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Real estate sales falter in June

The number of properties sold in Cyprus during June weakened, with the total number of contracts of sale deposited at Land Registry offices down 8 percent compared with June 2011.

DURING June, a total of 543 contracts for the purchase of properties were deposited at Land Registry offices across the island compared with the 589 contracts deposited in June 2011; a fall of 8%.

Of those 543 contracts, which include the purchase of residential properties, commercial properties and land, 108 (20%) were in favour of overseas buyers and 435 (80%) were in favour of Cypriot buyers.

The hope that the surge in last month’s sales heralded the start of recovery has evaporated. It would appear that this was due to a rush to beat the deadline to benefit from the 6-month reduction in Property Transfer Fees introduced by the government last year. (The deadline has now been extended to the end of the year).

At the end of the first half of the year, total sales stood at 3,710 – up by 4% on the 3,577 sold during the first half of 2011. The increased number of sales during January and June would indicate that the temporary reduction in Property Transfer Fees had a transient but positive effect on the market.

Domestic sales

Overall 15 more properties were sold during June, an increase of 4% compared with June 2011. This was mainly due to an additional 38 properties sold in Larnaca; an increase of 97% – and an additional 61 were sold in Paphos; an increase of 94% compared with the June 2011 figures. One further property was sold in Famagusta compared with last year, representing a rise of 3%.

However, on the downside, sales in Limassol fell by 65 and those in Nicosia fell by 20 compared with June last year.

During the first half of 2012, domestic sales stood at 2,910 – an increase of 12% on the 2,601 sales in the first half of 2011.

Cyprus property sales (domestic) June 2012

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Overseas sales

The overseas market remains fragile and continues to weaken. The number of sales dropped in all areas during June, falling by 61 (36%) compared with the number sold in June 2011.

The area hardest hit was Larnaca, where sales were down 26 (-68%) compared with June last year. Larnaca was followed by Paphos -13 (-33%), Limassol -10 (-26%), Nicosia -7 (-26%) and finally Famagusta -5 (-26%).

During the first half of 2012, overseas sales stood at 800 – a decrease of 18% on the 976 sales in the first half of 2011.

Cyprus property sales (overseas) June 2012

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

MEP slams Cyprus

During President Christofias’ speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, British MEP Graham Watson slammed Cyprus over its crooked lawyers and property developers.

“Lead by example in Europe’s fight against crime” he said “intervene against the intricate intrigue of corrupt Cypriot lawyers and property developers who rob holiday homebuyers of their retirement savings.”

Readers' comments

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  • Robert Briggs says:

    @ Mr Denton Mackrell, be rest assured that in due course of this EU Presidency, Nigel Farrell will be ripping into Comrade President Christofias & his mates. Giving them a general hard time. Cheers, Bob.

  • John Swift says:

    At last someone highlighting the part played by solicitors in the title deed fiasco.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Wonderful on the video clip how Catastrofias looked like a guilty, rebellious schoolboy hauled into Beak’s office for a dressing down! The hostile stare, the shifty glances, the sly smirks – he had it all.

    Pity is was not that political rottweiler Nigel Farage MEP who had been doing the savaging. That would have been pure magic to watch. Or how about George Galloway MP? – unfortunately he’s likely to be pro-Christofias!!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    I fully support Graham Watson in what he said, however I think that he peaked too early with his timing of these questions.

    I think that it would have been far more effective to wait until after Catastrofias had done his usual trick of flatulently boasting about a fair society where the vulnerable should be protected, and then to ask him if he thought that denying EU Citizens, some of whom are vulnerable pensioners, their legal rights to own their own homes in Cyprus fitted in with his claimed values and morals.

    At least we know what the Cypriot MEP’s reposte will be now, which is the usual claptrap about us being a former Colonial Power who are to blame for all the ills of Cyprus, and I’m confident that there will be many other opportunities to put Catastrofias on the spot about this issue over the next 6 months.

    Remember though next time that timing is everything!

  • Martyn says:

    Well Done Graham Watson. Rightly slamming the ‘corrupt Cypriot lawyers and property developers’ (but omitting to mention the weak and poorly regulated banks) and couching this in a number of major challenges that Cyprus and Cyprus government could take on, lead on some, whilst holding the EU Presidency.

    The current President seems already to be revelling in his new, albeit temporary, position but it would be good, really good to see him lead on some positive, practical initiatives that could really ‘make a difference’, some short-term but also some longer term strategic initiatives that would improve not only the lives of Cyprus people but also the image of Cyprus, not just in Europe but across international communities around the world.

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