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Tuesday 26th January 2021
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Home Property Sales Overseas property sales drop 15%

Overseas property sales drop 15%

THE FALL in sales of property to the overseas (non-Cypriot) reached 15% in November compared to November 2018.

Sales had been growing for several months until they peaked in May, immediately before Cyprus introduced stricter criteria for foreigners seeking to buy citizenship and passports under the governments ‘Citizenship by Investment’ scheme.

It is clear that a number of British as well as non-EU citizens have applied for citizenship. In an article ‘Exclusive: The Brits who won’t Brexit‘ published yesterday, Reuters named a number of UK Conservative donors who “quietly took steps to stay inside the European Union”. They include billionaire Alan Howard, one of Britain’s best-known hedge fund managers, and Jeremy Isaacs CBE, the former head of Lehman Brothers for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Both ‘acquired’ Cypriot citizenship in 2018 according to government documents seen by Reuters.

We expect that many other Britons have applied for Cypriot citizenship to stay inside the European Union, but the government has consistently refused to release the names or nationalities of applicants although some have been leaked in the local press.

On November 7 in-cyprus reported that the Cyprus naturalisation scheme had reached its limit, with the number of applications apparently exceeding the annual limit of 700 for the remainder of 2019 and 2020; officials were considering suspending the scheme until 2021. But it was decided not to suspend the scheme at this stage. However, all new applications will be considered in 2021 unless a high number of pending applications are rejected.

In an unexpected development earlier this month, one of the three-members of the committee set up to review the individuals who obtained some 4,000 passports under the ‘Citizenship by Investment’ scheme resigned. Rea Georgiou, the Accountant General of the Republic, did not wish to comment on the reasons that led to her decision, but merely stated that ‘they are purely personal’.

Property sales

As we reported on 4th December, Cyprus saw a slight fall of 2% in the number of sales contracts deposited at Land Registry offices in November compared to November 2018.

Of the 907 contracts deposited, 543 (60%) were deposited by local (Cypriot) purchasers and the remaining 364 (40%) by foreign buyers of whom 125 were EU nationals and 239 non-EU nationals.

Domestic property sales

Sales to Cypriot purchasers rose 9% in November compared to November 2018. While sales in Larnaca and Famagusta fell by 16% and 7% respectively – and remained steady in Paphos, sales in Nicosia rose by 33% and in Limassol by 7%.

Between January and November 2019, sales to the domestic market have risen by 21% to reach 5,355 compared to 4,425 over the same period last year.

Domestic Property Sale Contracts – 2018/2019 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2018 126 84 104 93 135 123 155 84 97 126 141 108
2019 127 164 115 137 168 121 153 90 114 163 187
Famagusta 2018 -3 18 18 12 34 27 18 29 21 36 14 29
2019 32 19 16 58 45 25 2 13 16 33 13
Larnaca 2018 60 44 67 41 55 61 41 47 60 46 82 52
2019 54 82 47 73 83 42 90 53 67 81 69
Limassol 2018 107 152 199 162 169 207 194 174 175 176 196 201
2019 166 152 192 291 329 138 177 134 176 144 210
Paphos 2018 18 8 43 21 43 55 62 48 32 24 64 60
2019 30 31 28 69 175 69 54 54 34 66 64
Totals 2018 308 306 431 329 436 473 470 382 385 408 497 450
2019 409 448 398 628 800 395 476 344 407 487 543

(Note that some of these sales may have resulted from properties acquired by banks as part of loan restructuring agreements, debt for asset swaps, etc.)

Overseas property sales

As we headlined, sales to the overseas market dropped 15% in November compared to November 2018.

Although sales in Famagusta, Nicosia and Paphos rose 6%, 5% and 2% respectively, these rises were more than wiped out by falls of 42% in Limassol and 13% in Larnaca.

Between January and November, sales to the overseas market have risen by 3% to reach 4,121 compared to 4,017 over the same period last year.

Total Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2018/2019 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2018 20 12 22 24 18 23 21 7 21 19 20 23
2019 34 30 16 32 45 24 21 13 23 20 21
Famagusta 2018 51 34 22 40 45 34 43 21 24 21 33 17
2019 21 29 29 38 42 18 47 17 24 17 35
Larnaca 2018 52 55 49 42 58 72 71 47 61 70 61 51
2019 60 43 71 67 90 60 67 40 35 79 53
Limassol 2018 118 104 115 84 113 131 120 88 76 113 148 89
2019 85 104 95 137 217 81 109 62 64 84 86
Paphos 2018 146 155 129 136 158 125 171 108 120 180 166 170
2019 157 180 157 155 229 136 176 112 139 126 169
Totals 2018 387 360 337 326 392 385 426 271 302 403 428 350
2019 357 386 368 429 623 319 420 244 285 326 364

Overseas sales (EU nationals)

Sales to EU Nationals fell 13% in November compared to November last year.

Although sales in Nicosia and Larnaca rose 114% and 27% respectively, there were falls of 32% in Limassol, 31% in Famagusta and 18% in Paphos.

