THE PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS (PwC) annual Cyprus real estate market review provides information about the Cyprus economy in general and a snapshot of key real estate market developments.
In terms of activity levels, PwC reports that in 2018, the total number of properties transacted in Cyprus through the Department of Lands and Surveys (DLS), both in terms of contracts of sale and transfers, reached 15,800; a year-on-year increase of 1.9%.
However, the total value of these properties fell by 7% to €4.2 billion, which PwC mainly puts this down to a decline of large-scale transactions that fell by €240 million (31%) compared to 2017.
But compared to 2013, when a mere 5,800 Cyprus properties were transacted, investments in Cyprus real estate almost quadrupled in 2018.
(PwC notes that its analysis was based on data from the DLS – and that it excludes Debt for Asset Swap, transactions through the sale of company shares or fund units and other transactions not filed or adequately recorded at the DLS.)
Residential real estate
In 2018, the transaction value of the residential real estate sector, which comprised a total of 10,600 properties, reached €3.1 billion accounting for 73% of the market total (apartments 41% and houses 32%).
Limassol accounted for 46% of the transactions by value and 33% in terms of the number of properties sold.
(Nicosia accounted for a quarter of transactions, but only 16% in terms of value, indicating that, on average, transactions are of a lower value compared to the coastal towns of Limassol and Paphos.)
In 2018, a total of 4,367 Cyprus properties were acquired by foreigners (as recorded by the number of sale contracts deposited at the DLS).
The highest share as regards sale contracts filed by foreign buyers was in Paphos (40%), followed by Limassol (30%). The two coastal districts together make up 70% of foreign transactions.
Approximately 67% of properties acquired by foreigners relate to non-EU buyers. In Limassol, 79% of foreign transactions relate to non-EU buyers, while non-EU buyer acquisitions in Paphos and Larnaca stood at 57% and 78% respectively.
High-end real estate
Interest by foreign buyers, and predominantly by non-EU buyers, continued to be a driving force for the market. The high-end residential real estate segment (? €1.5 million) was primarily fuelled by the continuation of the government schemes encouraging investments in Cyprus.
The total number of high-end residential property transactions reached 324 during the year corresponding to an annual increase of 2%.
In terms of sales value, the segment stood at €810 million which is marginally higher than the €800 million in 2017 and accounted for 19% of the total value of all the real estate transacted in Cyprus during 2018.