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Title Deed issuance progress and mortgages

The Department of Lands and Surveys has published the first in a series of statistics relating to one of the provisions agreed between Cyprus and the troika in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

ONE of the bailout conditions Cyprus agreed with its international lenders (troika) was that it should “Publish quarterly progress reviews of the issuance of building and planning permits, certificates, and title deeds, as well as title deed transfers and related mortgage operations throughout the duration of the programme.”

The Department of Lands and Surveys has published a commentary in Greek and English together with mortgage and Title Deed issuance statistics:

∆ήλωση Σύμβασης – Υποθήκες

Τα προβλήματα που υπάρχουν στο τραπεζιτικό σύστημα της Κύπρου, τα οποία έχουν ξεκινήσει από το 2010 σε συνδυασμό με τη μειωμένη ρευστότητα, την αύξηση των ανεξασφάλιστων δανείων, έχουν οδηγήσει στη μείωση, σχεδόν στο μηδέν, της χρηματοδότησης οικιστικών αναπτύξεων.

Βέβαια, η χρηματοδότηση γενικά της οικονομίας σε οποιαδήποτε μορφή επένδυσης, για εμπορικούς, τουριστικούς και άλλους σκοπούς έχει μειωθεί σημαντικά και αυτό είχε ως αντίκτυπο τη μείωση σε πολύ μικρό βαθμό της Εγγραφής Υποθηκών.  Ο πολύ μικρός αυτός αριθμός εγγραφής υποθηκών κατά το μήνα Απρίλιο, που ανέρχεται στις 386, οφείλεται και στο γεγονός της εξυγίανσης των δύο μεγάλων τραπεζών της Κύπρου.

Mortgages

The Banking Sector’s problems since 2010, along with the lack of liquidity in the market and the rise of non-performing loans, have severely affected the financing of new housing developments.

The lack of financing towards any kind of investment i.e. commercial, touristic, has put a negative pressure on the amount of mortgages registered within DLS.  This limited amount of 386 mortgages registered during April, can be explained as an after-effect following the on-going resolution of the two large main banks.

∆ήλωση Μεταβίβασης Πώλησης

Η οικοδομική βιομηχανία και γενικά ο τομέας ανάπτυξης γης έχει περιέλθει σε μαρασμό.

∆εν υπάρχουν νέα έργα ανάπτυξης, τα υφιστάμενα έργα έχουν εγκαταλειφθεί και τα έργα για τα οποία έχουν εκδοθεί άδειες ανάπτυξης έχουν ακυρωθεί.

Ο αριθμός των μεταβιβάσεων, ο οποίος διεκπεραιώνεται στο Κτηματολόγιο είναι κατά ένα μεγάλο ποσοστό υλοποίησης παλαιών συμβολαίων.  Γι΄ αυτό και ο αριθμός των δικαιοπραξιών είναι πολύ χαμηλός.

Επιπρόσθετα, ένας άλλος λόγος  του χαμηλού αριθμού των δικαιοπραξιών είναι και η δυσκολία στην καταβολή των μεταβιβαστικών δικαιωμάτων εκ μέρους των αγοραστών.

Transfers of Sale

The construction sector and more generally the property sector are facing very low levels of demand.  Currently, there are no new developments in property projects, existing developments are being postponed and new projects with building permits issued are being halted.

The very low numbers in transfers of sale registered at DLS involves older contracts of sales.   In addition, the inability of buyers to pay the requested transfer fees has put a negative pressure on the amount of transfers of sale registered.

Έκδοση τίτλων ιδιοκτησίας σε έργα ανάπτυξης

Η έκδοση νέων τίτλων ιδιοκτησίας σε έργα ανάπτυξης ανέρχεται σήμερα γύρω στις 1200 με 1300 τίτλους.  Αυτό έχει σχέση με τις υφιστάμενες αιτήσεις και τη ροή των νέων αιτήσεων.

