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November property sales hit 35 month low

The number of properties bought and sold in November hit a 35 month low according to the latest figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys amid the worsening economic situation, record levels of unemployment and lack of liquidity.

PROPERTY sales fell for the 16th consecutive month in November and were at their lowest level since January 2009, when the market collapsed.

Figures released by the Department of Lands and Surveys yesterday show that the number of contracts for the sale of property deposited at Land Registry offices throughout Cyprus during November fell 35% to 485 compared with the 741 contracts deposited in November 2010.

This is the largest decrease this year and one of the largest falls in recent times. Property sales in November fell in all districts compared with last year.

Hardest hit was Nicosia where sales slumped 55%, followed by Larnaca (-32%), Famagusta (-29%), Limassol (-24%) and Paphos (-15%).

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Sales of real estate last month were probably hampered by the dithering over the implementation of the temporary abolition/reduction in Transfer Fees as buyers waited to see if they would benefit from the changes.

Speaking to Stockwatch, property valuer Polys Kourousides said that the fall in sales is due to uncertainty in the property market, the lack of liquidity and difficulties in accessing loans. “However, even if the access to loans becomes easier, investments are not made due to the high cost of money”, he added.

As for the performance of the market over the next few months, Mr Kourousides said that the decline will continue until the problems are solved and the banks start granting loans.

According to Iros Miltiadous, Business Development Director of Aristo Developers, “Unfortunately, the market is unpredictable and may deteriorate further or improve at any time”.

Mr Kourousides said property prices will be reduced further to enable people to buy.

During the first eleven months of this year, sales are down by nearly a fifth compared with 2010.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Readers' comments

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  • John Swift says:

    The main problem some peole bought without title deeds can be said to lie with UK ex pat forums where prospective buyers were constantly assured that there wasn’t any risk with buying property in Cyprus without receiving titles deeds.

    I said back in 2008 that the MEPs were the people to take up the fight, they are doing so let’s hope that they succeed.

    John Swift

  • Mike says:

    According to Iros Miltiadous, Business Development Director of Aristo Developers, “Unfortunately, the market is unpredictable and may deteriorate further or improve at any time”.

    No **** Sherlock.

    And this gentleman is a business development director, thank goodness not for any business associated with me.

    It may come as a surprise but the market is totally predictable, that’s how people make money out of it. I will do you a favour and tell you that the Cyprus property market will deteriorate further in spite of occasional hikes that buck the trend. The general trend will be downward until such time as prices are commensurate with the quality of product and infrastructure. Also when cast iron guarantees are in place to ensure title at point of sale. Then and only then will you see a gradual, albeit at first jittery, increase in sales.

    Sadly there is a lot of legislation to enact before then and a direct result of that will be those that promote or encourage the camouflaged fraud and deceit will fall by the wayside under their burdens of debt. I’m not altogether certain the Government can afford that to happen so we remain with sticking plaster amendments which maintain the status-quo.

  • Curmudgeon says:

    Who is buying ‘off plan’, who is being mugged?

  • Paul says:

    I think that most financial things are fashionable in that if some young whizz kid states that he recommends buying Polly Peck stockings shares, the bandwagon will tend to buy and make his forecast correct but why doesn’t it work with the housing market?

    If house prices fall and only a few new houses are built because of this and home-owners rent out making the housing stock even more scarce why don’t the house prices go up reflecting the shortage of available homes? Shouldn’t the bust become a boom?

  • Andrew says:

    You don`t get your Title Deeds for many years when you buy a new build. If your developer is declared bankrupt in the meantime, the Banks try to repossess the property you have already paid for. Is it surprising that property sales are declining month on month.

    Come on Cyprus put an end to this misery and issue a statement saying that home buyers will not lose their homes in the event of developer default.

  • Jacs says:

    Why has the fact that there is no security whatsoever in buying a house in Cyprus not been mentioned in this article??? The government/developers/estate agents blurb that ‘once you have deposited your contract with the Land Registry then no-one else can sell that house…..’ is a proven lie. This has already happened many times, and now Alpha bank is applying to the Land Registry to take the houses of people who have already paid for them, simply because their developer has gone bust. Yet again, shame on Cyprus – sort out your corruption if you want to save your property market, sadly it seems already too late. Cyprus, you get what your rotten systems deserve.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    It’s amazing that none of the commentators in this article even mention the possibility that the lack of Title Deeds at point of sale could be adding to this lack of sales.

    Or is it?

  • Robert Briggs says:

    Why has the Title Deed problems not been mentioned in this report, which are contributing to this decline to these property sales?

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