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Thursday 1st October 2020
Home Property Sales Rise in property sales attributed to local & EU buyers

Rise in property sales attributed to local & EU buyers

FIGURES released by the Department of Lands & Surveys earlier today show that the 12% year-on-year rise in Cyprus property sales can be attributed almost solely to the domestic (Cypriot) and the overseas EU market.

Domestic sales

Property sales to the domestic market, which accounted for 57% of all sales, rose 21% on an annual basis, with increased numbers recorded in all districts.

In percentage terms, Paphos led the way with sales up 55% on an annual basis, followed by Larnaca, where sales increased by 26%. Meanwhile, sales in Nicosia rose by 23% and sales in Famagusta and Limassol rose by 18% and 10% respectively.

But Limassol recorded the highest number of sales (2,321) followed by Nicosia (1,693), Larnaca (829), Paphos (743) and finally Famagusta (298).

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 90 114 163 187 154
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 26
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 88
Limassol 2018 107 152 199 162 169 207 194 174 175 176 196 201
2019 166 152 192 291 329 138 177 134 176 144 210 212
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 69
Totals 2018 308 306 431 329 436 473 470 382 385 408 497 450
2019 409 448 398 628 800 395 476 344 407 487 543 549

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

EU sales

Property sales to the overseas EU market, which accounted for 15% of all sales, rose 7% on an annual basis. Increased numbers were recorded in all districts with the exception of Famagusta, where sales fell 6% and Paphos, where they remained steady.

In percentage terms, Nicosia (the capital) led the way with year-on-year sales up 43%, followed by Larnaca (+29%) and Limassol (+7%).

But Paphos recorded the highest number of sales (755) followed by Limassol (286), Larnaca (189), Nicosia (157) and finally Famagusta (142).

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 14
Famagusta 2018 15 24 8 12 19 16 20 9 0 7 13 8
2019 9 6 14 17 10 8 17 14 10 5 9 23
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 23
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 25
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 72
Totals 2018 90 116 113 94 126 126 150 104 85 146 143 135
2019 107 129 125 123 147 120 146 107 110 133 125 157

However, sales to EU nationals during the final 7 months of 2019 rose a mere 1%; probably as a result of the introduction of more stringent criteria for foreigners seeking a Cypriot passport and citizenship under the government’s “Cyprus Investment Programme“.

(In December, Reuters reported that a number of UK Conservative donors had “quietly took steps to stay inside the European Union”. They included 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.)

Non-EU sales

Property sales to the non-EU citizens, which accounted for 28% of all sales during 2019, rose by just 0.48% on an annual basis. Although sales in Limassol and Paphos, recorded falls of 12% and 9% respectively, sales rose in the remaining 3 districts.

Sales in Nicosia rose 23%, while sales in Paphos and Larnaca rose 12% and 1% respectively.

Paphos recorded the largest number of sales (1,132), followed by Limassol (910). Meanwhile, the number of sales in Larnaca, Famagusta and Nicosia were 550, 213 and 148 respectively.

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 12
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 15
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 51
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 47
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 79
Totals 2018 297 244 224 232 266 259 276 167 217 257 285 215
2019 250 257 243 306 476 199 274 137 175 193 239 204

However, sales to non-EU nationals during the final 7 months of 2019 fell by 15%; probably as a result of the introduction of more stringent criteria for foreigners seeking a Cypriot passport and citizenship under the government’s “Cyprus Investment Programme”.

Over this 7-month period, sales declined in all districts with the exception of Paphos where 560 properties were sold compared with 559 in the same period of 2018; an increase of just 0.18%.

Cyprus property sales 2000-2019

Cyprus property sales chart 2000 - 2019
The Department of Lands & Surveys has advised that overseas sales in 2018 and subsequent years should not be compared to sales in previous years due to changes in the methodology used to classify ‘Aliens’ (foreigners).

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