Property sales to the domestic market in Cyprus showed a marked improvement in June, although sales to the overseas market have yet to show any signs of making a recovery, according to official figures published by the Department of Lands and Surveys.
As we reported last Thursday, the Government’s decisions to ease the COVID-19 lockdown measures and subsidise housing loans has helped the island’s property market to show signs of recovering.
But further analyses of the number of property sales in June reveal that the Government’s decisions have had a very limited effect on the overseas (foreign) segment of the market.
Domestic property sales
Property sales to the domestic (Cypriot) market, which accounted for 70% of all sales in June, rose by 14% compared to June 2019.
Although domestic sales in Paphos fell by 74%, this wall was outweighed by gains in the remaining four districts. Sales in Famagusta rose by 72%, whiles sales in Larnaca, Nicosia and Limassol rose by 72%, 69% and 38% respectively.
Domestic Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first half of 2020 the damage to the domestic market due to COVID-19 has caused sales to reduce by 39% compared to the same period last year.
Overseas property sales
Unlike domestic sales, the Government’s decisions to ease COVID-19 lockdown measures and subsidise housing loans appears to have had minimal impact on property sales to the overseas market.
Total sales to the overseas market during June fell by 38% compared to June 2019, with sales falling in all districts.
In percentage terms, sales in Nicosia fell 54%, sales in Paphos fell 39%, sales in Larnaca fell 37%, while sales in Limassol and Famagusta fell 36% and 28% respectively.
Total Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first half of 2020, sales to the overseas market have fallen by 44% compared to the same period last year.
Overseas sales to EU citizens
Sales to the EU segment of the overseas market fell 54% compared with June 2019. Although sales in Famagusta rose by one (from 8 to 9), they fell in the remaining four districts.
Paphos reported a fall of 69%, Nicosia 56%, Larnaca 45%, Limassol 42% and Famagusta 13%.
Foreign (EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first half of 2020, sales to the EU segment of the overseas market have fallen by 40% compared to the same period last year.
Overseas sales to non-EU citizens
Sales to the EU segment of the overseas market fell 29% compared to June 2019 with sales falling in all districts.
In percentage terms, sales in Famagusta fell 60% followed by Nicosia (down 50%), Larnaca (down 35%), Limassol (down 33%) and finally Paphos (down 29%).
Foreign (Non-EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first half of 2020, sales to the non-EU segment of the overseas market have fallen by 46% compared to the same period last year.
What prospects for the future?
Credit rating agency Moody’s expects the major sectors of the Cypriot economy to recover within two or three quarters. In a credit rating report published last week, Moody’s says:
“Tourism-related construction activity will likely remain below pre-crisis levels over several quarters, while residential construction will be more resilient. We also expect the performance of the business services sector to be robust. As a result of these trends, we expect a gradual economic recovery in the second half of 2020 and in 2021.”
Analysis of property sales since 2000
Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2020
|Year||Overseas Sales||Domestic Sales||Percentage
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).