Cyprus Property News magazine for overseas buyers & real estate investors

Tuesday 20th October 2020
Home Property Sales Are foreign property sales recovering?

Are foreign property sales recovering?

The latest figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys indicate that property sales to foreign buyers from the EU countries may be recovering, while sales to non-EU citizens continue to fall.

Property sales to the overseas (non-Cypriot) market continued to fall in September with numbers down 9% compared to September 2019 and by 38% over the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period last year according to official statistics.

Sales to the overseas market in September accounted for 33% of the total sold during the month.

Total overseas property sales

The total number of property sales to the overseas market during September stood at 260; a fall of 9% compared to the 285 sales achieved in the same month last year.

But it was not all bad news. Although sales fell 37% in Paphos and 9% in Nicosia, they rose in the other three districts. Sales in Limassol rose by 25%, while those in Famagusta and Larnaca rose by 21% and 20% respectively.

Despite the 37% fall in Paphos, it still remains the most popular destination for foreigners buying property in Cyprus.

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 14 21
Famagusta 2019 21 29 29 38 42 18 47 17 24 17 35 38
2020 40 29 25 4 20 13 31 30 29
Larnaca 2019 60 43 71 67 90 60 67 40 35 79 53 74
2020 71 54 50 11 31 38 59 36 42
Limassol 2019 85 104 95 137 217 81 109 62 64 84 86 72
2020 82 89 67 49 39 52 87 51 80
Paphos 2019 157 180 157 155 229 136 176 112 139 126 169 151
2020 113 142 55 51 89 83 87 68 88
Totals 2019 357 386 368 429 623 319 420 244 285 326 364 361
2020 325 337 212 124 196 197 269 199 260

During the first nine months of 2020 the sales to the overseas market have fallen 38% compared to the same period last year.

Sales to EU nationals

Sales to the EU segment of the overseas property market in September accounted for 16% of total sales – and the number of sales rose by 11% compared to September 2019.

Despite a fall in sales of 40% in Famagusta and 20% in Paphos, sales in Larnaca rose 133%, while sales in Nicosia and Limassol rose by 75% and 56% respectively.

Last month Reuters reported that wealthy Britons were looking to “buy” citizenship from countries offering visa-free access to the European Union, including Cyprus. These may account for the rise in sales.

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 11 14
Famagusta 2019 9 6 14 17 10 8 17 14 10 5 9 23
2020 6 14 10 3 4 9 28 9 6
Larnaca 2019 12 12 21 18 20 11 16 13 6 23 14 23
2020 21 13 11 0 3 6 19 17 14
Limassol 2019 16 25 20 21 28 26 27 17 25 30 26 25
2020 28 30 11 12 14 15 28 12 39
Paphos 2019 56 72 61 48 69 59 73 58 61 95 61 72
2020 40 60 25 24 21 18 44 32 49
Totals 2019 107 129 125 123 147 120 146 107 110 133 125 157
2020 104 129 66 42 52 55 135 81 122

During the first nine months of 2020 sales to the EU segment of the overseas market have fallen 29% compared to the same period last year.

Sales to non-EU nationals

Sales to the non-EU segment of the overseas property market in September accounted for 24% of total sales – and the number of sales fell by 21% compared to September 2019.

While sales in Famagusta and Famagusta rose 64% and 5% respectively, these increases were outweighed by falls of 53% in Nicosia, 50% in Paphos and 3% in Larnaca.

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 3 7
Famagusta 2019 12 23 15 21 32 10 30 3 14 12 26 15
2020 34 15 15 1 16 4 3 21 23
Larnaca 2019 48 31 50 49 70 49 51 27 29 56 39 51
2020 50 41 39 11 28 32 40 19 28
Limassol 2019 69 79 75 116 189 55 82 45 39 54 60 47
2020 54 59 56 37 25 37 43 39 41
Paphos 2019 101 108 96 107 160 77 103 54 78 61 108 79
2020 73 82 30 27 68 65 43 36 39
Totals 2019 250 257 243 306 476 199 274 137 175 193 239 204
2020 221 208 146 82 144 142 134 118 138

During the first nine months of 2020 sales to the non-EU segment of the overseas market have fallen 42% compared to the same period last year.

Property sales to the domestic (Cypriot) market

Domestic sales performed strongly in September, increasing by 29% compared to September last year.

Although sales in Limassol fell by 2%, they rose in the remaining for districts.

Sales in Paphos rose 118%, in Famagusta they rose 88% and Nicosia and Larnaca reported rises of 53% and 12% respectively.

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 83 167 230 143 174
Famagusta 2019 32 19 16 58 45 25 2 13 16 33 13 26
2020 10 18 16 6 8 43 29 9 30
Larnaca 2019 54 82 47 73 83 42 90 53 67 81 69 88
2020 76 64 56 13 28 71 72 51 75
Limassol 2019 166 152 192 291 329 138 177 134 176 144 210 212
2020 98 136 76 23 73 150 183 142 173
Paphos 2019 30 31 28 69 175 69 54 54 34 66 64 69
2020 55 29 26 21 31 18 42 17 74
Totals 2019 409 448 398 628 800 395 476 344 407 487 543 549
2020 417 402 298 92 223 449 556 362 526

During the first nine months of 2020 the number of sales to the domestic market has fallen by 23% 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 (Sep)
2,119 3,325 38.9% 5,444
Totals
71,992 161,599 30.8% 233,591

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).

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