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Overseas property sales falter

Although the number of properties sold in Cyprus in December 2014 improved over the number sold in December 2013, sales to the overseas property market declined for the second consecutive month.

DURING December 2014, a total of 454 contracts to purchase immovable property were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus; a 20 per cent increase compared with December 2013 when 379 contracts were deposited according to official statistics.

Of those 454 contracts, 97 (21%) were deposited in favour of overseas buyers, while the remaining 357 (79%) were deposited in favour of domestic buyers.

However, this increase was totally attributable to domestic sales which rose by more than a third compared to December 2013, while sales to the overseas market faltered and fell by 14 per cent.

Overall sales in 2014 stood at 4,527; an increase of 20% compared with 2013.

Domestic sales

Sales to the domestic market rose sharply, increasing 34 per cent compared to December 2013.

Although sales in the capital Nicosia fell (-26%), they improved in all other districts. Paphos headed the field with an 82% increase in sales, followed by Limassol (+13%) and Larnaca (+7%) and in Famagusta, where no sales were achieved in December 2013, 43 properties were sold.

Cyprus domestic property sales December 2014

Property sales to the domestic market in 2014 stood at 3,334; an increase of 20% compared to 2013 when 2,750 were sold.

Overseas sales

Sales to the overseas market fell 14% compared to December 2013. Although sales improved in Larnaca (+229%) and Paphos (+51%) they fell in Famagusta (-86%), Nicosia (-85%) and Limassol (-36%).

Cyprus overseas property sales December 2014

Property sales to the overseas market in 2014 stood at 1,193; an increase of 17% compared to 2013 when 1,017 were sold.

Readers' comments

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  • @Sarah on 2015/01/14 at 8:39 pm– Are you sure about some of the sales being late deposits? I thought contracts had to be deposited within 6 months of their date of signing?

  • Sarah says:

    I believe that the figures for December are somewhat skewed. Certainly in Famagusta there are over 20 “sales” that have been registered that are in fact just contracts that should have been deposited in years gone past that have only been deposited now due to the developer clearing their decks. The market is slowly starting to improve, especially as the title deeds are coming through on many projects (hurrah!)

  • Mike G says:

    @Nigel – Interesting, I remember as a teenager being taken to the Sheraton in Limassol in around 1987 by my father for a look around and a coffee. I was surprised to see the whole swimming pool area chockablock with Lebanese Christians, everyone was decked out like Christmas trees in gold crucifixes, Gold watches mostly Rolex etc and so many diamonds it was unreal for a swimming pool.

    The place also had a mist of Cuban cigar smoke scenting the air. That’s the life I thought. I wish I was so good at business!

  • @Mike G on 2015/01/08 at 4:06 pm – I know a few Lebanese who are living in Limassol who came over in the 80s to escape the civil war. I expect the Syrians and Iraqis are coming over as tensions rise in the Middle East. I know one Egyptian who moved here – initially to Limassol but she has now moved to Nicosia.

    In 2012 Cyprus hosted a Rotary District Conference and several Egyptians asked me about buying property here.

  • Mike G says:

    @Nigel – I suppose you have a point but I wonder if the gas/oil facility in Aradippou could be influencing this rise as its been happening for months.

    OK gas its not as I have been told they will be renting.

    I’ve just got a text from a friend in Larnaca who says that middle class wealthy Syrians and Iraqis who are living in Beirut and Turkey are buying in Larnaca. He says an agent in Larnaca told him. Also a few Chinese, Russians and Brits etc. picking up bargains plus British Cypriots….So Klingons its not.

  • @Mike G on 2015/01/08 at 2:10 pm – Considering that only seven contracts on behalf of foreign buyers were deposited in December 2013, twenty three is December 2014 isn’t a significant number, although it is big percentage-wise.

  • Mike G says:

    Larnaca bucks the trend and rises by 229%. I haven’t been in Cyprus for 6 months and haven’t really been talking to cousins etc lately.

    Anyone know what this Larnaca rise is due to?

    Gas hub? Syrians with some money? Chinese? Klingons? Ewoks?

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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