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Can the overseas property market recover?

Although domestic sales of property in Cyprus improved in April compared to April 2013, overseas sales declined; what can be done to encourage overseas property sales and help the market recover?

AS we reported last week, the total number of contracts for the purchase of property rose 9 percent in April compared to the same period last year following a 20 percent increase in March.

But now that the Department of Lands and Surveys has published a breakdown of those numbers, last month’s increase was exclusively a result of a 13 percent increase in domestic sales; overseas sales last month fell 30 percent.

Of the 311 contracts deposited at the Land Registries, 229 (74%) were deposited in favour of Cypriot buyers, while 82 (26%) were deposited in favour of overseas buyers.

Domestic property sales

With the exception of Larnaca, where sales fell 20% compared to April last year, sales were up in all other districts.

With the numbers being so small, percentages can be misleading. But for the statisticians amongst you:

Sales in the free areas of Famagusta rose by 475% in April following a ‘disappointing’ performance in January and February, while sales in Nicosia improved 74% over last year. Sales in Paphos and Limassol rose by 48% and 14% respectively.

domestic property sales (Cyprus)

During the first four months of 2013 a total of 909 domestic sales have been achieved, down just 2% on the 930 sold during the corresponding period last year.

Overseas property sales

In theory you would expect that the overseas market had a better chance of recovery with tax incentives and residency permits for those who qualify – plus the fact that overseas buyers with foreign bank accounts haven’t had those accounts raided.

However, although sales improved in the mainly commercial districts of Nicosia and Limassol by 500% and 157% respectively in April, sales in the tourist hot-spots once favoured by overseas buyers looking for a holiday home fell last month.

Overseas sales in the free areas of Famagusta fell 75% followed by Larnaca, where sales fell 48%. Surprisingly in Paphos, once the favourite location for Britons looking for a holiday home in the sun, sales fell 44%.

Overseas property sales (Cyprus)

During the first four months of 2013 a total of 350 overseas sales have been achieved, down 5% on the 368 sold during the corresponding period last year.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Britons are continuing to buy. However they are being much more careful in the choice of their purchase and the lawyers they instruct to represent them; most are restricting their search to properties with ‘clean’ Title Deeds.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    NO.

  • John Swift says:

    The sales completed by any solicitor without securing the title deeds should be declared null and void.

    Those who paid in full should be given their title deeds and the corrupt banks who were just as bad as the solicitors/developer/builder made to pursue the developer builder.

  • Martyn says:

    Just been advised my title deeds are ready for exchange, stop press what scam now will be put on me?

    Once I have them sell sell sell and get out as quick as possible, lost about 50k sterling plus all the scams, cannot believe people are still seriously thinking of buying in this country.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    I see the massive influx of Chinese and Martian buyers is in full swing as predicted by many including the BS (pun intended) Sales Director.

  • M Hannah says:

    All these Comments just keep going around and around.

    Nothing is going to Happen, everyone Does NOT TRUST it here in Cyprus, Developers Banks Solicitors etc etc Myself like everyone else has bought here and Paid Cash for a villa, there is or has never been a mention of Titles or anything else each Time I ask the Developer about it we all get the same answer, “We have done everything we had to do, and are waiting for the Land Registry or some Fictional Department” We are all stuck here whether we want to be here or not. AND there is nothing and nowhere to go for any kind of help for our Problem,

    The EU “Bah and Humbug” a complete Fabrication of ones Imagination Methinks.

  • Maria says:

    The way you read the Land Registry numbers is wrong.

    Domestic sales (according to Land Registry) include all Europeans too. Sales to Cypriots have been no more than 30 contracts.

    Britons would be part of the Domestic sales, as Chinese or Arabs or anyone who buys using a Cyprus SPV is.

  • Juie says:

    There is only one way it will Recover until they stop ripping the expat off, doing the right thing giving the title deeds as soon as the house is paid up, this waiting 10 or more years is out of order, and the banks should hold the title deeds not the developer, they should only give a load to the land the developer is going to build on, no more loads are given until they have paid this off give the deeds to the rightful owner, and do the right thing until Cyprus does this most people I know will not bye, as they no you don’t get your deeds, you have to fight for them, which is wrong, In the UK when you house is paid off, you get you deeds 60 days later and you don’t have to pay for them like Cyprus this also needs to stop this puts people off from buying now I have said it all …..

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