April property sales up 29%

Cyprus property sales continued to rise in April with the number of sales contracts deposited at Land Registry Offices across the Republic up 29 per cent compared with April 2017 

THE NUMBER of property sales contracts deposited at Land Registry offices across the Republic of Cyprus during April 2018 rose 23 per cent compared to April 2017 according to official figures published by the Department of Lands and Surveys.

This follows increases of 23% in March, 46% in February, and 64% in January. During April a total of 655 contracts or the sale of residential and commercial properties and land (building plots and fields) were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus, compared with the 506 deposited in April 2017.

The figures show a continuing improvement in the economic conditions, coupled with government measures (such as the citizenship by investment scheme) – and although banks remained burdened with very high levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) they are now in a better position to grant loans to those buying property. (It should be noted that the figures include an unspecified number of properties acquired by banks as part of loan restructurings.)

Of the 655 contracts deposited, 326 (49.8%) were for properties purchased by non-Cypriots. Sales rose in all districts. In percentage terms Famagusta led the way with sales rising by 79% followed by Nicosia, where sales rose by 46%. Meanwhile sales in Larnaca and Paphos rose by 20% and 15% respectively.

Limassol recorded the highest number of sales during April reaching 246.

During the first five months of 2018 the number of contracts for the sale of property deposited at Land Registry offices has risen 38% to 2,784 compared to the 2,011 deposited during the first five months of 2017. The highest rise of 76%, was recorded in Famagusta, followed by Nicosia (the capital) with a 60% increase. Rises of 42%, 36% and 7% were recorded in Limassol, Paphos and Larnaca respectively.

Overseas property sales The Land Registry figures reveal that a total of 326 property sale contracts were deposited by non-Cypriots during April 2018. Of those 64 were deposited by EU nationals and the remaining 232 by non-EU nationals, but we cannot quantify the number of non-EU citizens who bought property with a view to applying for citizenship. Paphos remained the most popular district with the overseas market with the number of property sales contracts deposited reaching 136. Limassol recorded 84, Larnaca 42, Famagusta 40 and Nicosia 24.

During the first five months of 2018, a total of 1,410 property sales contracts have been deposited by overseas buyers, with 413 deposited by EU nationals and 997 by non-EU nationals. Paphos maintains its position as the most popular spot for overseas buyers with sale contracts reaching 430, followed by Limassol with 421, Larnaca with 198, Famagusta with 147 and Nicosia with 78.