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26th June 2022
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HomeProperty InvestmentCyprus slips to number 14 in Top of the Props chart

Cyprus slips to number 14 in Top of the Props chart

THE popularity of Cyprus as a destination for overseas property investors slipped five places in the December ‘Top of the Props’ chart published by TheMoveChannel.com, which looks at the number of on-line enquiries for property in different countries around the world.

The most sought out destination for overseas property investors in December was Spain, with Portugal in second place. France and the USA came in third and fourth, followed by Italy, Brazil and Turkey, with Barbados and Morocco at numbers nine and ten respectively.

According to the Move Channel’s Ivan Radford “The end of 2011 also saw a last-minute rush of attention for Barbados and Morocco. The two new entries to TheMoveChannel.com’s Top 10 replaced Cyprus and Greece at the bottom of the table. Coupled with the rise of the United Arab Emirates, which jumped a hefty eight places to number 12, it suggests that despite Spain’s return to form, investors are still willing to look elsewhere to avoid Europe’s more troubled economies.”

The full breakdown of the December 2011 Top 40 from TheMoveChannel.com is as follows:

RankCountryShareChange
1Spain15.45Up  1
2Portugal9.15Up  2
3France8.98Non-mover
4USA8.96Down  3
5Italy5.27Non-mover
6Brazil5.1Non-mover
7Turkey3.44Up  1
8Bulgaria2.7Down  1
9Barbados2.31Up  4
10Morocco2.29Up  9
11Germany2.24Up  3
12UAE1.85Up  8
13Thailand1.7Up  2
14Cyprus1.63Down  5
15Greece1.57Down  5
16Poland1.39Up  1
17India1.37Up  1
18Canada1.22Up  4
19Malta1.2Down  3
20Cayman Islands1.09Down  9
21Montenegro1.07Up  4
22Belize1.02Up  9
23Costa Rica1
24Hungary0.94Up  3
25Cape Verde0.87Down  13
26Croatia0.87Down  5
27Egypt0.78Down  4
28Switzerland0.74Up  7
29St Lucia0.7Down  5
30Philippines0.46Down  1
31Indonesia0.46Down  3
32Australia0.41Non-mover
33Mexico0.33Down  3
34Jamaica0.33Down  1
35Slovenia0.33Down  1
36Panama0.26Up  13
37Malaysia0.24Up  2
38South Africa0.22Up  3
39Czech Republic0.17Down  13
40Kenya0.13

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18 COMMENTS

  1. @Peter G – your developer is speaking through an orifice normally reserved for another purpose!

    Revised Immovable Property Tax (IPT) bands were introduced on the 1st January 2012 and are effective from that date (see below). IPT payable in earlier years has not changed.

    Immovable Property Tax Bands from January 2012

    As for transfers being “put on hold”, 1,597 properties were transferred in December according to the Department of Lands and Surveys.

  2. I read an article in yesterdays Telegraph which gave the twenty best places in Europe to invest or buy property.

    Cyprus wasn’t even mentioned so certainly the word seems to be out among their readers.

  3. I understand from my developer that the land tax was increased by 100% from the 1st January 2012 and that all ready title deeds for December were put on hold but we will have ‘double issue’ for January which will take in the increased tax…nice one if true?

  4. The bulk of the clients for the Move Channel are British. They supply property to a wide range of other web portals but their main source of enquiries are A Place in the Sun and Rightmove – both UK Based and well known for casual browsers, not potential buyers. As agents we used to advertise on Rightmove – massive amount of viewings but few enquiries. Other portals are more business based and produce more results. These figures above are for December, and there are wide monthly variations – for example in November Cyprus was 9th in this chart.

    Regarding Russians. I thought that the stereotype Russian – with a suitcase full of money, ignorant, here in Cyprus to avoid tax, and physical violence to anybody who upset him – had died out years ago, but apparently not !! Most Russians buying here in Cyprus are here for the sunshine, friendly people, and secure environment. Most are not mega rich, and just honest working people, or small business people, who want a nice lifestyle for their family.

    Most are very charming, and generally they do a great deal of homework before completing on a property.

  5. Any day now I am expecting a big announcement from the government. This will say something to the effect that legislation is being prepared to make prompt issue of title deeds compulsory. It will all sound very convincing.

    This will be an attempt to deflect the EC’s forthcoming questions on this matter, so the government can say that “legislation is being prepared”.

    Of course, it will be nothing more than the usual rubbish we have come to expect, and by prior arrangement among the legal mafia and government, the football will be kicked around at least until after the glorious Cypriot rotating presidency has passed.

  6. That is exactly the problem Nigel.

    In UK and many other places you tell your Lawyer I would like to buy X. They make an offer and you never see your lawyer again. You move in. Job done.

    Not here because the State have been involved with the buying advice and in the early days the BHC were also suckered in. English law my ar**.

    But it is not even Cypriot law as defined by the Supreme Court a few years ago. It is the lawyers who take the Pi**. State supported fraud in my opinion and the Norwegian Lady got the right advice. Well done her.

  7. @Costas Apacket – I can tell you that the UK does not have a system where legal ownership is transferred when a purchaser pays in full for their property.

    But the system in the UK works because lawyers, in general, do a decent job of protecting their clients’ interests and if a lawyer failed in his duty of care, justice is swift! And the bureaucratic procedures are quick and efficient (most have been outsourced though agency agreements).

    Cyprus isn’t the only country with issues relating to property ownership.

  8. Nigel, my comments were not necessarily about whether a Title Deed system existed, but rather about having a system where legal ownership is transferred when a purchaser pays in full for their property.

