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No let-up in catastrophic sales downturn

September sales figures from the Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys show that the number of properties sold across the island continues to fall with overall sales declining by more than a quarter.

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.

Sales contracts

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%).

Cyprus property sales September 2012 (domestic)

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%).

Cyprus property sales September 2012 (overseas)

Readers' comments

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  • Denton Mackrell says:

    @John Swift. I was in Hong Kong recently and they were all falling about laughing at the notion of mega numbers of Chinese (mainland and HK) all rushing to buy property in Cyprus. There was a big article in the South China Morning Post poking fun at Cyprus on this issue. I’m afraid the cat is out of the bag in China re the Cyprus Title Deeds scandal.

  • Brian Newman says:

    It’s not surprising. I have an Aristo villa. Bought new 12 years ago in Latchi. No deeds. Property prices are still too high as are other charges. Compared to other countries. I cannot see any improvement in Cyprus until possibly the gas exploration becomes viable.

  • @David Winks – In September 2008 there were 574 contracts of sale deposited at Land Registries in favour of overseas buyers – and 11,281 in the whole of 2007.

  • John Swift says:

    So much for for a certain Cyprus forum only allowing “Everything is coming up roses” in Cyprus.

    So many expats joined a certain Cyprus forum where they were constantly assured by the UK expat forum owner that there was no danger when purchasing Cyprus property without title deeds.

    The usual comment being “Oh not that old chestnut again”.

    The chickens have now come home to roost.

  • MARTYN says:

    The Word is truly out , world-wide it seems – now about the shambolic Cypriot property, construction, house sales markets, bank smokescreens re depth and width of ‘non-performing loans, and general business and economic collapses. Not good, not Good for any of us, Title Deeds or nay!

  • David Winks says:

    What a tragedy (self inflicted though it may be) for the Country. Could you tell me Nigel, how many Overseas Buyers purchased property in Sept. 2008.?

    I seem to remember that in 2007 a total of 11,500 odd sales were made to Overseas Buyers. Currently only approx. 1000 so far this year !!

    When are the “powers that be” going to resolve the obvious problems that has/is causing this situation. ??

    On top of all this, will Cyprus go the potential way of Greece and drop the Euro ?

  • Adrian says:

    If all the volume of work for the various government agencies is down they must now be really overstaffed!. would it be too simple to suggest now would be a good time to reorganize the system at the land registry and start to issue some title deeds. If they can’t catch up now they never will and maybe if they issued title deeds when property is handed over there would a little bit more confidence in the market place,they can do it when you by a car why not for property?

  • Jim says:

    So much for the Chinese, Russians etc, all flocking to buy in Cyprus.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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