THE number of property sale contracts deposited at Land Registries in favour of Cypriots last month increased by 97% compared with January 2011, according to the latest figures published by the Department of Lands and Surveys.
This increase follows a 22% rise in December and may be attributable to the government tax incentives introduced late last year. But some of the increase may result from a last-minute rush to take advantage of the six-month window of opportunity to deposit ‘old’ contracts of sale that had not been deposited, which expired on 29th January.
Sales were up in all districts, with a total of 697 contracts of sale being deposited compared with the 354 deposited in January 2011.
The free areas of Famagusta saw sales rise by 536% in January. Sales in Larnaca were up 300%, followed by Paphos (+162%), Limassol (+79%) and finally Nicosia (+16%).
Overseas property sales
IN SHARP CONTRAST to the increase in domestic sales, property sales to the overseas market continued to decline.
According to Land Registry figures, 106 contracts of sale in favour of foreign buyers were deposited during January compared with 168 contracts deposited in the same month last year; a fall of 37%.
Although Paphos saw sales to foreigners increase by 23%, they fell in the other districts. Nicosia took the biggest hit with sales falling by 77%. Sales in Larnaca fell by 72%, followed by the free areas of Famagusta (-48%), and finally Limassol (-21%).
Although the government of Cyprus has introduced legislation to increase the protection afforded to those buying property on the Island and introduced tax incentives, it seems that it needs to do more to repair the Island’s tarnished reputation and restore investor confidence.