Λόγω, όμως, της δυσχερούς οικονομικής κατάστασης στον κλάδο της οικοδομικής βιομηχανίας και συνεπώς της μη υλοποίησης των έργων, προβλέπεται ότι θα παρατηρηθεί το φαινόμενο της μείωσης των αιτήσεων για έκδοση νέων τίτλων, που θα έχει σαν επακόλουθο τη μείωση παραγωγής τίτλων ιδιοκτησίας.

Η στελέχωση όμως με ομάδες στα Επαρχιακά Κτηματολογικά Γραφεία για προώθηση της έκδοσης των τίτλων και επίλυση προβλημάτων για κάθε μία ξεχωριστή υπόθεση θα βοηθήσει στην αύξηση έκδοσης του αριθμού των τίτλων.

Certificates of Registration (Title Deeds) for Development Projects

The issuance of certificates of registration for development projects amounts to an average of 1200-1300 per month; this amount relates to both existing, as well as new applications registered at DLS.

The negative situation in both the construction and property market sectors, along with the halt in new development projects may lead to a reduction in applications and the amount of new titles issued.

However, the strengthening of the productions teams at our local District Land Offices, dealing with specific problems resolution along with the issuance of new titles, is expected to have a positive effect on the whole process.

Πωλητήρια Έγγραφα

Η σημαντική μείωση στην κατάθεση Πωλητηρίων Εγγράφων, η οποία παρατηρείται κατά  τους  μήνες  Απρίλιο,  Μάιο  και  Ιούνιο  του  2013  σε  σχέση  με  το  2012,  είναι αντίκτυπο της οικονομίας και ειδικά των μεγάλων προβλημάτων που παρατηρούνται στην οικοδομική βιομηχανία. Ένας από τους κυριότερους λόγους είναι η δυσκολία δανειοδότησης/χρηματοδότησης είτε των ιδίων των επιχειρηματιών ανάπτυξης γης, είτε των αγοραστών ακίνητης ιδιοκτησίας (κατοικίας, διαμερισμάτων, εμπορικών καταστημάτων κ.α.) από τις τράπεζες. Το φαινόμενο αυτό άρχισε να παρατηρείται από το 2010 και συνεχίζει μία καθοδική πορεία μέχρι σήμερα.

Contracts of Sale

The decrease in the numbers of Contract of Sales registered within DLS during Q2-2013 in relation with the same quarter of the previous year, is an after-result of the situation in the economy itself and the problems in both the construction and property market sectors.

The lack of liquidity and financing by the banks both for developers and buyers is the main reason for this decrease; the problem has been evident since 2010 and continues with a negative trend up to today.

Statistics

Certificates of Registration (Title Deeds) issued for development projects ‐ 2013

Mortgage statistics ‐ 2013

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • Janner says:

    It always comes down to the same thing. NPL’s. What are the banks going to do about the NPL’s secured against our properties and the land they sit upon? Six months into the bail-in and has anyone heard how this will be done? No, me neither!

  • @kufrahdog – As far as I am aware, this is the quarterly report. Registered estate agents do have access to further analyses, but it’s not available to mere mortals like myself.

  • kufrahdog says:

    This commentary issued by the Department of Lands and Surveys referencing some statistics is pathetic and the Director of the organisation should be called to account for publishing such rubbish. The comments are notable for their lack of intellectual rigour, substance and any kind of analysis. But this is Cyprus, the land of smoke and mirrors, deception, corruption and lies.

    It would good if Nigel could publish the actual quarterly report, if this is possible. KD

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Paul_M, at least if he’s a Brit and he’s living in the UK, then the UK authorities should be able do something about this situation, especially if he’s broken the law or owes an unpaid debt.

    I’m not sure what would happen in the same circumstances for a Cypriot Developer living in Cyprus and owing a similar debt?

    Anyone have any examples of this?