Between January and November, sales to EU nationals have risen by 6% to reach 1,372 compared to 1,293 over the same period last year.

Foreign (EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2018/2019 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2018 10 8 8 10 9 8 11 5 10 8 7 15
2019 14 14 9 19 20 16 13 5 8 10 15
Famagusta 2018 15 24 8 12 19 16 20 9 0 7 13 6
2019 9 6 14 17 10 8 17 14 10 5 9
Larnaca 2018 9 9 9 6 9 20 15 11 15 13 11 19
2019 12 12 21 18 20 11 16 13 6 23 14
Limassol 2018 15 17 32 17 19 22 25 24 11 27 38 20
2019 16 25 20 21 28 26 27 17 25 30 26
Paphos 2018 41 58 55 49 70 60 79 55 49 91 74 73
2019 56 72 61 48 69 59 73 58 61 95 61
Totals 2018 90 116 113 94 126 126 150 104 85 146 143 135
2019 107 129 125 123 147 120 146 107 110 133 125

Overseas sales (non-EU nationals)

Property sales to non-EU nationals fell by 16% in November compared to November 2018.

Although there were rises of 30% in Famagusta and 17% in Paphos, there were falls of 54% in Nicosia, 45% in Limassol and 22% in Larnaca.

During the first 11 months of 2019, sales to non-EU nationals have risen by 1% to reach 2,749 compared to 2,724 over the same period last year.

Foreign (Non-EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2018/2019 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2018 10 4 13 14 9 15 10 2 11 11 13 8
2019 20 17 7 13 25 8 8 8 15 10 6
Famagusta 2018 36 10 14 28 26 18 23 12 24 14 20 9
2019 12 23 15 21 32 10 30 3 14 12 26
Larnaca 2018 43 46 40 36 49 52 56 36 46 57 50 32
2019 48 31 50 49 70 49 51 27 29 56 39
Limassol 2018 103 87 83 67 94 109 95 64 65 87 110 69
2019 69 79 75 116 189 55 82 45 39 54 60
Paphos 2018 105 97 74 87 88 65 92 53 71 89 92 97
2019 101 108 96 107 160 77 103 54 78 61 108
Totals 2018 297 244 224 232 266 259 276 167 217 257 285 215
2019 250 257 243 306 476 199 274 137 175 193 239

Analysis of property sales 2000-2019

Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2019

Year Overseas Sales Domestic Sales Percentage
Overseas Sales
Total
Sales
2000 450 12,214 3.6% 12,664
2001 1,207 12,849 8.6% 14,056
2002 2,548 14,111 15.3% 16,659
2003 3,981 15,294 20.7% 19,275
2004 5,384 11,947 31.1% 17,331
2005 6,485 10,106 39.1% 16,591
2006 8,355 8,598 49.3% 16,953
2007 11,281 9,964 53.1% 21,245
2008 6,636 8,031 45.2% 14,667
2009 1,761 6,409 21.6% 8,170
2010 2,030 6,568 23.6% 8,598
2011 1,652 5,366 23.5% 7,018
2012 1,476 4,793 23.5% 6,269
2013 1,017 2,750 27.0% 3,767
2014 1,193 3,334 26.4% 4,527
2015 1,349 3,603 27.2% 4,952
2016
1,813 5,250 25.7% 7,063
2017
2,406 6,328 27.5% 8,734
20181 4,367 4,875 47.3% 9,242
2019 (Nov)
4,121 5,335 43.6% 9,456
Totals
69,512 157,725 30.6% 227,237

1 The Department of Lands & Surveys has advised that overseas sales in 2018 and subsequent year should not be compared to sales in previous years due to changes in the methodology used to classify ‘Aliens’ (foreigners).

4 COMMENTS

  1. @ Ed: re Wassailing……

    Did you see any of the TV-coverage at Stonehenge? Always wanted to be there for this magical time, but will have to be content with joining them from afar….

  2. @ Ed: Indeed, the pagan celebrations for Solstice were copied-over into the – later – Christmas celebrations.

    Have been reading-up about these links; I’ll stick to celebrating Nature in the pagan way, but – each to his own eh?…..

    Ed: I guess you’ll be off to the orchard for a spot of wassailing :-)

  3. I lived almost forty years in Europe, but finally in one country long enough to apply for citizenship, so now I have a UK and an NL Passport. Having said that, I have a lot of sympathy with Brexiteers. Coming from East Manchester, I know a lot of people in the North of England who have gained nothing from the EU and have sacrificed a lot, while others in the UK reaped the benefits.

    What surprises me is that so many TItans of UK Industry left it so long to join Europe in a personal capacity.

  4. Thank you Nigel for all your interesting, and valuable updates throughout the year.

    Wishing you a happy festive season – and don’t forget (to me, the most important day of December) tonight plus tomorrow = winter Solstice. The beginning of the return of light and life to this side of our planet.

    Happy days.

    Ed: Thank you Deanna – episis. I guess you’re aware of the ancient link between the winter Solstice and Christmas.

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