THE NUMBER of property sales in Cyprus during January 2016 rose by 2 per cent compared with the same month last year according to official figures issued by the Department of Lands & Surveys.
This 2% rise follows a 13% rise in December, a 21% rise in November and a 23% rise in October.
During January total of 327 contracts for the sale of commercial and residential properties and land (building plots and fields) were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus, compared with the 321 deposited in January 2015.
While property sales in Larnaca and Limassol fell by 13% and 3% respectively, they rose in the remaining three districts of the island. Sales in Famagusta rose 38% and sales in Nicosia rose by 17%, while sales in Paphos rose by 9%.
Industry pundits consider that the real estate market will improve following the reduction in Property Transfer Fees, the planning amnesty and the ‘trapped buyers’/’hidden mortgage’ law that enables those deceived into buying property built on mortgaged land to obtain Title Deeds.
A reduction in bank lending rates should also help to encourage sales.
Sales should also increase as banks move forward with foreclosures. The Co-operative is expected to start foreclosure proceedings on 70 properties in the near future. The majority of the properties are holiday homes, commercial blocks, building plots and land. The loans on these properties were terminated by court decisions before 2011 – and Yiannos Stavrinides of the Cooperative Central Bank has stated that the Co-op is not going to foreclose on any primary residences.
The first foreclosures are expected in June 2016.
Total Property Sales Transactions – 2015/2016 Comparison
We will update this article with a further analysis of the sales statistics once they have been published by the Department of Lands and Surveys.