  • Pippa says:

    Is the Troika aware of the developer loans, that are leaving many people, Cypriots, as well as many of us foreigners, who have paid for their properties in full in the situation of having to pay, in some cases a lot more money just to pay off the loans made to developers? I fail to see how this can be justified or legal?

    Where banks have been negligent, in first loaning money with little or no collateral, and then failing to collect payment owed why is the innocent buyer liable for this debt?

  • Paul_M says:

    Developer mortgages what is being done about them? I can tell you. The banks are expecting owners to cough up money to clear the debts of developers. We’ve just been asked to stump up 50,000 euros each to clear the outstanding debt of our now defunct developer. He (a Brit incidentally) fled Cyprus last year leaving debts of over 1M euros!

    What collateral did he put up when taking out these loans with the bank? None! When did he stop making payments on the loan? No payments made since 2008!

    Where is the developer now? Living the life of Riley in the U.K.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    What a set of opaque and nonsensical riddles this report consists of.

    Totally useless for any sane analysis.

    Clear as mud!

  • Phil says:

    Department of Land Registry (quarterly progress reviews). If this is all they can come up with, 99% we already knew, then I fear they are just playing the game, in order, to be seen by Troika as complying with that part of the MOU.

    Contracts of Sale

    “The lack of liquidity and financing by the banks both for developers and buyers is the main reason for this decrease; the problem has been evident since 2010 and continues with a negative trend up to today”.

    Are you sure about that?

    Unless my memory bank is faulting, I seem to re-call that loans/mortgagees were still being given out like Smarties in 2010, not till mid 2011 did it slow down and restrictions placed early 2012. Stand to be corrected here.

    That said, whistle the financial collapse of the banking sector had a major part to play, I also feel that papers like this, previous court cases and strong media coverage played a very important part in slowing down property sales, uncovering the scams, deceit and lies by a web of corrupt individuals and organisations, promising the moon, but knowingly would fail on every account.

    Sadly, it would appear that some of the developer’s have learned nothing of the past. One account that I know of (not me) is that a developer recently demanded from (two of his purchasers) money in order to start the separation process of the land, “Saying if you don’t pay no title” Over the past couple of years the purchaser’s solicitor had made several attempts to contact the developer (how hard they tried I don’t know) but to no prevail. Suddenly, up he pops like a naked mole rat, taking measurements and wearing the same promising smile some 5 years later when he sold them the property.

    Conclusion: IPT bearing down on him.

    Oh yes the solicitor told them not to pay and managed, at last, to speak with the developer, apparently the conversation was very very heated and to-date I think that he (developer) might have gone back into the burrow from which he came.

    Phil

  • Martyn says:

    Andrew has hit a Huge nail on the head: Developer Mortgages. We don’t hear much about what is being done to clear these! See below from 30th July.

    Another of course is Payment of Developer’s Taxes and All Charges relating to the property – as it stands Titles cannot be issued until these also have been paid.

    Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission:

    ‘The Commission attaches priority to resolving the title deeds issue in the interest of the Cypriot economy, the European taxpayer, and the many EU citizens affected by the problem. In Article 5.4 of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) concluded between the Commission, acting on behalf of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), and the Republic of Cyprus, it is therefore stated that the Cypriot authorities will, by end 2014,
    ‘Eliminate the title deed issuance backlog to less than 2,000 cases of immovable property sales contracts with title deed issuance pending for more than one year. The Cypriot authorities will enhance cooperation with the financial sector to ensure the swift clearing of encumbrances on title deeds to be transferred to purchasers of immovable property, and implement guaranteed timeframes for the issuance of building certificates and title deeds’

    “The MoU therefore envisages a specific deadline for the elimination of the observed backlog. The swift clearing of encumbrances on title deed transfers constitutes an important element of this agreement.”

  • Andrew says:

    At the present rate they could just about clear the backlog of 130000 outstanding title deeds by 2023. How does that fit in with the 2000 limit, by end of 2014, set by the troika. I wonder what chicanery they will produce in order to receive the next tranche of bailout money.

