FIGURES released by the Department of Lands and Surveys earlier today show that 172 property purchase contracts in favour of overseas buyers were deposited at Land Registry offices throughout Cyprus in December; a 48% increase compared with December 2011.
This is the second month in succession that property sales to overseas buyers have improved and a sign that they may be returning to the island.
Exactly a half of those 172 contracts were for properties in Paphos, where sales more than doubled compared with December 2011. Sales also increased in Famagusta, Limassol and Larnaca. Nicosia fared less well; sales were down 22%.
So a positive end to 2012 and an expectation that sales to overseas buyers will continue to improve in the year ahead.
Property developers have put much effort into opening up new markets. At the recent International Property Expo held at the China World Trade Centre in Beijing, Cyprus was the largest international exhibition group with more than 30 booths. Many of the billboards along the Cyprus highways advertising properties for sale are now written in Chinese.
A director at the Expo said moving abroad, securing a sound education and diversifying asset portfolios are the top three reasons why Chinese are purchasing international properties.
Chinese families, ranging from the highly affluent to the middle class’ upper crust, are showing a keener interest in purchasing overseas housing. They are primarily driven abroad not only because of China’s soaring housing prices but because of the government’s curbs on property ownership in the past two years in an attempt to cool prices.
We understand that a number of property developers and representatives from the Ministry of Commerce will be attending the 28th international real estate exhibition DOMEXPO being held in Moscow from the 11th to 14th April.