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Saturday 4th July 2020
Home Property Sales Overseas property sales drop 15%

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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201812684104931351231558497126141108
201912716411513716812115390114163187
Famagusta2018-31818123427182921361429
2019321916584525213163313
Larnaca2018604467415561414760468252
20195482477383429053678169
Limassol2018107152199162169207194174175176196201
2019166152192291329138177134176144210
Paphos201818843214355624832246460
201930312869175695454346664
Totals2018308306431329436473470382385408497450
2019409448398628800395476344407487543

(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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201820122224182321721192023
20193430163245242113232021
Famagusta2018513422404534432124213317
20192129293842184717241735
Larnaca2018525549425872714761706151
20196043716790606740357953
Limassol201811810411584113131120887611314889
201985104951372178110962648486
Paphos2018146155129136158125171108120180166170
2019157180157155229136176112139126169
Totals2018387360337326392385426271302403428350
2019357386368429623319420244285326364

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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201810881098115108715
20191414919201613581015
Famagusta20181524812191620907136
201996141710817141059
Larnaca20189996920151115131119
2019121221182011161362314
Limassol2018151732171922252411273820
20191625202128262717253026
Paphos2018415855497060795549917473
20195672614869597358619561
Totals2018901161139412612615010485146143135
2019107129125123147120146107110133125

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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201810413149151021111138
201920177132588815106
Famagusta201836101428261823122414209
2019122315213210303141226
Larnaca2018434640364952563646575032
20194831504970495127295639
Limassol2018103878367941099564658711069
2019697975116189558245395460
Paphos20181059774878865925371899297
20191011089610716077103547861108
Totals2018297244224232266259276167217257285215
2019250257243306476199274137175193239

Analysis of property sales 2000-2019

Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2019

YearOverseas SalesDomestic SalesPercentage
Overseas Sales
Total
Sales
200045012,2143.6%12,664
20011,20712,8498.6%14,056
20022,54814,11115.3%16,659
20033,98115,29420.7%19,275
20045,38411,94731.1%17,331
20056,48510,10639.1%16,591
20068,3558,59849.3%16,953
200711,2819,96453.1%21,245
20086,6368,03145.2%14,667
20091,7616,40921.6%8,170
20102,0306,56823.6%8,598
20111,6525,36623.5%7,018
20121,4764,79323.5%6,269
20131,0172,75027.0%3,767
20141,1933,33426.4%4,527
20151,3493,60327.2%4,952
2016
1,8135,25025.7%7,063
2017
2,4066,32827.5%8,734
201814,3674,87547.3%9,242
2019 (Nov)
4,1215,33543.6%9,456
Totals
69,512157,72530.6%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.

Comments are closed.

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