their math was not to too strong they then doubled the amount to arrive at the Euro equivalent.

    While they were on a high they decided to throw the houses together as quickly as possible in full knowledge that no official comes to inspect the build quality until it is far too late.

    The Banks could not believe their luck and they continued to throw money at the developers in the form of mortgages which never get disclosed to buyers.

    Land registry were unable to keep their pencils sharpened and keep up with the demand. Well that is the excuse they gave.

    So now we have a truckload of shoddy, grossly overpriced houses and apartments all without TITLE DEEDS and they wonder why sales are down.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    The key problem is that Cypriot Politicians have too much to lose by biting, (or properly regulating), the hand that has fed them over many years.

    Hence Baldrick’s many cunning plans hatched recently to protect the property industry’s main miscreants.

    Why else would the Government ignore the large proportion of property owners whose properties have no planning irregularities in favour of those who have?

    It couldn’t possibly be to provide much needed income for Architects, Lawyers and their associated mates in the property industry could it?

    It couldn’t be to get property owners to pay off the Developers outstanding loans and taxes could it?

    Black Adder, Black Adder hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm!

  • Mike says:

    Presumably the rise in Limassol is due to Russian investment and presumably fuelled in some part from the proceeds of hijacking state assets since the fall of the communist era and consequently benefiting a few who will need to hide any audit trails.

    Robert has one big answer in that there are thousands of Europeans investing but the Cypriot system is not one that any, with any sense, would risk. Instead of elastoplasting over obvious faults the authorities could have, given the years they have known, re-organised from top to bottom and created a modern, seamless, title transfer at point of sale, system that would have encouraged continued investment and much needed revenue. The head in the sand and hope it will go away approach is a foolish one.

    Finally, cleaning up the infrastructure, applying and policing by-laws and stopping continued pandering to developers promising to be the nations guardian angels would also help. The world is neither blind nor deaf. It sees and listens and likes neither what it sees or hears, hence the state of affairs today.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    Get the Title Deed scandals sorted out!

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