ACCORDING to the Department of Lands and Surveys the number of property sales contracts deposited at Land Registry offices in the Republic during December 2018 fell 48 per cent compared to December 2017.
The fall follows nineteen consecutive months of increasing sales.
During December a total of 800 contracts were deposited at Land Registry offices for the sale of commercial and residential properties and land compared with 1,537 in December 2017; a fall of 48 per cent.
However, this fall may not be as significant as it may first appear. In December 2017 there was a spike in sales of building land following the decision by Parliament in November 2017 to introduce 19% VAT on land sales from 2nd January 2018.
Of those 800 contracts, 450 (43.8%) were for properties purchased by Cypriots and 350 (56.3%) were for properties purchased by non-Cypriots; 135 by EU citizens and 215 by third country nationals.
Sales fell in all districts. In percentage terms, Famagusta saw sales fall by 73%, Nicosia fell 57%, while sales in Limassol fell 45%. Meanwhile Paphos and Larnaca saw sales falling by 43% and 34% respectively.
Total Property Sale Contracts – 2017/2018 Comparison
Annual 2018 property sales figures
Despite the crash in December, the total number of sales during 2018 were the highest on record since 2008, when 14,667 properties were sold.
With the exception of Larnaca, where sales remained steady, they rose in all the other districts. Nicosia, the island’s capital and major business centre, saw sales rise by 10%, while sales in Limassol, a commercial centre and port, rose 8%. Annual sales in Paphos and Famagusta rose 5% and 2% respectively.
Overseas property sales
According to the Department’s statistics, a total of 350 property sale contracts were deposited by non-Cypriots during December 2018 of which 135 (38.6%) were deposited by EU citizens and the remaining 215 (61.4%) by non-EU citizens.
Paphos remains the most popular district with the overseas market with the number of property sales contracts deposited during reaching 170, while Limassol recorded 89, Larnaca 51, Nicosia 23 and Famagusta 17.
Over the course of 2018 a total of 4,367 contracts for the sale of property to overseas buyers were deposited of which 1,428 were deposited by EU citizens and the remaining 2,939 by non-EU citizens.
Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2018
Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2018
|Year||Overseas Sales||Domestic Sales||Percentage|
Note: Last year the Department of Lands & Surveys published a notice on its website advising that the sales statistics presented for foreign buyers had been modified following improvements to the method of coding. As a consequence, readers must not compare the number of properties sold to foreigners in 2018 with sales figures published for previous years. ((Unfortunately the Department of Lands and Surveys has not made available details of these modifications.)