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.