PROPERTY sales in Cyprus collapsed in April as the coronavirus pandemic put the island’s real estate market into a deep freeze to a level only seen once before following the haircut of deposits in the island’s two largest banks that made Cyprus a household name around the world.
Almost every sector of the island’s economy and the global economy has been affected by the pandemic, resulting in a world-wide economic slowdown.
Although some pundits predict that the property market will rebound in 2021, many airlines around the world are planning their future. In the UK alone:
- British Airways plans to lose more than 1,100 pilots and make heavy cuts to its Gatwick airport operation as part of 12,000 redundancies.
- Easyjet plans to drastically cut its fleet and cancel an order for 107 new Airbus aircraft.
- Irish airline Ryanair is planning to cut 3,000 jobs and has warned that passenger demand and pricing will take at least two years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Cyprus real estate market heavily dependant on high-end sales to well-heeled overseas investors, it seems a rebound in the market in 2021 is somewhat ‘optimistic’.
April property sales
April saw a total of 216 property sale contracts deposited at Land Registry offices across the island compared to the 1,057 deposited in April last year; a fall of 80%.
(The high number of sales in April and May last year was helped by foreign investors rushing to buy property before Cyprus introduced more stringent criteria for those wishing to obtain citizenship under the government’s ‘Cyprus Investment Programme‘.)
Not surprisingly, sales plummeted in all districts. Hardest hit was Famagusta, where sales fell by 90% followed by Limassol and Larnaca, where sales in both districts fell 83%. Meanwhile, sales in Nicosia and Paphos fell 78% and 68% respectively.
Total Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
Year to date
In the first four months of 2020, Limassol remains the most popular with those buying property followed by Nicosia, Paphos, Larnaca and Famagusta. However, the pandemic has resulted in falls in all districts.
To end on a more positive note, the government started a gradual relaxation of the lockdown rules on Monday. Assuming infection rates do not climb, further relaxations will take place, which could help spark a recovery in domestic sales.