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Sales to non-Cypriots improving slowly

Foreign interest in the Cyprus property market is showing signs of a slow recovery following last year’s disastrous performance, with sales during the first half of 2010 up 9.6% on last year.

A TOTAL of 238 property sale contracts in favour of foreign buyers were deposited at Land Registries throughout Cyprus in June 2010, compared to 201 in June 2009 according to figures released today by the Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys; an increase of approximately 18.5% compared to last year.

So far this year, sales in Nicosia are up by 95% followed by Limassol and Famagusta, where sales have increased 4.8% and 4.6% respectively. However, sales in Larnaca have fallen by 3.5% and in Paphos by 0.7% compared to last year.

During the first six months of this year, 928 contracts in favour of foreign buyers were deposited; up 9.6% on last year.

Cyprus property sales to non-Cypriots for June 2010

Source: Department of Lands and Surveys

Although the latest figures show a slight improvement, property sales to foreigners are still down by nearly 76% compared to 2008 and by almost 84% compared to the peak year of 2007 – and there are still literally thousands of empty properties littering the once popular investment hot-spots.

Unfortunately the statistics produced by the Department of Lands and Surveys do not provide a breakdown of the number of new and the number of re-sale properties being sold.

One industry pundit suspects that around 20% to 30% of the properties being sold at the present time are re-sales, arguing that these offer the best deals. Although there is no hard evidence to back his suspicion, many British buyers are now refusing to buy properties that do not have Title Deeds due to the potential level of risk involved, preferring instead to go for the much safer option of buying resale properties complete with their Title Deeds.

Readers' comments

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  • Richard says:

    Frankly – it’s about time the EU stepped in sorted Cyprus out properly as the present Government seem almost as useless as the last one in terms of governance.

    Cyprus wanted to be in the EU – now they’re in it – so it’s high time they started behaving like a member state (eg: they grow up)!

    Title deeds for existing owners need be priority No 1.

    Also agree 100% with Dee that NO more planning consent is given until all housing stock is either sold off or demolished if it can’t be sold.

    The Cypriot government, banks, legal profession and developers have (IMHO) been a shambles and clearly not able to act like a mature EU member.

    Not only that – going forward a course in business basics & morale ethics probably wouldn’t go amiss either.

  • Dee says:

    No new planning permissions should be issued until all the empty stock has been finished and sold.

    The countryside looks like a big building site with half-finished properties spoiling areas which were once open and green.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    The EU should order the Cyprus Bar Association to tell its members that they must issue a fact sheet to all prospective buyers outlining the delays in Title Deeds being issued and the cost of these for the property they are considering buying.

    In addition buyers should be told the actual IPT per year that is payable to the tax authorities by the Developer until they transfer the Title Deeds.

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

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