DURING June, a total of 543 contracts for the purchase of properties were deposited at Land Registry offices across the island compared with the 589 contracts deposited in June 2011; a fall of 8%.
Of those 543 contracts, which include the purchase of residential properties, commercial properties and land, 108 (20%) were in favour of overseas buyers and 435 (80%) were in favour of Cypriot buyers.
The hope that the surge in last month’s sales heralded the start of recovery has evaporated. It would appear that this was due to a rush to beat the deadline to benefit from the 6-month reduction in Property Transfer Fees introduced by the government last year. (The deadline has now been extended to the end of the year).
At the end of the first half of the year, total sales stood at 3,710 – up by 4% on the 3,577 sold during the first half of 2011. The increased number of sales during January and June would indicate that the temporary reduction in Property Transfer Fees had a transient but positive effect on the market.
Overall 15 more properties were sold during June, an increase of 4% compared with June 2011. This was mainly due to an additional 38 properties sold in Larnaca; an increase of 97% – and an additional 61 were sold in Paphos; an increase of 94% compared with the June 2011 figures. One further property was sold in Famagusta compared with last year, representing a rise of 3%.
However, on the downside, sales in Limassol fell by 65 and those in Nicosia fell by 20 compared with June last year.
During the first half of 2012, domestic sales stood at 2,910 – an increase of 12% on the 2,601 sales in the first half of 2011.
The overseas market remains fragile and continues to weaken. The number of sales dropped in all areas during June, falling by 61 (36%) compared with the number sold in June 2011.
The area hardest hit was Larnaca, where sales were down 26 (-68%) compared with June last year. Larnaca was followed by Paphos -13 (-33%), Limassol -10 (-26%), Nicosia -7 (-26%) and finally Famagusta -5 (-26%).
During the first half of 2012, overseas sales stood at 800 – a decrease of 18% on the 976 sales in the first half of 2011.
MEP slams Cyprus
During President Christofias’ speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, British MEP Graham Watson slammed Cyprus over its crooked lawyers and property developers.
“Lead by example in Europe’s fight against crime” he said “intervene against the intricate intrigue of corrupt Cypriot lawyers and property developers who rob holiday homebuyers of their retirement savings.”