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Encouraging signs in domestic property sale figures

Although the overall picture for property sales in Cyprus last year was extremely disappointing, there are some positive signs in the figures for December, which show that domestic sales increased.

FURTHER analysis of the figures released last week by the Department of Lands and Surveys for the number of property sale contracts deposited at Land Registries across the island show a 22% increase in sales by Cypriot buyers in December 2011 compared with the same month last year.

Domestic sales in Paphos in December shot up by an astonishing 343% compared with December 2010, followed by a 52% increase in Famagusta. Sales also went up in Nicosia by 1%, but they fell in Larnaca and Limassol by 22% and 1% respectively

This surge in the number of contracts at the end of last year may be attributable to the recent legislation passed by the government; a permanent reduction in VAT on property purchases for first-time buyers who are permanent residents in Cyprus and the temporary abolishment/reduction in Property Transfer Fees on the first sale of a residential dwelling.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Readers' comments

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  • Gavin Jones says:

    John Swift.

    Cypriots, just like other nationalities, have ALWAYS been in a position to press the authorities for their title deeds. Generally speaking they haven’t and are unlikely to do so.

    This stems from the fact that historically, Cypriots tend to keep their heads down and not involve themselves in matters which they consider contentious, sometimes even when their own interests are threatened. Party affiliations also play a big part in this equation and anyone outside this society will naturally struggle to understand this mindset.

    Cypriot MEPs? However much you think that they’re ‘obliged to act’, they’ll also be ingrained with what I’ve written above and will take the line that complaints against the system, however justified, are therefore an attack on the state, something which they’ll defend to the death.

    If someone out there can prove that my hypothesis is flawed, I stand corrected.

  • John Swift says:

    In reply to Gavin Jones regarding Cypriots and title deeds.

    The Cypriots can now press the EU regarding the title deed issue, it is not just ex-pats, the Cypriot MEPs are just as much obliged to act as those in other countries to take up the issue.

  • G J Gill says:

    Or it could be a case of the indigenous corrupt Banking practices, criminal developers and the Micky Mouse “Legal” profession that, having now totally screwed and ripped off the British can at last purchase these properties at fire-sale prices and say good buy to their now impoverished British victims whilst laughing all the way to the Bank or perhaps more likely under their beds. Which of course is why countries like Greece and Cyprus are bankrupt, because very few ever paid any taxes or ever issued receipts for ones purchases. The Black economy on speed!

    I hope they all rot in hell!

    GJG

  • Gavin Jones says:

    These figures may indeed be attributable to the reasons as laid out in the article.

    However, generally speaking I suspect that the indigenous population is not as well informed or aware of the developers’ indebtedness to the banks and the ramifications that this potentially has on the ultimate ownership of their properties.

    In addition, historically Cypriots have never been concerned about receiving their title deeds. This being the case, they could well be sleepwalking to a rude awakening…

  • @dimitri – transfer fees for land transfers have not been reduced or abolished.

    The law only applies to the first sale of a residential property. You can read its provisions (in Greek) at http://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/transfer-fees-law.pdf

  • dimitri says:

    hi, does anyone know if the transfer fees have been abolished for land transfer deals as well as properties?

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