RECORD levels of unemployment, lack of liquidity, the economic situation, uncertainty in the market and the Title Deed fiasco continue to depress the Cyprus property market.
According to the Troika’s estimates the number of houses for sale will reach 50,000; but the banks disagree, referring to this number as “outrageous”. In its draft memorandum to the Cyprus government, the Troika has made several suggestions that could help encourage both domestic and overseas sales, including: the establishment of a ‘bad bank’ to take over toxic assets, clearing the backlog of between 120,000 – 130,000 Title Deeds held up in the logjam and more effective Land Registry systems.
During September a total of 442 contracts for the purchase of property were deposited at Land Registry offices across the island compared with 608 in September last year; a year-on-year fall of 27%.
Of those 442 contracts, 83% (365) were in favour of Cypriot buyers and 17% (77) were in favour of overseas buyers.
Domestic property sales
Overall 130 fewer properties were sold in September compared with the corresponding month last year; a fall of 26%.
Limassol was hardest hit with 80 fewer properties being sold (-51%). Sales in Nicosia sales fell by 63 (-51%), in Famagusta they were down 24 (-43%) and in Larnaca they fell by 3 (-10%).
However, the number of properties sold in Paphos went up by 40 (44%) compared with September 2011.
In the first nine months of 2012 sales to the domestic market stood at 3,846 compared with 4,007 in the same period last year; a drop of 130 (-26%).
Overseas property sales
Overall sales in September were down by 36 (-32%) compared with the corresponding month last year and, with the exception of Limassol, sales were down in all districts.
In Famagusta, sales fell by 60% (-18). In Nicosia sales were down 50% (-6); in Larnaca they were down 44% (-6), while in Paphos they were down 14% (-5).
In Limassol, 17 properties were sold; an increase of 1 (6%) on the 16 sold during September 2011.
During the first nine months of 2012, sales of property to the overseas market stood at 1,030 compared with 1,310 sales during the first nine months of last year; a fall of 280 (-21%).