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Cyprus property sales surged in March

After a disappointing start to the year property sales in Cyprus surged in March, 12 months after the country went into lockdown according to official figures released today by the Department of Lands and Surveys.

During March, the total number of contracts deposited at Land Registry offices for the sale of residential property, commercial property, building plots and land reached 826; a rise of 62 per cent compared to the same month last year.

As you will see from the chart below sales during March rose in all districts and, at the end of the first quarter of 2021, they were almost back to where they were a year ago.

Cyprus Property Sales March 2021
Total Property Sale Transactions – 2020/2021 Comparison

As Pavlos Loizou noted in his article, the Department of Lands and Surveys was in lockdown during the first three weeks of January and the Department was understaffed. As the restrictions have eased, more staff have returned to their offices and caught up with their work.

According to the Kritonas Onisiforou, who heads up the BidX1 operation in Cyprus, Cypriots looking to buy a home encouraged by the government’s incentives, such as the interest subsidy scheme. Speaking to the Financial Mirror Mr Onisiforou said:

“Housing interest rates are also at an all-time low, going from more than 8% a few years ago to around 2.5%.

“We carried out a survey in March that showed 85% of people asked said that they plan to buy a property within the next six months.

“The crisis has affected people’s ability to buy, but there is a significant number of people who have survived the crisis, coming out unscathed with money available to buy, or are credit-worthy.”

Source: Cyprus Property News

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Domestic property sales leading the recovery

Figures released by the Department of Lands and Surveys reveal that Cypriot purchasers are leading the recovery with property sales in April up an incredible 536% compared to April 2020.

Sales rose in all districts with Limassol leading the way with sales up by 826%, followed by Nicosia (+614%), Famagusta (+483%), Larnaca (+416%) and finally Paphos (+200%.)

Property sales to Cypriot purchasers in the first four months of 2021 stood at 1,984, surpassing the number of sales in the first four months of pre-Covid 2019 by more than 100.

However, the figures will include an unknown number of ‘non-sale’ agreements such as loan restructurings, recoveries and debt-to-asset swaps agreed between the banks and defaulting borrowers. Unfortunately, the Department of Lands and Surveys does not publish these figures separately.

It’s also worth noting that the number of sales transactions include commercial, retail, office and land in addition to residential properties (houses and apartments.)

Domestic Property Sale Transactions
Domestic Property Sale Transactions – 2020/2021 Comparison

Source: Cyprus Property News

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Cyprus property sales recovery continues

The positive trend in the number property sales in Cyprus continued in May with the number of contracts deposited at Land Registry offices up by 81% compared to May 2020 and up 36% year-on-year.

This increase in sales is not particularly surprising when you consider that 12 months ago Cyprus was in total lockdown because of the COVID pandemic. Cyprus went into a nationwide lockdown on 24 March 2020 and did not reopen its airports to commercial flights until 9 June.

What is more notable is that, according to Land Registry figures, property sales have almost recovered to their 2018 levels when 3,612 sales were achieved in the first five months of the year.

Paphos is struggling due to the fall in non-EU citizens buying property.

Total Property Sale Transactions
Total Property Sale Transactions – 2020/2021 Comparison

Source: Cyprus Property News