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Property sales collapse as crisis deepens

Property sales in Cyprus plummeted in March as the financial crisis deepened as a consequence of the decisions taken by the Eurogroup to impose savage bailout conditions on the island.

THE NUMBER of properties sold in Cyprus during March fell to the lowest monthly figure since records began with sales plummeting in all districts.

According to Department of Lands & Survey figures published today, a total of 286 contracts of sale were deposited in Land Registry offices across the island compared with the 563 deposited in March 2012; an annual decline of 49%.

Of those 563 contracts, 214 (75%) were in favour of domestic buyers and 72 (25%) were in favour of overseas buyers.

During the first quarter of 2013 a total of 1,013 properties have been sold, down 45% on the 1,852 sold during the same period last year.

Domestic sales

Domestic sales in March declined by 51%, falling to 214 from the 434 sold in the same month last year.

Apart from Paphos, where the number of sales increased by 16% (up from 28 in 2012 to 44 in 2013), sales in all the other areas fell.

Sales in Famagusta fell by 79% and sales in Limassol were down 74%. Sales in Nicosia declined 48%, while sales in Larnaca dropped by 31%.

During the first quarter of the year domestic sales have fallen 49% compared with the same period last year,

Overseas sales

Despite the anticipated demand from Chinese investors, overall sales to the overseas market declined 44%, falling to a mere 72 compared with the 129 sold in March last year.

Apart from Famagusta, where the number of properties sold increased by 2 (+40%), sales were down in all the other areas.

Nicosia was hardest hit with 22 fewer properties being sold (-84%). Sales in Larnaca fell by 15 (-68%), while in Limassol 10 fewer properties were sold (-42%) and sales in Paphos fell by 12 (-23%).

During the first quarter of the 2013 overseas sales have fallen 45% compared with the same period last year.

Readers' comments

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  • Pippa says:

    Perhaps sales might improve if the property agents contacted would actually respond to phone calls or e-mails. Do they actually want to sell property? Out of six I have contacted only one has the courtesy to respond, but there again we have yet to actually have an agent call to make an appointment as promised!

  • Robert Briggs says:

    @ Pippa & Janner, et al. Take a leaf from Monty Python’s film, “Life of Brian” and always look on the bright side of life. Cheers, Bob.

  • Pippa says:

    Those of us who are trying to sell are getting more and more depressed by the day, as we are not getting any reliable information from this government as to exactly what they are going to do about the developer mortgages and the title deeds situation. As Janner says without a clear and detailed plan the property market will stagnate further. Doesn’t any one in this government realise what an opportunity they are letting go to help fill the coffers?

  • Janner says:

    The economic problems of Cyprus has obviously had a massive effect. However, even during the worst times there are those who still want to buy. To me, the biggest indicator of the intentions of the Cypriot Government is that they still haven’t even mentioned putting right the title deed problems of the country. Without a clear title no one will buy.

    It is my opinion that the authorities do not tackle this thorny issue because it will expose the corrupt practices from the bottom all the way to the top.

  • George says:

    And buyers have lost their money in the bank haircut. I am waiting for discounted properties to hit the market with title deeds.

  • Andrew says:

    With so little activity in the property market there must be a lot of underworked people in Land Registry. Instead of sitting around sharpening pencils maybe they will issue thousands of outstanding Title Deeds to those who have already bought in good faith and who have paid in full for their homes.

    While they are at it the good folk at Land Registry could simply overlook the outstanding developer mortgages. After all that is exactly what they did when the unsuspecting buyers first lodged their sales contracts with them.

  • John Swift says:

    I’m still getting regular emails from Buysell where they’re still quoting prices well in excess of UK prices whereas 10+ years ago it was the other way round.

    When property prices become more realistic in relation the basic wage in Cyprus maybe sales will pick up.

    Demand has dropped, prices must become more realistic.

  • Richard Hernaman says:

    Nigel

    Do you know of any websites that have been set up recently that advertise heavily discounted property – am sure that it is a buyers market now but the popular sites still seem to be overpricing considering the predicament that we find ourselves in?

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