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Tuesday 1st December 2020
Home Property Sales Property sales to foreigners continue to fall

Property sales to foreigners continue to fall

Property sales to foreigners (non-Cypriots) continued to decline in July with numbers falling by 36% compared to the numbers sold in July 2019 and by 43% during the first seven months of 2020 compared to the same period last year according to official statistics.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic and the travel ban have contributed to the fall in sales, it is not a recent phenomenon. With the exception of December, when there was a small increase in sales of 3%, sales to foreigners have been falling month-on-month since June last year.

In July, property sales to foreigners accounted for a third of total sales, with numbers equally split between EU and non-EU purchasers.

Since the start of the year sales to non-EU purchasers are down by almost a half (46%), while sales EU purchasers are down 35%.

However, non-EU citizens still account for the lion’s share of total foreign sales. Here are the detailed figures:

Total foreign sales

The total number of sales to non-Cypriots, which accounted for 33% of all sales in July, fell by 36% compared to July 2019. Although sales in the capital Nicosia remained steady, property sales to non-Cypriots fell in the remaining four districts:

While sales in Paphos fell by 36%, sales in Limassol, Famagusta and Larnaca fell by 35%, 34% and 12% respectively.

Total Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2019 34 30 16 32 45 24 21 13 23 20 21 26
2020 19 23 15 9 17 11 21
Famagusta 2019 21 29 29 38 42 18 47 17 24 17 35 38
2020 40 29 25 4 20 13 31
Larnaca 2019 60 43 71 67 90 60 67 40 35 79 53 74
2020 71 54 50 11 31 38 59
Limassol 2019 85 104 95 137 217 81 109 62 64 84 86 72
2020 82 89 67 49 39 52 87
Paphos 2019 157 180 157 155 229 136 176 112 139 126 169 151
2020 113 142 55 51 89 83 87
Totals 2019 357 386 368 429 623 319 420 244 285 326 364 361
2020 325 337 212 124 196 197 269

During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to foreigners has fallen by 43% compared to the same period last year.

Foreign sales to EU nationals

Although the total number of sales to EU nationals fell 8% in July, the figures seem to be going in the right direction.

With the exception of Paphos, where sales fell by 40% compared to July last year, they rose in the remaining four districts.

Sales in Famagusta rose by 65%, while sales in the capital Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol rose by 23%, 19% and 4% respectively.

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

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2019 14 14 9 19 20 16 13 5 8 10 15 14
2020 9 12 9 3 10 7 16
Famagusta 2019 9 6 14 17 10 8 17 14 10 5 9 23
2020 6 14 10 3 4 9 28
Larnaca 2019 12 12 21 18 20 11 16 13 6 23 14 23
2020 21 13 11 0 3 6 19
Limassol 2019 16 25 20 21 28 26 27 17 25 30 26 25
2020 28 30 11 12 14 15 28
Paphos 2019 56 72 61 48 69 59 73 58 61 95 61 72
2020 40 60 25 24 21 18 44
Totals 2019 107 129 125 123 147 120 146 107 110 133 125 157
2020 104 129 66 42 52 55 135

During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to EU nationals has fallen by 35% compared to the same period last year.

Foreign sales to non-EU nationals

The total number of sales to non-EU nationals fell by 51% compared to July 2019, with sales falling in all districts.

Sales in Famagusta fell 90% and sales in Paphos fell 58%. Meanwhile, sales in Limassol, Nicosia and Larnaca fell by 48%, 38% and 22% respectively.

(The decision by the Cyprus parliament to vote into law two bills aimed at tightening Cyprus citizenship by investment programme will no doubt have a negative effect on property sales to non-EU citizens.)

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

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2019 20 17 7 13 25 8 8 8 15 10 6 12
2020 10 11 6 6 7 4 5
Famagusta 2019 12 23 15 21 32 10 30 3 14 12 26 15
2020 34 15 15 1 16 4 3
Larnaca 2019 48 31 50 49 70 49 51 27 29 56 39 51
2020 50 41 39 11 28 32 40
Limassol 2019 69 79 75 116 189 55 82 45 39 54 60 47
2020 54 59 56 37 25 37 43
Paphos 2019 101 108 96 107 160 77 103 54 78 61 108 79
2020 73 82 30 27 68 65 43
Totals 2019 250 257 243 306 476 199 274 137 175 193 239 204
2020 221 208 146 82 144 142 134

During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to non-EU nationals has fallen by 46% compared to the same period last year.

