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Signs of recovery in overseas sales

Efforts to promote Cyprus into new markets seem to be paying dividends as the number of properties bought by non-Cypriots jumped in November although some have complained of paying grossly inflated prices.

AS WE reported last Friday a total of 444 contracts of sale were deposited at Land offices across Cyprus compared with the 485 deposited in November 2011.

Although this is drop of 8 per cent, the number of properties sold to overseas buyers jumped by more than more than two thirds according to Land Registry figures released earlier today.

Overseas property sales

Overall sales in November increased by 69 (67%) compared with the corresponding month last year, with sales up in all districts.

Sales in Paphos stood at 77, up 67% on the 34 sold last year, while sales in Nicosia went up 133% reaching 14 compared to the meagre 6 sold last year.

Larnaca recorded 18 sales, an increase of 50% on the 12 sold last year and Famagusta saw sales increase by 48% reaching 34 compared with the 23 sold last year.

Limassol experienced the lowest increase with 29 properties being sold compared to 28 last year; a rise of 4%.

Cyprus property sales to overseas buyers - November 2012

In the first eleven months of 2012 sales of property to the overseas market stood at 1,304 compared with 1,536 sales during the same period last year; a fall of 232 (-15%).

According to the local media, 50 residence permits have been issued to non-EU nationals since the government introduced the scheme whereby those buying property costing €300,000 or more could seek a permit to stay on the island; the Interior Ministry is considering a further 600 applications.

We have now received reports from two sources that a number of Chinese buyers are already complaining that they were sold properties in Paphos at grossly inflated prices. Developers who have killed one golden egg-laying goose now seem intent on killing another.

Domestic property sales

The decline in domestic sales continued in November with a total of 272 properties sold compared with the 382 sold in November last year; a fall of 29 per cent.

In Limassol, sales fell by 44% (-66), while those in Nicosia fell by 31% (-30). Paphos saw a rise in sales of 7% (+6), while the number sold in Larnaca remained unchanged at 50.

(Note there is a discrepancy in the figures for Famagusta that I expect the Department of Lands and Surveys will correct in due course.)

Cyprus property sales to Cypriot buyers - November 2012

In the first eleven months of 2012 sales of property to the domestic market stood at 4,470 compared with 4,831 sales during the same period last year; a fall of 361 (-8%).

Readers' comments

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  • steve says:

    After all the negative publicity and bad press/tv people are still buying properties in Cyprus. I wish somebody would have given me some outside information when I bought my villa. When will people ever learn. All I can say is the sun must bleach your brain out there. It did it to me and I thought I was a shrewd businessman.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Thanks for this Nigel.

    So it seems that the deadline of 31st of December 2012 has probably prompted this mini rush to purchase.

    I suppose the adage of ‘act in haste repent at your leisure’ may not be one of Confucius’ sayings however he did say:

    “The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”

    Also:

    “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

    The first quarter of 2013 should be interesting in the property market for various reasons.

  • @Costas – please read Tax incentives expanded and extended.

    Further extensions are rumoured.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Let’s also not forget that higher sales contract prices, (i.e. rip-off prices), also means higher Title Deed Transfer Taxes and probably higher ongoing IPT for the unsuspecting purchasers, because I can’t see our mates in the DLO being even handed by adjusting their valuations downwards to reflect the true property values, can you?

  • Martyn says:

    So, a new and potentially longer-term viable market for Cyprus residences begins to open up and the agents, developers – and likely some the lawyers and valuers as well – are are deploying their Rip Off tactics already. Beggars Belief!

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