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Saturday, May 30, 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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201812684104931351231558497126141108
201912716411513716812115390114163187154
Famagusta2018-31818123427182921361429
201932191658452521316331326
Larnaca2018604467415561414760468252
2019548247738342905367816988
Limassol2018107152199162169207194174175176196201
2019166152192291329138177134176144210212
Paphos201818843214355624832246460
20193031286917569545434666469
Totals2018308306431329436473470382385408497450
2019409448398628800395476344407487543549

(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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201810881098115108715
2019141491920161358101514
Famagusta20181524812191620907138
20199614171081714105923
Larnaca20189996920151115131119
201912122118201116136231423
Limassol2018151732171922252411273820
2019162520212826271725302625
Paphos2018415855497060795549917473
2019567261486959735861956172
Totals2018901161139412612615010485146143135
2019107129125123147120146107110133125157

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

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201810413149151021111138
20192017713258881510612
Famagusta201836101428261823122414209
201912231521321030314122615
Larnaca2018434640364952563646575032
2019483150497049512729563951
Limassol2018103878367941099564658711069
201969797511618955824539546047
Paphos20181059774878865925371899297
2019101108961071607710354786110879
Totals2018297244224232266259276167217257285215
2019250257243306476199274137175193239204

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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