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Friday 3rd July 2020
Home Property Sales Foreign property sales take a big hit

Foreign property sales take a big hit

AS REPORTED last Friday, sales of property in Cyprus suffered a significant downturn in March as coronavirus fears hit house buyers. The Department of Lands & Surveys has recently released details of how each segment of the Cyprus real estate market has been affected.

Overseas property sales

Not surprisingly the greatest downturn in foreign sales occurred in Paphos, the most popular place for foreigners buying property, where sales fell by 65%. Foreign sales in Larnaca fell by 30%, while sales in Limassol, Famagusta and Nicosia fell by 29%, 14% and 6% respectively.

Total Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia2019343016324524211323202126
2020192315
Famagusta2019212929384218471724173538
2020402925
Larnaca2019604371679060674035795374
2020715450
Limassol20198510495137217811096264848672
2020828967
Paphos2019157180157155229136176112139126169151
202011314255
Totals2019357386368429623319420244285326364361
2020325337212

During the first quarter of 2020 the total number of foreign sales amounted to 575 compared with 750 over the first quarter of 2019; a decline of 21%.

Sales to EU nationals

Looking at the foreign sales figures in more detail, we can see that property sales to EU nationals fell by 47%, with sales in all districts falling (with the exception of Nicosia where they remained steady.)

Sales in Paphos fell by 59%, while sales in Larnaca fell 48%. Sales in Limassol and Famagusta fell by 45% and 29% respectively.

Foreign (EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia2019141491920161358101514
20209129
Famagusta20199614171081714105923
202061410
Larnaca201912122118201116136231423
2020211311
Limassol2019162520212826271725302625
2020283011
Paphos2019567261486959735861956172
2020406025
Totals2019107129125123147120146107110133125157
202010412966

During the first quarter of 2020 the total number of sales to EU citizens stood at 299 compared with 361 over the first quarter of 2019; a fall of 17%.

Sales to non-EU nationals

The number of sales to non-EU nationals fell by 40% in March compared to March 2019, with sales falling in all districts (with the exception of Famagusta where they remained steady.) The two most favoured areas of the island were hit hardest.

Paphos saw sales falling by 69%, followed by Limassol where they fell by 25%. Meanwhile sales in Larnaca and Nicosia fell 22% and 14% respectively.

Foreign (Non-EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia20192017713258881510612
202010116
Famagusta201912231521321030314122615
2020341515
Larnaca2019483150497049512729563951
2020504139
Limassol201969797511618955824539546047
2020545956
Paphos2019101108961071607710354786110879
2020738230
Totals2019250257243306476199274137175193239204
2020221208146

During the first quarter of 2020 the total number of sales to non-EU citizens stood at 575 compared with 750 over the first quarter of 2019; a fall of 23%.

But we must remember that property sales to non-EU nationals has been declining since the government introduced stricter criteria for foreign investors seeking Cypriot citizenship.

Domestic property sales

Sales to the domestic market, which accounted for 58% of all sales in March, fell by 25% compared to March 2019.

Although sales in Larnaca and Nicosia rose by 19% and 8% respectively – and sales in Famagusta remained steady, falls of 60% in Limassol and 7% in Paphos more than wiped out the gains.

Domestic Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison

DistrictYearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Nicosia201912716411513716812115390114163187154
2020178155124
Famagusta201932191658452521316331326
2020101816
Larnaca2019548247738342905367816988
2020766456
Limassol2019166152192291329138177134176144210212
20209813676
Paphos20193031286917569545434666469
2020552926
Totals2019409448398628800395476344407487543549
2020417402298

During the first quarter of 2020 the total number of sales to Cypriot citizens stood at 1117 compared with 1255 over the first quarter of 2019; a fall of 11%.

Analysis of property sales since 2000

Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2020

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
4,4825,88443.2%10,366
2020 (Mar)
874 1,117 43,9%1,991
Totals
70,747159,39130.7%230,138

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).

The future

With a lockdown in place and blanket ban on passenger flights, property sales will continue to fall until the restrictive measures are eased. Then it will take several months for things to return to any semblance of normality.

One of Cyprus’ other main sources of foreign income is tourism, which is facing a disastrous year. Cyprus tour operators say they are facing the worst crisis in their history after waves of holiday cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Cyprus Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides has said that the economy is heading for a recession and could contract by 5% after five years of growth.

1 COMMENT

  1. We have a sale & purchase pending but due to the current lockdown and Municipality of Paphos closed or refusing to make appointments with lawyers both are stalling.

    Lawyers are working hard to keep the market going but bureaucracy is the problem. Tax officers are working by appointment why not Municipality officers?

    Ed: There are thousands of public servants being paid to stay at home on full salaries with very little work to do.

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