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Hope for property sales in Cyprus

Although Cyprus continues to negotiate a bailout deal with the Troika, there are some early signs that domestic and overseas buyers are returning to Paphos despite the economic uncertainties.

WHILE property sales in February continued to decline, it appears that the rate of decline may be slowing and improvements were seen in Paphos where sales to both domestic and overseas buyers increased compared to February last year.

Overall, property sales in Cyprus fell in February with a total of 352 contracts deposited at Land Registries across the island compared with the 486 deposited in February 2012; a fall of 28 per cent.

Of those 352 contracts, 69.6% per cent (245) were in favour of Cypriot buyers and 30.4 per cent (107) were in favour of overseas buyers.

With the exception of Paphos, where overall sales jumped from the 69 recorded in February 2011 to 128 (an increase of 85.5 per cent), sales fell in all other areas of the island compared to 2011.

Domestic sales

Last month Cyprus elected a new President, Nicos Anastasiades, and with him comes the hope of a swift conclusion of a bailout deal with the troika and end to the island’s economic uncertainty.

Overall 125 fewer properties were sold in February than in February last year; a fall of 34%.

Nicosia was hardest hit with 74 fewer properties being sold (-62%). Sales in Famagusta fell by 15 (-54%), in Limassol they were 64 fewer sales (-50%), while in Larnaca sales fell by 3 (-5%).

Sales in Paphos jumped from 38 in February 2011 to 69 last month; an increase of 82%.

Cyprus domestic property sales February 2013

In the first two months of 2013 sales to the domestic market stood at 548 compared with the 1,067 sold during the first two months of 2012; a drop of 519 (-34%).

Overseas sales

Cyprus-wide sales to the overseas property market fell by 9 (-8%) in February compared with February last year, but were buoyed up by sales in Paphos, where much effort has been put into enticing overseas investors from China.

Famagusta recorded the lowest fall in sales with just 2 properties being sold to overseas buyers in February down from the 10 sold in February last year (-80%).

Nicosia saw sales drop by 54%, with the number of properties sold falling from 28 in February 2012 to 13 last month.

Larnaca recorded a fall in sales from 22 in February 2012 to 13 (-41%), while in Limassol sales fell from 25 to 20 (-20%).

Sales in Paphos made significant headway with sales up 90%, increasing from 31 in February 2012 to 59. Although the Department of Lands and Surveys does not publish the nationalities of foreign buyers we suspect that the majority of these sales would have been made to buyers from China following exhibitions in the country promoting Cyprus as a destination for overseas investment.

Cyprus overseas property sales February 2013

During the first two months of 2013, sales of property to the overseas market stood at 179 compared with 222 sales during the first two months of last year; a fall of 43 (-19%).

Readers' comments

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  • @Sam Sung Lee – yes – and I fear that worse is to come.

    We still have the non-performing loans to deal with – and the draft memorandum of understanding talked about setting up a ‘bad bank’ like NAMA in Ireland to take on the assets underpinning these loans.

    If this happens, property prices will drop even further as the Bad Bank will be purchasing the collateral (i.e. property) at a heavy discount.

  • Sam Sung Lee says:

    NO Hope for property sales in Cyprus

    With the last weekends development and banking issues, I guess we can say goodbye to new investors and hello to a new 25% fall in property prices. Sad. Sad. Sad.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    The new President, Mr Nicos Anastadies, appears to be a decent intelligent Man, with a certain amount of integrity and moral fibre.
    So when the Title Deed scandals and other property malpractices are resolved ASAP, perchance this island will have some kind of future. R.B.

  • Cyprus Lover says:

    I do not see how anyone can see a success in the fact the decline is slowing, the market is still in decline and as other commentators have written there are so many other factors that have to be corrected before any improvement will be seen.
    I also feel that we must stop seeing a second property (abroad) as an investment, it is for your enjoyment, if you want investment put your money in a bank.

  • Frank says:

    Yet another dawn! But can anyone see the sun?

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Yes there may be some slim hopes for property sales, but is there hope for Title Deeds to go with them?

  • Mike says:

    My belief is that with the decreases in prices to a level commensurate with the quality and infrastructure available sales will improve to all foreign buyers not just Chinese. When Europe and America is at the stage of not being able to continue buying Chinese products then their economy will also falter leaving the traditional British, Scandinavian and German markets to boost home sales. Pricing has been the key here I think for all but the Chinese and Russian markets. When silly telephone number figures are replaced with more realistic valuations then there will be no end to buyers waiting to invest. We are after all with very rare exceptions talking here of poorly designed and poorly constructed un-insulated little boxes constructed of poor quality concrete with a very limited life span. Structural integrity is not a byword in Cyprus and that added to the high costs of electricity plus the title deed debacle is quite off putting for someone looking to invest seriously.

    We live in hope that some semblance of order is brought to the planning and development process and that solar energy of which we have in abundance is harnessed to reduce heating and cooling costs. When all that is seen to be improving I see no reason not to expect a rise in sales again.

  • Alex says:

    The figures for January and February obviously contradict the article’s title: these are the worst results in the last 6 years. Since January 2008 there was only ONE month with overall sales less than 400 – August 2012. And this year we already have 375 and 352 in a row. So the title should rather be “NO Hope for property sales in Cyprus”.

  • Adrian says:

    Things are not going down the tubes quite so fast, sounds like a reason to be optimistic but maybe not yet.

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