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Overseas property sales continue to shrink

Overseas investment in the Cyprus real estate market continues to dwindle with the number of sales falling a quarter during the first three months of 2012 compared to the same period last year.

THE dramatic fall in overseas demand for property in Cyprus continued in March with just five properties in Famagusta sold to overseas buyers during the month.

During the first three months of 2012, overseas sales have fallen more than a quarter compared with the corresponding period last year. Of the 563 contracts of sale deposited at Land Registries across Cyprus last month, 129 (23%) were in favour of overseas buyers.

Although both Larnaca and Paphos saw a small increase in sales last month, these were more that offset by falling sales in Famagusta, Nicosia and Limassol.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Domestic demand

Domestic demand for property remains subdued with overall sales falling again in March, with just 434 contracts of sale deposited last month compared with the 465 deposited in March last year.

The first three months have seen a 14% rise in sales compared with the same period last year, due to an almost doubling of sales in January.

But there are signs that the decline in sales is getting smaller and sales may be about to reach their worst point.

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Readers' comments

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  • @Thomas – Title Deeds cost a few cents – it’s the Property Transfer Fees that are calculated on the Land Registry’s assessment of a value of a property at its date of purchase. (Property Transfer Fees are the Cyprus equivalent of the Stamp Duty Land Tax, SDLT, that you pay in the UK when you buy a property).

    See pages 45-46 and 78-79 of the Department of Lands and Surveys Citizen’s Charter.

    If, for whatever reason, the contract of sale was not deposited at the Land Registry, you will be asked to provide the contract and receipts showing when payments were made as this will enable the Land Registry to confirm the purchase date.

    If the Land Registry attempts to charge you based on the current market value of a property, you must object.

    You will find several articles about ‘zealous’ overcharging by the Land Registry in the archives.

  • Thomas smith says:

    Why are title deeds based on present property prices as to price when apartments were purchased,
    As promised,

  • Costas Apacket says:

    I still think that 129 is too many, especially if any of these foreign buyers have bought without the availability of Legal Title Deeds at the point of sale.

    Until the whole edifice falls down nothing will change.

    I strongly suggest that everyone contacts the OFT in the UK to pressurise any agents that they are aware of who are peddling Cypriot property which doesn’t have a Legal Title Deed available at the point of sale or who do not openly and transparently state the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing property in Cyprus.

    I had one last week from a major London based property agent who was trying to flog me a property on a new phase of one of the islands premier golf courses. (You know the one, Goddess of Love and all that).

    Usual lying spiel about the developer being one of the biggest on the island and there being no problem with buying without Title Deeds being available since they would be produced in double quick time somewhere in the vague near future??

    The OFT have their details.

    Cut the supply off at source is my advice.

  • jon frazer says:

    @ Mike 8.44
    I have given this subject a lot of study in the past few years, and I concur with your conclusion that it is largely down to developers (whatever nationality) that title deeds are not issued promptly.

    However, the legal system here in Cyprus underlies the problem; it permits and condones the illegal practices of the developers, and some of it’s members have also been implicated in fraud and malpractice. (but continue in business).

    So I would head the list of primary offenders as the legal system, the lawyers and government, with the developers and their cronies along for a good ride!

  • Curmudgeon says:

    Does anybody believe the Cypriot government, lawyers, developers and their agents will suffer from the downturn? Will they heck. They will continue with their lifestyles building assets off the backs of the average man in the street. Do they care? Not a hoot – if they do, it is for themselves.

    The whole system leaks like a sieve.

    Shame we cannot press button B

  • Mike says:


    As much as I agree with much of your sentiment in that prices are far too high for the product on offer and the title deed debacle is a main contributing factor. I must take issue with the comment that the ‘government, Banks and crooked lawyers that work for the Cypriots’. In many cases it is not Cypriots but developers and agents who may or in many cases may not be Cypriot. Many agents are in fact of North European extraction and British in particular.

    The problem is definitely there and the sector does not deserve to move forward until these practices are eradicated but I think we must be careful not to tar the whole nation and its people with the same brush as those who are crooked. Bear in mind that Cypriots also suffer at the same hands of these developers and agents.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    As the Property “Developers” & their mates, (ie; Sales Agents, “Lawyers”, Land Registry Officals, Senior Bank “Officers” ad nauseum.)h ave sown. So they are now reaping!

  • julie says:

    When I see what’s going on in Cyprus, the only way they will ever get people to buy homes is they have to drop the price as they are way too high and the most important thing is the title deeds until they do this no one will even think of looking at Cyprus as so many more places cheaper then here, so until then Cyprus will not move on. And more people out of work, and who is to blame is the government and the banks and the crooked lawyers that work for the Cypriots, not the buyer, I have seen a lot of wrong doing, its sad but true. I said what I wanted to say.

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