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Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Historic collapse of property sales

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

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2019 161 194 131 169 213 145 174 103 137 183 208 180
2020 197 178 139 38
Famagusta 2019 53 48 45 96 87 43 49 30 40 50 48 64
2020 50 47 41 10
Larnaca 2019 114 125 118 140 173 102 157 93 102 160 122 162
2020 147 118 106 24
Limassol 2019 251 256 287 428 546 219 286 196 240 228 296 284
2020 180 225 143 72
Paphos 2019 187 211 185 224 404 205 230 166 173 192 233 220
2020 168 171 81 72
Totals 2019 766 834 766 1057 1423 714 896 588 662 813 907 910
2020 742 739 510 216

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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I totally agree with Aggis when he says that a recovery won’t be for another 2 years? And i would add that it will take much longer if at all?? Too many negative factors globally to ensure that investment is driven towards an island which has much negative publicity when it comes to the horrors of purchasing land and property there??

    Also the Cypriots have forgotten what once made the Island attractive to overseas investors and drew in the crowds! Ironic that Laws introduced this year to curb Expats from letting their homes to tourists is at a time when they are absent and perhaps this serves to remind the heads of state that many of us were attracted to the Island by the preferential and relaxed tax treatment the Island had on offer which is less so! Is it now time for a re-think and for the red tape to be dropped and for Laws relaxed to enable overseas owners of properties to let them as they please?? Bring back the good old days and say Boo to EU bureaucracy like the UK has done and let Cyprus be in control of her own Laws and destiny even if it means leaving the Union!

  2. Of course property sales will be hit hard just like in all countries, and I’m sure it won’t be long before we have another Bank run to course another hair cut, as little Cyprus relies heavily on tourism and the property market and I can’t see any of these sectors recovering for a good 2 years.

  3. No doubt this massive reduction in work will provide the Land Registry staff with a golden opportunity to issue all of the outstanding Title Deeds to their rightful owners.

    …and then he woke up!

Comments are closed.

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Property sales collapse hits all markets

The historic collapse of 80 per cent in property sales in April hit the local and overseas market segments according to statistics from the Department of Lands & Surveys.