Domestic property sales

Sales to the domestic market are more encouraging, with sales up 17% in July compared to July 2019.

Although sales in Paphos and Larnaca fell by 22% and 20%, they rose in the remaining three districts.

Sales rose in Famagusta by 1350% (representing an increase of 27 on the number sold in July 2019). Meanwhile, sales in Nicosia and Limassol rose by 50% and 3% respectively.

(The increase in domestic sales has been helped by the introduction of an interest rate subsidy for new housing loans granted from 1st March 2020 until 31st December 2020. The scheme covers loans with a maximum value of €300,000 with a maximum interest rate of 2.30% and will cover 1.5% of the rate for a period of four years.)

Domestic Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison

District Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Nicosia 2019 127 164 115 137 168 121 153 90 114 163 187 154
2020 178 155 124 29 83 167 230
Famagusta 2019 32 19 16 58 45 25 2 13 16 33 13 26
2020 10 18 16 6 8 43 29
Larnaca 2019 54 82 47 73 83 42 90 53 67 81 69 88
2020 76 64 56 13 28 71 72
Limassol 2019 166 152 192 291 329 138 177 134 176 144 210 212
2020 98 136 76 23 73 150 183
Paphos 2019 30 31 28 69 175 69 54 54 34 66 64 69
2020 55 29 26 21 31 18 42
Totals 2019 409 448 398 628 800 395 476 344 407 487 543 549
2020 417 402 298 92 223 449 556

During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to the domestic market  has fallen by 31% compared to the same period last year.

Analysis of property sales since 2000

Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2020

Year Overseas Sales Domestic Sales Percentage
Overseas Sales
Total
Sales
2000 450 12,214 3.6% 12,664
2001 1,207 12,849 8.6% 14,056
2002 2,548 14,111 15.3% 16,659
2003 3,981 15,294 20.7% 19,275
2004 5,384 11,947 31.1% 17,331
2005 6,485 10,106 39.1% 16,591
2006 8,355 8,598 49.3% 16,953
2007 11,281 9,964 53.1% 21,245
2008 6,636 8,031 45.2% 14,667
2009 1,761 6,409 21.6% 8,170
2010 2,030 6,568 23.6% 8,598
2011 1,652 5,366 23.5% 7,018
2012 1,476 4,793 23.5% 6,269
2013 1,017 2,750 27.0% 3,767
2014 1,193 3,334 26.4% 4,527
2015 1,349 3,603 27.2% 4,952
2016
1,813 5,250 25.7% 7,063
2017
2,406 6,328 27.5% 8,734
20181 4,367 4,875 47.3% 9,242
2019
4,482 5,884 43.2% 10,366
2020 (July)
 1,660 2,437 40.5% 4,097
Totals
71,533 160,711 30.8% 232,244

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).

3 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a small world and those who were deprived of their legal title deeds, despite complying with all legal requirements, have spread the word far and wide. DO NOT BUY PROPERTY IN CYPRUS. YOU ARE WALKING INTO A STATE SPONSORED FINANCIAL SCAM.

    • @Helen Brown: would you mind to elaborate a bit more? I’m sincerely interested in your insight. Cheers.

      • We bought a property in 2008. We were given a mortgage from the largest Bank in Cyprus. The developer went bust 2yrs later. We then discovered that he had never paid a penny to his initial development loan given to him by the very same bank a year before our purchase. In other words they sold us a mortgage for a property that they knew was in default of repayment from the developer.

        When confronted, the bank simply said they had not broken any laws and were not legally obliged to tell us. We had assumed that our lawyer had done a search but was then informed that it is nigh on impossible even for a lawyer to find out if a previous mortgage exists on property or land in Cyprus.

        We then had various officials (including a bank official of the same bank) offer to help us privately for a personal fee. None of the others on our development have received deeds for their property 12yrs on. They have occasionally tinkered with the archaic property laws but until you can get deeds at the point of sale the pitfalls are many and very deep.

        DO NOT BUY IN CYPRUS is my advice.

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