Photo: Senza Senso
The island’s housing market has been steadily improving in the last year, after being heavily hit by the financial crisis, with international sales helping to fuel the country’s real estate recovery.
In February, though, the market faltered slightly, with overall deals dropping in all five districts across the island. Sales fell 9 per cent, according to official figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys, the first monthly decline since August 2015. Overseas buyers made up 22 per cent of transactions, while domestic buyers made up 78 per cent.
Famagusta led the fall in sales (down 46 per cent), followed by Paphos (13 per cent), Nicosia (8 per cent), Larnaca (7 per cent) and Limassol (1 per cent).
While sales to local house-hunters slipped 20 per cent, though, sales to international buyers surged 53 per cent year-on-year, with 113 contracts registered in February 2017, compared to 74 in the same month in 2016.
International sales in Nicosia and Famagusta dropped 56 per cent and 50 per cent respectively, but the declines were outweighed by a 124 per cent increase in Limassel, a 67 per cent rise in Larnaca and a 43 per cent increase in Paphos.
Overseas buyers continue returning to Cyprus
5th December 2016
Overseas buyers continue to show signs of returning to Cyprus, with Property Sales up for the fourth month in a row.
The latest official data shows that property sales on the island continued their upward trend in November, with transactions up 46 per cent year-on-year.
Official figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys show that a total of 651 contracts for commercial and residential property sales, plus land sales, were deposited in November, with 71 per cent by domestic buyers and 29 per cent by international buyers. With the exception of Famagusta, where sales fell 42 per cent, sales rose in all districts year-on-year,.
Property sales to the domestic (Cypriot) market in November rose 50 per cent compared to November 2015, with domestic sales over the first 11 months of 2016 up 39 per cent compared to same period in 2015.
Demand is still rising among international buyers as well, with overseas sales jumping 31 per cent in November. With the exception of Famagusta, where sales fell 42 per cent, they rose in all other districts, led by Limassol (82 per cent), Paphos (74 per cent), Nicosia (43 per cent) and Larnaca (3 per cent). During the first 11 months of the year, international property sales climbed 20 per cent, painting a positive picture for the island’s market going into 2017.
Foreign sales of Cyprus property jump 45pc
7th November 2016
Foreign sales of Cypriot property have surged 45 per cent this October, as overseas buyers continue to return to the island.
According to the latest offcial figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys, foreign property purchases in October 2016 jumped 45 per cent year-on-year, with 161 properties sold, up from 111 in the same month in 2015. Nicosia led the way, with sales up 150 per cent, followed by Famagusta (100 per cent), Limassol (74 per cent), Paphos (23 per cent) and Larnaca (7 per cent).
The positive data continues a year of improving sentiment surrounding the country’s market. Indeed, over the first 10 months of 2016, overseas property sales have risen 18 per cent year-on-year, with sales at 1,271, compared with 1,076. A more promising indicator of balanced recovery is the 32 per cent rise in property sales to domestic buyers, although the number of domestic contracts include non-sale agreements, such as loan restructurings, which means that the local demand is harder to measure.
Nonetheless, the figures indicate some level of positive development on a domestic level, with sales up 34 per cent year-on-year in October and, across the first 10 months, up 37 per cent compared with the same period of 2015.
In all areas of sales monitoring, transactions have risen in all districts over the past year. Overall, property sales have risen 37 per cent in October year-on-year and 32 per cent in the first 10 months of the year. Since May 2016, the country has also repeatedly ranked inside the top 20 destinations on TheMoveChannel.com.
Overseas buyers return to Cyprus
6th September 2016
Sales of Cypriot sales continue to soar this summer, with overseas transactions up 75 per cent in the last year.
The latest official data from the Department of Lands and Surveys once again highlights the positive recovery spreading through the island’s housing market, with the number of homes sold in August 2016 up 50 per cent compared to August 2015.
The 451 contracts registered at offices across the island include non-sale agreements, such as loan restructurings, which mean that it is hard to determine the actual demand for homes within domestic sales. However, domestic sales are up 35 per cent across the first seven months of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015, a long-term trend that remains positive. Overall sales have risen now for four months in a row, with 31 per cent of them driven by foreign buyers.
Indeed, foreign buyers are increasingly returning to the island, with international sales in the first seven months of the year up 17 per cent from 841 to 981. Overseas sales have dipped in Famagusta by 3 per cent, but have risen in all other districts – led by Limassol (41 per cent) and followed by Nicosia (19 per cent), Larnaca (15 per cent) and Paphos (4 per cent).
On a monthly basis, overseas sales surged 75 per cent in August, with sales up in all districts.
On TheMoveChannel.com, international interest has also showed signs of rekindling this year. In July, the country rose two places to re-enter the top 15 most popular destinations on the portal.
Overseas and domestic sales of Cypriot property soar
16th August 2016
Sales of Cypriot property are soaring to both local and overseas buyers.
News figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys show that property sales jumped 26 per cent in July 2016, compared to July 2015.
A total of 625 contracts for the sale of commercial and residential property were deposited at Land Registry offices, up 26 per cent year-on-year, with 69 per cent deposited by local buyers and 31 per cent by overseas buyers.
The figures mark the fourth month of rising sales in a row, as the island begins to find momentum once more, although these contracts include loan restructurings and other agreements that do not involve actual property sales, so the depiction demand is not entirely accurate.
Domestic sales climbed 24 per cent year-on-year to 434, with sales over the first seven months of 2016 rising 34 per cent compared to the same period of 2015.
