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Great Cyprus property crash continues in 2013

Property sales in Cyprus are on course to set an all-time record low in 2013 with sales in January down by more than 50 per cent on the corresponding month last year, posting the lowest monthly figure on record.

PREDICTIONS by the Financial Mirror’s distinguished panel of seven economists who forecast that Cyprus would experience another “annus horribilis” in 2013 are becoming a reality.

Land Registry statistics released earlier today reveal that the number of properties sold in January fell by 53 per cent compared with January 2012. But this figure may be slightly mis-leading as in January 2012 there was a rush to deposit contracts of sale at Land Registry offices to benefit from the reduction in Property Transfer Fees. However, the number of property sales in January is the lowest monthly figure on record.

According to the statistics, the number of contracts of sale deposited at Land Registry offices throughout Cyprus stood at 375 compared with the 803 deposited in January 2012.

Sales were down in all areas. In percentage terms, Nicosia was hardest hit whith 136 fewer properties being sold (-75%) followed by Famagusta, where sales fell by 64 (-74%). Sales in Larnaca fell by 82 (-70%), while in Limassol and Paphos they fell by 115 (-55%) and 31 (-15%) respectively.

cyprus property sales January 2013

Speaking to Stockwatch, first vice chairman of the Real Estate Agents Association, Solomon Kourouklides noted that the lack of liquidity in the market and the difficulty of securing a bank loan contributed heavily to the decline in sales.

However, the interest of foreign investors, especially the Chinese, raises hopes for the recovery of the sector.

“According to estimates, sales to the Chinese in 2013 will reach 2,000 plots”, Mr Kourousides stressed.

Readers' comments

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  • Eddie Smyth says:

    Some information coming from the EU:-

    Cyprus bailout

    Yesterday’s meeting of finance ministers also discussed the bailout of Cyprus, with Mr Dijsselbloem refusing to rule out the possibility that depositors could be affected by the deal.

    While negotiations on a €17.5 billion rescue programme began late last year, disagreement has emerged about how the bailout should be funded amid concerns about Russian involvement in money-laundering in the country.

    Speaking after the meeting, Cypriot finance minister Vassos Shiarly said the so-called bail-in of depositors was a “grossly exaggerated possibility” and “unlikely to happen”.

    Mr Dijsselbloem confirmed yesterday that euro zone finance ministers had decided to appoint an independent firm to assess allegations of money-laundering in Cyprus. A final deal is expected to be agreed in March, after Cypriot elections.

  • aggisdemetri says:

    Titles absolute and properties will start to sell and yes at a 65% reduction.

    No Title No Sale.

    simple………….

  • @Peter Howard – According to an article in the Guardian:

    “an official survey published last month found that between last August and October more than 600 properties were sold to Chinese buyers, 90% of which were in Pafos.”

    “The opportunity to secure permanent residence in an EU member state is a huge attraction for Chinese because it offers them visa-free travel throughout the union. Almost 4,500 miles away, Lisha Tang, a young client at a Beijing property firm, is relishing the prospect.”

    “‘A house in Cyprus means travelling freely in Europe, which is great for young people,’ she says.”

    “And not just for young people – older Chinese who obtain permanent EU residence can put their children into European schools and visit them without difficulty.”

    It’s a load of drivel full of lies!!

  • Peter Howard says:

    I can see a bright light at the end of the tunnel !! The January figures for sales of property in the Paphos area were at their highest level for one year – it is other areas that have seen a sharp drop in sales.

    I am in the property business, and still the majority of buyers are English and looking for a property with Title Deeds. Like most people I am confused about the vast number of Chinese buyers purchasing property, some developers quoting hundreds of sales – why does it not show up in these monthly figures? I guess it is developers dreaming again. Total sales of property to overseas buyers in 2012 was 1,476 however the Cyprus Real Estate Agents Association is predicting sales of 2,000 to Chinese buyers !!

  • Steve says:

    Contracts of sale deposited at the land registry will all be very recent deals. In the last few months the Euro has appreciated quite strongly against sterling, so I would not expect many UK buyers to be buying now, when they can see they are paying more than they would have a short time ago. Since 2 January 2013, the pound is down 5.67% against the Euro and 10% in the last half year.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    No doubt some will see a bright light at the end of their tunnel vision.

  • Fighting For Justice says:

    Does anyone think that the Cyprus authorities will ever wake up and smell their effluent?

  • Mike says:

    So where is the Tsunami of Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Israeli buyers? Would the majority be buying in the Occupied areas or are they just not buying.

  • Adrian says:

    So, apart from the collapse of the property market and banking sector oh! and the construction industry, then there is the corruption and incompetence in government and the legal profession and the unemployment is there really anything that is a surprise any more.

    It is a pity that the panel of distinguished economists could not have predicted the crash of the economy or maybe they did but the President didn’t want it made public until we finished off paying for the new power station and he was settled in his retirement home!

  • Richard says:

    Whatever you sow…you reap.

  • andyp says:

    And why is there a lack of liquidity in the market?

    A) Title deeds
    B) Developer mortgages
    C) Untrustworthy Lawyers
    D) Poor building control
    E) General lack of trust in the Cyprus property industry
    F) All of the above

  • Robert Briggs says:

    The interest shown by the Chinese et al, is not quite the same as actually signing the property sales contract.

    Grasping at straws, springs to mind.

    Due to the ghastly property reputation that Cyprus has acquired & now known throughout the world, including China.

    Hardly anyone is touching any property here.

    So it is essential for any kind of improvement, that the property laws are placed on a decent legal footing ASAP & that Title Deeds are available to the buyer at point of sale. R.B.

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