    Cyprus has a system that could work, but doesn’t, for reasons we all know about, really.

    This is borne out by your recent sterling work which showed that the gap between the number of Title Deed transfers vs Sales Contracts deposited by Non-Cypriots has grown by over 35% since 2006, whilst the number of Title Deed transfers for Cypriots has exceeded the number of Sales Contracts deposited by them over the same time period.

    I wonder why this could be…now let me think!

    This has resulted in circa 40,000 Non Cypriots having paid in full for their properties and who still do not legally own their homes because their Title Deeds have still not been transferred to them.

    I rather think this shows that the comparison in TheMoveChannel popularity table is more like Apples vs Bad Apples when it comes to the Cyprus property market.

    Perhaps, if the rankings are based on country searches, we should all spend 30 minutes per day on TheMoveChannel website searching all countries other than Cyprus to give their popularity table more balance?

  9. There is at least one country with title deed problems so large they make Cyprus look like a storm in a teacup. South Africa has 1.5 million homes built since 1994 without title deeds, mainly because the residential zoning for the developments has not been completed by the developers. Most of these are bottom of the market, small houses owned by black Africans, who can’t sell or even obtain a loan using the property as security to buy furniture. The difference is that a SA attorney will do the proper checks on a house purchase, otherwise the SA Law Society will will bar him/her from practicing.

    With regard to the Russians, of course there are nice Russians but countries with very lax law enforcement like Cyprus does attract another, less desirable type.

  10. From what I can see, themovechannel is little more than a website to reap revenue from advertising property for sale. The information on Cyprus is out of date and I couldn’t find information as to the pitfalls of buying property. As for the country rankings, it’s based on the number of searches and easily manipulated.

  11. @Costas Apacket – Not necessarily – some countries have use a Title Deed system, others do not.

    If you paid for a house in full in the UK, the house wouldn’t be legally yours until its title had been registered in your name.

    TheMoveChannel is comparing apples with apples – can’t you see that?

    If you want TheMoveChannel to publish information about Title Deeds, I suggest you write to them. As I mentioned in my reply to Gavin, TheMoveChannel did publish something from me a couple of years ago.

  12. Uk commentators are saying in the press to expect a 10% average drop in UK property prices by the end of 2012.

    As on many subjects, Cyprus is in denial when it comes to realistic property prices. They need to drop some 10-15% further before the long-needed adjustment can be said to be complete. Unfortunately, developers and even re-sellers still cling to the touching belief that a ‘true market price’ is what they say it is and not what buyers are prepared to pay. Hence, sales will remain flat at almost zero until and unless vendors change their beliefs.

  13. Do property buyers actually legally own their properties when they have paid in full for them in the other countries shown in TheMoveChannel table?

    If so why is Cyprus anywhere near 14th in the table, or even in the table at all, given that 40,000 Non-Cypriots don’t have the Title Deeds for their Cypriot properties years after paying in full for them?

    Let’s have apples vs apples in your table please TheMoveChannel and let’s make it clear to your users that there is a major problem in Cyprus by publishing up to date info on the Title Deeds crisis.

    Maybe then Cyprus would find its proper level in the table, just below Bongo Bongo land.

  14. Prices in Cyprus are way over where they should be. Prices are falling again in the UK and are set to fall more quickly in 2012. London is the exception with an average 1% rise. Would-be expats living in the UK are looking for value levels that enable them to make a move and they are finding them in Spain, Portugal, France and the USA.

  15. @Nigel & Gavin. I suspect that the Russians in the main are still relatively ignorant of the scams they will be subject to – just like the Brits were a few years ago. There will, unfortunately, be a lag period before the Russians get to the state of awareness that we have. During this period, many will become trapped by the range of scams that we all know about.

    While not a myth that some Russians will have no qualms about using extreme measures of retribution, I suspect that the majority will be raising a stink back home. The track record of Putin & co in using action rather than words when Russians and Russian interests are impuned should be a warning to the Cypriot authorities. But, will it be heeded? I doubt it.

  16. Nigel.

    Thank you for the signpost to your contribution on the Move Channel’s website. What was especially revealing was the way that you clearly and chronologically laid out the catalogue of promissory statements shamefully churned out by the government. I would therefore recommend that readers of this article take the time and trouble to have a look at it for themselves.

    Take the point about the Russians. I suppose I was being somewhat impish about the general perception regarding their source of funds AND their methods of dealing with those who cross them.

    Having said that, I still maintain that generally speaking they’re likely to be far more vociferous and take sterner action than the average Briton.

  17. @Gavin – I don’t know who the movechannel’s clients are, but I suspect the majority will be Brits.

    Russians are buying here and, from a couple of conversations I had yesterday, they are looking at other parts of the Island as well as Limassol. As for your comments about them and their methods, I have a couple of Russian friends in Limassol and I can assure you they are decent folks. You shouldn’t believe the propaganda you read about wads of cash, etc.

    The movechannel does have a number of articles about the Title Deed issues, including one I wrote a couple of years ago at http://www.themovechannel.com/news/a2cc73f9-fa86/

  18. Nigel.

    Had a quick squint at The Move Channel’s website.

    Are we to assume that the majority of its clients are British looking for properties overseas? I also tried to find even a fleeting reference to the subject of the title deeds’ scandal in Cyprus but could not. Have I missed it?

    Looks as though Cypriot developers will have to rely primarily on the Russians with their wads of cash as word is out with the British to steer well clear.

    However, woe betide developers and lawyers if there’s any hanky-panky with title deeds as Russian methods of obtaining redress won’t exactly be in the British mode of resolving matters via the usual channels…

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