    @Nigel.Sadly the last part of your exhaustive list will be the major problem and the one that has not yet been properly addressed by the EU or by Cyprus.

    Outstanding Developer Mortgages????

  • @MarilynS – To find out what progress is being made towards the issuance of the Title Deeds for your property, you need to find out what stage the developer has reached in the planning process/application for Title Deeds. In chronological order:

    1. When was the application for the Town Planning Permit submitted?
    2. Has a Building Permit been issued?
    3. Have any Covered Permits been requested/issued?
    4. Has a Certificate of Approval been applied for/issued?
    5. Has a Division Permit been applied for?
    6. Has a Certificate of Approval for the Division Permit been issued?
    7. Has an application been made to the District Lands’ Office for the registration of the property & issue of Title Deeds?

    When the Title Deeds are issued and available for transfer, the developer needs to produce receipts of payment of all fees, charges and taxes payable for the property under transfer. Such fees, charges and taxes may be one or more of the following:

    1. Immovable Property Tax.
    2. Capital gains tax.
    (Receipts of payment for all the above taxes and duties may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Department).
    3. Sewerage Board Tax. (Receipt obtained from the Sewerage Board).
    4. Town rate. (Receipt obtained from the municipality in whose boundaries the property is situated)
    5. Communal rate. (Receipt obtained from the community in whose boundaries the property is situated)

    Also the property has to be free of all charges (such as a mortgage) before the transfer of title can take place. To find out whether there are any charges that will prevent the transfer, you will need to ask the Land Registry to carry out a Title Search – this costs around €20/property. For more information please see Title Search Procedures.

  • Mike says:

    As much as I have personally only received excellent service from individuals at Limassol land registry the complex web of deceit and what can only be described as fraud exhibited by developers in collusion with Banks, Government, Lawyers and Agents all ads up to one unholy mess which no number of amendments, amnesties or prepared statements of denial will ever untangle.

    If the Troika believe all that is quoted to them and accept that it is an acceptable position in which to leave EU consumers then perhaps the whole European Union model needs to prove it is fit for purpose. The system in Cyprus itself is not fit for the purposes intended as it stands no matter how hard individual staff at land registry try their best to deliver a good service. They are let down by their political and Civil Service masters.

  • David Wright says:

    “the inability of buyers to pay the requested transfer fees has put a negative pressure on the amount of transfers of sale registered.”

    When I went to the land registry pay for my title deeds they tried to rip me off saying our villa was worth 80000 euros more than we paid for it.

    I refused to pay!!

  • Martyn says:

    ‘The construction sector and more generally the property sector are facing very low levels of demand. Currently, there are no new developments in property projects, existing developments are being postponed and new projects with building permits issued are being halted. The very low numbers in transfers of sale registered at DLS involves older contracts of sales.’

    SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

    ‘In addition, the inability of buyers to pay the requested transfer fees has put a negative pressure on the amount of transfers of sale registered.’

    NOT AT ALL SURPRISING, given the dire state of the entire Cyprus economy following 5 years of Denial. “Standstill” is about the best descriptor you can attach to the overall Cyprus property markets, with ‘values’ expected to plummet still further.

    ‘The issuance of certificates of registration for development projects amounts to an average of 1200-1300 per month; this amount relates to both existing, as well as new applications registered at DLS’

    Given the above, an APPALLING statistic, given that Estimates still suggest there are well over 100,000 ‘historical’ Titles outstanding. Many of these will of course relate to the complex webs of Property Development & Construction, Bank and other Financing and the weak and sloppy Legal systems that have been allowed to develop over the last 20-30 years or so. And still the slowly-emerging horror stories about the apparent disguising by the banks of the huge Non-Performing Loans webs add further serious concerns.

    I doubt the Troika will be in any way pleased with this initial Report, and the overall lack of progress it describes,under MoU requirements.

  • MarilynS says:

    But where is the information on my title deeds from my purchase in 2007?

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