42% Increase in Property Sales

Property sales in Cyprus increased by 42 per cent in June 2016 as compared to the same period last year, according to official statistics published by the Department of Lands and Surveys.

The 42% increase in June follows a 17% increase in May and a 35% increase in April, Cyprus Property News reports.

However, the figures include debt-to-asset swaps, which inflate the numbers. Borrowers who are unable to service their loans have been encouraged to benefit from the debt-to-asset swaps as the law passed on 1st January, which exempts them from paying Property Transfer Fees. It also helps them to repay their debts and avoid insolvency. The debt-to-asset swaps also helps the banks reduce their non-performing loans (NPLs) and improves their balance sheets.

June saw a total of 657 contracts for the sale of commercial and residential properties and land (building plots and fields) being deposited at Land Registry offices across the island.

Of those 657 contracts, 70% (462) were deposited by domestic (Cypriot) purchasers, while 30% (195) were deposited by overseas (non-Cypriot) purchasers.

According to Cyprus Property News, sales rose in all districts. Sales in Limassol rose 64% compared with June 2015, while sales in Nicosia rose 61%. Meanwhile sales in Paphos, Larnaca and Famagusta rose 48%, 8% and 3% respectively.

Property sales to the domestic (Cypriot) market in June rose 39% compared to June 2015, with sales reaching 462 compared with 333 in the same month last year. Although sales in Famagusta and Larnaca fell by 77% and 9% respectively compared to June last year, they rose in the other three districts. Sales in Paphos rose 100%, while sales in Limassol and Nicosia rose 62% and 59% respectively.

Property sales to the overseas (non-Cypriot) market rose 49% in June compared with June 2015 with 195 properties being sold compared with just 131 in the same month last year. Although sales in Paphos to the overseas market fell 7% compared to June 2015, they rose in all the other districts. Sales in Famagusta rose 800% (with no sales being recorded in May), while sales in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca rose by 100%, 71% and 55% respectively.