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Property sales in 2012 reached €1.9 billion

Figures released by the Department of Lands and Surveys earlier this week report that property sales in Cyprus reached €1.9 billion in 2012, while more than 100,000 Title Deeds were issued.

PROPERTY sales in Cyprus totalled more than €1.9 billion in 2012, according to Department of Lands and Surveys’ figures released last Monday, with the value of sales in the fourth quarter reaching approximately €571 million.

The total value of voluntary sales amounted to €1,903,530,424; forced sales reached €10,203,897.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, voluntary sales amounted to €568,563,913; forced sales amounted to €2,341,650.00.

There were 10,846 voluntary sales and 184 forced sales during the year of which 2,968 voluntary sales and 60 forced sales took place during the fourth quarter.

Also during 2012 a total of 101,896 Title Deeds were issued, of which 24,565 were issued during the fourth quarter of the year.

Forced sales

The term “forced sales” means any sale of property by public auction performed in pursuance to a statutory provision or as a result of the execution of a writ of sale of immovable property, judgement or order issued by a competent Court. Such forced sales may be divided into two categories:

  • Sales regarding the settlement of a debt, the main ones being:
  • sale of properties under mortgage upon an application filed by the mortgagee;
  • sale of properties under mortgage upon judgment issued by a competent Court;
  • sale of properties upon the execution of a writ of sale issued by the Court;
  • sale of properties upon an application filed by a judgment creditor.
  • Any other sale; the sale of properties held in undivided shares being the most common.

(Sales by public auction are carried out by auctioneers appointed by the Director of the Department of Land and Surveys).

Readers' comments

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  • @All – the 101,896 Title Deeds that have been issued raised a few eyebrows.

    Many transfers take place without contracts of sale being deposited at the Land Registry as the Title Deed for the property already exists. In these cases the vendor and the purchaser can simply visit the Land Registry and transfer the property (assuming all taxes have been paid, etc). All EU citizens can do this, but non-EU citizens will have to deposit their contract of sale pending approval by the Council of Ministers.

    The 130,000 refers to the difference between the number of properties bought via contracts of sale that have been deposited at the Land Registry and the number of deeds relating to those contracts that need to be issued.

    Another thing to note is that the average price of the 10,846 properties referred to in the article is €175,505.

    Also, it isn’t necessarily the case that all the 101,896 titles were transferred to new owners – the article only refers to the number of Title Deeds issued, not the number transferred. These could result from re-zoning, sub-division of land, those issued as a result of inheritance, exchanges, etc.

    According to the Department of Lands & Surveys, 11,424 transfers took place in 2012.

  • Adrian says:

    I don’t suppose any of these developers thought to use any of the profit from their 1.9 billion to pay their outstanding mortgages and taxes, why bother, the bank will just get their money from the home owner!!

    Regarding the 101,000 title deeds issued. Can home owners obtain these deeds, my experience is that the land registry require a release from the banks and the tax authority to say that your developer has paid his dues, if he hasn’t guess who has to pay up.

  • T. Dawson says:

    How can this number of title deeds have been issued when last year there was a figure of just over 130,000 outstanding reported by the media?

    Does this mean the process of issuing deeds has speeded up?

  • Cyprus Lover says:

    Pippa asks if, Is there really any chance that the new government will take the bull by the horns and get the title deeds fiasco sorted?

    I’m sorry to say in my honest opinion the answer has to be no, I feel the collusion between all parties is so entrenched that if one group admits that there is a problem or they have not acted in the best interests of their customers the whole pack of cards will come tumbling down, so it is better (for them) to deny everything and hope that a new set of fools will come along soon, but as so much information is now available via the internet it will be much more difficult to hoodwink people again

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    @Nigel. So, this figure of 100,000ish Title Deeds issued, how does that relate to the 130,000 that were backed up behind the dam?? Does it mean that there are only now 30,000 left and that the non-issued deeds problem is heading for a rapid resolution? Am I missing something?

  • Richard says:

    It is also important to not just focus on title deeds (important as they are).

    The elephant in the room for a significant chunk of the British people who have bought property in Cyprus is the alleged mis-selling scandal surrounding CHF mortgages.

    Over the last few years – those people who were duped into CHF mortgages have been labelled as ‘naive’, ‘got what they had coming to them’ and ‘under-researched’. In many (the vast majority) of cases – this simply is not true. Lawyers did NOT act in their client’s interests – but were often in a conspiracy with the developers and banks (and in some cases – the agents too).

    Thankfully now – due to tireless lobbying in the UK – some MP’s are taking this ‘food chain of deception’ as a serious topic of investigation and are also seeking for this to also feature in the Troika bailout process. At least the UK High Court jurisdiction ruling last year has helped shed some light on the magnitude of the problem – and the alleged €7m profit made as the delta between borrowings and revenue raised by one developer – despite only 1/3 of promised homes being completed!

    When you see a situation like this being allowed to unfold – and then extrapolate that up across the whole island – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise why the Cypriot property sector is such a terrible mess and how difficult it will be for it to ever re-gain the trust of ordinary people again.

  • @Pippa – I certainly hope so – and they are being taken down that path by the Troika.

    The Troika’s ‘aim’ is to help get the Island’s economy back on it’s feet and some of the measures in the draft Memorandum of Understanding will help alleviate some of the property-related problems.

    I wrote an article some time ago listing the key points in the Memorandum relating to property – see Cyprus draft bailout conditions leaked.

    The Memorandum is still a draft and the new government, I expect, will endeavour to negotiate some changes.

  • Pippa says:

    Is there really any chance that the new government will take the bull by the horns and get the title deeds fiasco sorted?

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

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