FIGURES released by the Department of Lands and Surveys earlier today show the extent of the crisis in the Cyprus property industry with overseas sales falling in 2011 to reach levels last experienced a decade ago.
During December, the number of contracts for the sale of property to foreign buyers deposited at Land Registry Offices throughout Cyprus fell 55% to 116 compared with the 258 contracts deposited in December 2010; the largest fall in a single month of 2011.
Sales fell in all areas. In Famagusta, just eight properties were sold to foreigners; a drop of 70% on the twenty seven sold in December last year. Sales in Paphos were down 64%, followed by Limassol (-55%), Nicosia (-36%) and Larnaca (-34%).
Despite some encouraging signs during the first half of 2011 that overseas sales were improving, by the end of the year end the number of contracts deposited had fallen by 19% to 1,652 compared with the 2,030 deposited during 2010.
Lowest numbers for a decade
Overseas sales are at their lowest level since the property market started to take off 2001. At the height of the boom in 2007, 11,281 properties were sold to overseas buyers, but in 2011 that number fell by more than 85% to a mere 1,652.