FIGURES released by the Land Registry on Thursday show that property sales fell for the fifth consecutive month in November compared to last year, signalling that the property market will continue to face difficult times in the coming year.
According to the Land Registry, the number of contracts of sale deposited at Land Registries throughout Cyprus during November was 741 compared to 714 during the previous month and 792 in November 2009. The annual decline in November reached 6% compared to the 1% decline experienced during October.
The hardest hit areas were Larnaca, where sales in November were down 32% compared to last year, and Famagusta where sales fell by 25%. Sales in Paphos fell by 3%.
The areas of the island least affected by the downturn in the market are Limassol and Nicosia as their market is not dependent on holiday home sales. Nicosia sales went up by 3%, while Limassol’s were up 6% compared to November last year.
Nationally, sales so far this year have reached 7,901; an increase of nearly 7% on last year’s total of 7,407.
The general picture for the first eleven months of this year is similar to that of November, with sales in Nicosia and Limassol increasing quite strongly, while other areas are in recession experiencing lower or negative growth. In the first eleven months of 2010, property sales in Nicosia and Limassol have increased by 16% and 10% respectively, while those in Paphos have risen by 4%.
However, sales in Larnaca have fallen by 5% and in Famagusta they have dropped 1%.
Downward trend to continue into 2011
According to property valuer, Polys Kourousides, stagnation will continue and the year will close with a slight increase mostly due to last year’s low basis.
“Things in 2011 will be the same as those in 2010. Nicosia and Limassol, which were kept high in 2010, might be affected more”, he concluded.