THE total number of properties sold to both Cypriots and foreigners during the first ten months of 2009 has fallen by 52%; with the numbers sold to Cypriots and foreigners down by 28% and 76% respectively.
During the month of October, only 117 properties were sold to foreigners island-wide according to the sale contracts deposited at the Land Registry.
Twenty two properties were sold in Nicosia, sixteen in Limassol, nineteen in Larnaca, twenty seven in Famagusta and thirty three in Paphos.
So far this year just 1,480 properties have been sold to foreigners compared to the 6,118 sold during the same period in 2008.
Britain accounts for about half of all the overseas buyers. But the economic pressures at home, the Sterling/Euro exchange rate and media revelations about the many ‘property scams’ have deterred many of them from buying property in Cyprus.
They have little confidence in the off-plan deals being offered by property developers and are coming to believe that the Cyprus government has neither the will nor the ability to resolve the long-standing Title Deed issues.
On a more positive note, there has been a slight improvement in domestic sales of property. In October, Cypriots bought 606 properties; 16% more than last year.
Real estate agents have said that this improvement is linked to ‘special’ offers being made by some of the property developers. But they believe the improvement will not last for long.
So far this year just 5,135 properties have been bought by Cypriots compared to the 7,143 bought during the same period in 2008.
Construction sector unemployment at record level
Unemployment levels in the construction sector area have reached an all-time high.
According to the Labour Minister, Sotiroula Charalambous, the number of unemployed in the sector has reached 3,134 – an increase of 430%.
Sotos Lois, the chairman of the Cyprus Contractors Federation, has already expressed his concern that the number of unemployed in the industry could reach 20,000 next year.