THE MAIN obstacle to investing in the Cyprus property market is the limited transparency of the property market, which is coupled by the lack of clarity regarding processes and procedures.
The lack of reliable market data, combined with the on-going economic turbulence and the complications caused by the lack of title deeds on individual properties, continue to significantly hamper inward overseas investment as they heighten uncertainty regarding specific actions, projects, or assets.
Three years in the making, Cyprus Economic Intelligence (CEI) is a centralised databank that collects, analyses, and displays information on the Cyprus property market. CEI has cleaned and filtered all transactions recorded by the Cyprus Land Registry from 2006 onwards – more than 145,000 transactions – and provides aggregate data up to the municipality or community level. Users are able to break down transaction volume by property type or price band, comparing different geographies or sub-sectors of the island over time.
Breaking down transaction volume by property type and by price band, shows that out of 144,784 properties were sold in Cyprus from 2006 up to Q2 2014 57,480 (circa 40%) were apartments. This is hardly surprising, given the type of developments that were constructed during 2004-2008 or the nature of housing in urban areas, especially in Nicosia and Limassol.
Out of the apartments transacted, 6,527 (circa 11%) were in Famagusta district, with a median price of €114,476. The transaction volume shows that the majority of apartment units transacted were mainly in the other districts, with apartments in Famagusta having a relatively lower price. The latter is understandable, given the density of the district, with most high-density real estate being located near Paralimni rather than closer to the beach.
In terms of the liquidity profile of these apartments it is important to note that during Q2 2014 31 units transacted, having a price of between €100,000-€150,000. This indicates both the rate of sale of a new development, and the liquidity profile of assets given current demand dynamics in terms of transaction volume (rate of sale) and price (demand varies by price band).