Foreign sales rose by an even greater 31 per cent year-on-year, with overseas sales in the first seven months of 2016 rising 12 per cent compared to the same period of 2015.
Famagusta and Paphos saw sales dip by 17 per cent and 4 per cent respectively, but sales rose in all other parts of the island: Limassol led the way, with transactinos up 43 per cent, ahead of Larnaca (16 per cent) and Nicosia (11 per cent).
Cypriot property sales enjoy summer surge
19th July 2016
Cypriot property sales have enjoyed a summer surge, with both domestic and international purchases climbing.
Figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys show sales rose 42 per cent in June 2016, the third month of increases in a row, after a 17 per cent jump in May and a 35 per cent leap in April.
657 sales contracts were registered in June, with 30 per cent going to overseas buyers. Crucially, both domestic and international purchases improved in June. Property sales to the local market rose 39 per cent year-on-year, while property sales to foreign buyers rose 49 per cent year-on-year.
Sales in Paphos to overseas purchasers fell 7 per cent compared to June 2015, but rose in all other districts. Famagusta led the way with an 800 per cent increase, followed by Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca (up 100 per cent, 71 per cent and 55 per cent respectively).
Cyprus Property News notes that the figures “include debt-to-asset swaps, which inflate the numbers”.
However, the figures mark a continuing positive trend: during the first half of 2016, sales are up 28 per cent compared to the same period of 2015.
Cyprus property sales continue climbing
8th June 2016
Property sales in Cyprus continue to climb, according to official statistics, as 2016 proves a positive year for the market
Indeed, in March 2016, sales rose for the seventh month in a row, with May continuing that trend for the ninth month in a row. Transactions are growing by double figures, too, with sales up 17 per cent in May following a 35 per cent jump in April and 19 per cent leap in March.
In total, over the first five months of 2016, sales have 25 per cent compared with the same period of 2015.
474 sale contracts were deposited with the Land Registry in May 2016. While Nicosia saw sales fall 5 per cent year-on-year, they rose annually in all other districts, with Larnaca, in particular, seeing sales jump 51 per cent to reach 103.
The island also continues to reduce its backlog of Title Deeds, notes Cyprus Property News, with transfers in the first five months of 2016 rising 18 per cent year-on-year to 5,454.
Cypriot property sales jump 19pc
18th April 2016
Sales of Cypriot property have jumped 19 per cent in the last year, according to the newest official figures.
Data from the Department of Lands and Surveys shows that sales rose in March year-on-year for the seventh month in a row, following a 54 per cent rise in February and 2 per cent rise in January.
71 per cent of the 539 contracts were registered by domestic buyers, with 29 per cent deposited by foreign buyers.
That steady growth of sales suggests that the market may on course for a recovery following the global financial crisis, with sales down 7 per cent locally but up internationally.
Foreign purchases dipped in Nicosia by 17 per cent year-on-year, but rose in all other districts, led by Famagusta (up 1,100 per cent). Paphos saw foreign sales jump 488 per cent, while transactions climbed 414 per cent in Larnaca and 300 per cent in Limassol.
The figures arrive as another report from the European Commission highlights just how far the Cypriot market still has to go to return to full health. According to the report, there are up to 50,000 housing units unsold in Cyprus, based on the difference between the number of building permits issued and the number of sales contracts registered with the Land Registry.
“However, if the number of unsold housing units is estimated on the number of contracts of sale deposited at Land Registry offices minus the number of Title Deeds remaining to be issued, the number of unsold units is at least 18,000,” notes Cyprus Property news.
Indeed, title deeds being issued remains a serious obstacle for the Cypriot market to overcome, with roughly half of the backlog cleared since 2013. The Commission cautions that the slow resolution of the issue, due to complex administrative procedures, is deterring international investors returning to the island, especially with prices at affordable levels, due to distressed holiday homes. Should foreign investment return in greater numbers, the market’s recovery would be accelerated.
The Department of Lands and Survey’s data is certainly encouraging, although the growth in overseas sales is being recorded from a very low basis. Nonetheless, on a more reliable quarterly basis, sales to overseas buyers surged 19 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 2015.
Cypriot property sales expected to increase
Cypriot property sales are forecast to rise this year, as the market shows signs of recovery.
The number of sales in January rose 2 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Lands & Surveys, getting 2016 off to a good start for the island’s housing market. Indeed, the month’s figures marks a fourth rise in a row, with sales up 13 per cent in December, 21 per cent in November and 23 per cent in October 2015.
The recovery remains uneven, with sales down 13 per cent and 3 per cent in Larnaca and Limassol respectively, but deals in Famagusta jumped 38 per cent, followed by Nicosia (17 per cent) and Paphos (9 per cent).
The figures arrive as optimism among professionals increases, thanks to the looming reduction in bank lending rates and progress with foreclosures. While the island’s real estate reputation has previously been plagued by horror stories surrounding title deed problems, a new law will enable those deceived into buying homes on mortgaged land to obtain the deeds to their property, boosting overall confidence.
Indeed, overseas sentiment already appears to be improving, with figures from December 2015 showing that international property sales rose 39 per cent year-on-year. In November 2015, meanwhile, Cypriot property received its highest number of enquiries in 34 months on TheMoveChannel.com, re-entering the portal’s Top 10 countries for the first time in eight months.
Overall enquiries for Cypriot property in Q4 2015 rose 36 per cent from Q3 2015.
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