Sales offer glimmer of hope…

Although property sales in Cyprus remain at historically low levels, latest figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys offer a glimmer of hope that the rate of decline may be slowing.

During February a total of 311 contracts for the sale of commercial and residential properties and plots of land were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus;

A fall of 12% on the 352 contracts deposited in February 2013. Of those 311 contracts 74% (230) were deposited on behalf of domestic buyers, while 26% (81) were deposited in favour of overseas buyers.

Sales in Famagusta increased by 20% to reach 18 compared to the 15 sold in February last year, while sales in Nicosia rose 17% to 69 compared to the 59 sold last year.

Sales in Limassol went up 15% to reach 95 compared to the 83 sold in February 2013. But these increases were more than wiped out by falls in Paphos and Larnaca of 38% and 25% respectively.

Domestic sales

Although domestic sales in January were down 6% compared with February last year, having fallen to 230 from 245, the fall was much less than the 31% experienced last month; an indication that confidence in the property market and the banking system may be returning.

Nicosia, the capital, experienced the greatest improvement with sales up 33% reaching 61 compared to 46 in February last year, while sales in Limassol rose 16% to reach 73 compared to 63 last year.

However, sales in the mainly tourist areas did not fare so well. Not a single property was sold in Famagusta, while domestic sales in Larnaca and Paphos fell by 37% and 10% respectively.

Overseas sales

Sales to the overseas market were down 24% compared with February last year falling to 81 from 107. Eighteen properties were sold in Famagusta compared with two in February 2013, an increase of 800%. Sales also improved in Larnaca and Limassol, increasing by 23% and 10% respectively.But sales in Paphos, the area most popular with overseas buyers, fell 71% compared with February last year, while those in Nicosia fell 39%

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