CYPRUS property sales fell 27% in May compared with the numbers sold in May 2014 according to the latest official statistics from the Department of Lands & Surveys.
In May a total of 405 contracts for the sale of commercial and residential properties and plots of land were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus, compared with the 551 contracts deposited in May last year.
Of those 405 contracts 61% (248) were deposited on behalf of domestic buyers, while 36% (157) were deposited in favour of overseas buyers.
Famagusta was the hardest hit with sales falling 55% compared to the same period last year. Sales in Paphos were down 27%, while those in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca fell by 36%, 27% and 17% respectively.
Speaking to Stockwatch Vice Chairman of the Cyprus Real Estate Agents Association Solomon Kourouklides, said that people are forced to sell some properties to pay off the banks but there is also lack of liquidity in the market. He noted that “Many are interested in selling properties but few are interested in buying.”
Meanwhile property valuator Polys Kourousides said that property sales have stabilized and this is reflected in the figures for recent months. “The decrease in May is due to last year’s high base” he said.
I spoke with an estate agent at the eastern end of the island who said they had several Assignment Contracts waiting to be deposited, but that they were waiting for the Tax Office to issue Tax Clearance certificates.
During the first five months of 2015, total property sales have risen 4% compared with the same period last year to reach 1,884 compared with 1,810.
Domestic property sales in May tumbled 38% compared with May 2014, falling to 248 from 398 last year, with sales falling in all districts.
Famagusta took the brunt of the fall with sales dropping 76%. Sales in Paphos fell 38%. While those in Limassol, Nicosia and Larnaca were down 31%, 18% and 15% respectively compared to last year.
During the first five months of 2015, property sales to the domestic market have risen 6% compared with the same period last year having increased to 1,380 from 1,307.
Sales to the overseas market in May rose 3% compared with May 2014.
The 56% drop in sales in Nicosia and the 4% drop in Larnaca were more than offset by an increase in sales in Famagusta (up 33%), Limassol (up 32%) and Paphos (up 3%).
During the first five months of 2015, sales to the overseas market are up just 0.2% compared with the first five months of 2014 having increased to 504 from 503.