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June property sales up 28 per cent

The number of properties sold in Cyprus during June rose 28 per cent compared to June 2016 with sales increasing in all districts with the exception of Larnaca according to official figures.

Cyprus property sales up 28 per cent in JuneTHE NUMBER of property sales in Cyprus during June rose 28 per cent compared to June 2016 according to official statistics published by the Department of Lands and Surveys earlier today.

This increase follows a 59% increase in May, a fall of 2% in April and a 16% increase in March

During June a total of 843 contracts for the sale of residential and commercial properties and land (building plots and fields) were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus, compared with the 657 deposited in June 2016.

Of those 843 contracts, 635 (75%) were deposited by Cypriot purchasers and 208 (25%) were deposited by overseas purchasers.

Although the number of sales contracts in Larnaca fell by 20%, they rose in the remaining four districts.

Sales in Nicosia (the capital) rose 65% compared to June 2016, while sales in Limassol, Famagusta and Paphos rose 37%, 35% and 28% respectively.

Total Property Sale Contracts – 2016/2017 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201654
79
82
79829810264818086144
201772737980118162
Famagusta201622
3533
35
2434
2741 32 471987
2017211940293846
Larnaca201678
108121
127
103120
12381 121 111114153
20171021001136911996
Limassol201692
179197
166
145222
220129 195 270249432
2017132177232192298304
Paphos201681
100106
107
120183
153136127 126183318
20179687162136183235
Totals2016327
501539
514
474657
625451 556 634651 1,134
2017423 456626 506 756 843

During the first half of 2017, sales contracts have risen 20% compared to the first half of 2016.

(An unknown number of property sales contracts relate to ‘non-sale’ agreements such as loan restructurings, recoveries and debt-to-asset swaps agreed between the banks and defaulting borrowers. These contracts inflate the total figures above and the domestic sales figures below.)

Domestic property sales

Property sales to the domestic (Cypriot) in June rose 37% compared to June 2016 with sales rising in all districts with the exception of Larnaca, where sales fell 7%.

Famagusta lead the way with sales up 343% compared to June 2016, followed by Nicosia (+63%), Limassol (+40%) and Paphos (+25%).

Domestic Property Sale Contracts – 2016/2017 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201643
70
10
6968929458757073116
201763 69
71
62
103
150
Famagusta2016203121
33
24 71932 22 379 72
2017 20 17 24 2327
31
Larnaca2016689685
91
93 759167 90 8174 114
2017 77 80 85 4976
70
Limassol201668158145
122
126 162156101 142 202196 307
2017 97 130 176 152202
227
Paphos2016617259
65
105 1267488 98 83111 171
2017 73 47 82 9388
157
Totals2016260427382
380
416
462
434346 427 473463 780
2017 330 343438
379496
636

During the first half of 2017, domestic have risen 13% compared to the same period last year reaching a total of 2,621.

Overseas property sales

Property sales to the overseas (non-Cypriot) market during June 2017 rose 7% compared to the same month last year with 208 contracts of sale deposited compared with 195 in June 2016.

While sales in Nicosia and Famagusta fell by 44% and 42% respectively, they rose 100% in Nicosia, 37% in Paphos and 28% in Limassol.

Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2016/2017 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201611
9
10
10 14686 6101328
20179
4
6
181512
Famagusta20162 412
2
0
27
89 10 10 10 15
2017 1 2 1661115
Larnaca201610 1236
36
10
45
3214 31 30 40 39
2017 25 20 28204326
Limassol201624 2152
44
19
60
6428 53 68 53 125
2017 35 47 56409677
Paphos201620 2847
42
15
577948 29 43 72 147
2017 23 40 80439578
Totals201667 74157
134
58
195
191105 129 161 188 354
2017 93 113 186127260 208

During the first half of 2017, property sales to the overseas market have risen 44% compared with the same period last year reaching a total of 208.

Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2017

YearOverseas SalesDomestic SalesPercentage
Overseas Sales
Total
Sales
200045012,2143.6%12,664
20011,20712,8498.6%14,056
20022,54814,11115.3%16,659
20033,98115,29420.7%19,275
20045,38411,94731.1%17,331
20056,48510,10639.1%16,591
20068,3558,59849.3%16,953
200711,2819,96453.1%21,245
20086,6368,03145.2%14,667
20091,7616,40921.6%8,170
20102,0306,56823.6%8,598
20111,6525,36623.5%7,018
20121,4764,79323.5%6,269
20131,0172,75027.0%3,767
20141,1933,33426.4%4,527
20151,3493,60327.2%4,952
2016
1,8135,25025.7%7,063
2017 (Jun)9892,62127.4%3,610
Totals
59,607143,80829.3%203,415

Readers' comments

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  • Richard says:

    @sky – well I hear partly what you say – but I’d make two observations.

    One – the Republic is trying to ‘attract’ Chinese & Middle Eastern investment throwing in citizenship & passports et al. In these cases – they may not all be simple debt 2 asset swaps, but opportunities for fresh investors bringing in new money from outside (of course – leaving that in the hands of the original unscrupulous legacy management is not in all cases helping of course).

    Two – debt is a global problem & I’d need to see where you had sourced your data before being able to comment if Cypriot debt ratios were higher than anywhere else?

  • Richard says:

    Thanks for the update below – appreciated.

    My principle concern with restructuring banks balance sheets is all of the banks in the Republic following Hellenic Bank & selling off their debts.

    If the original lenders mis-sold loans – presumably this has to sorted out through the court system before they sell them on? Either that – or whoever the loans get transferred to will have to run the risk they will have bought bad debt that cannot be realised?

    Ed: I would expect that any organisation buying these bad loans will have checked to see whether any court actions were outstanding and that the bad loans were purchased at a discount as some of them will never be repaid.

  • sky says:

    @richard
    For me it’s obvious…Cypriot households owe €1.2 BILLION which they can’t repay…(this amount is just the amount of NPLs, to which one has to add the future NPLs, and the loans made to people who can just barely pay them…).
    Cyprus private debt/GDP ratio is the highest in the WORLD.
    In a nutshell, this means the Cypriot people is BANKRUPTED.
    And though, Cypriots “transactions” still make 3/4 of the market…come on…this is mainly debt to assets swap…obvious..

  • Richard says:

    Thanks for sharing – but I feel you are right to call out the fact that an unknown number of these are tied up in loan restructuring or debt-asset swaps.

    Is there any way of ascertaining what percentage of the total amount is? It would help knowing if an actual recovery is progress, or whether it is just ‘fiscal chess’ with property.

    Ed: I did publish some information last month, but I don’t have any authoritative figures:

    We know that debt-to-asset swaps will be included in the numbers of domestic sales and although no official figures are available, the Greek language Phileleftheros newspaper published an article this morning (12 June), which reports:

    Of the 535 properties that were put to auction, a mere 20 have been sold.

    The Bank of Cyprus Real Estate Management Unit (REMU) took over property valued at €128 million during the first quarter of 2017 and at the 31st March 2017 had €1.4 billion worth of properties on its books.

    The banks are now looking at different solutions to meet increasing requirements of the supervisory authorities to consolidate their balance sheets.

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