Property sales increase 20% in 2014 driven by Limassol and Larnaca (Update 1)

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By Marie Kambas

The total number of property transactions rose an annual 20 per cent in 2014 to 4,527, the department of lands and surveys said.

In December, property transactions rose 20 percent to 454 compared to a month ago, the department said in statement on its website today.

Property transactions in Limassol district rose 35 per cent in 2014 compared to the year before to 1,417 while in December a total of 127 transactions were reported, as many as a year ago, the department said. The number of transactions reported in Nicosia district rose 6 per cent last year compared to 2013 to 748.

The number of transactions rose in Paphos and Famagusta districts the most in December, 72 per cent and 62 per cent compared to a year ago to 160 and 47 respectively. Transactions rose in Paphos an annual 6 per cent in 2014 to 1,238 while in the Famagusta district they rose 37 per cent to 330.

In Larnaca, a total of 794 property transactions were reported last year, 31 per cent more compared to 2013, after rising an annual 40 per cent in December to 67, the department said.

A real estate agent said that the increase in transactions last year was expected after the 2013 slump caused by the banking crisis.

“In 2013 the number of transactions was very low” compared to an annual average of 13,000 transactions in 2000 to 2012, George Mouskides general manager of FOX Smart Estate Agency, said in a telephone interview.

Mouskides added that he expects banks to offer more financing in 2015 which will further help increase the number of property transactions. “I believe that in 2015 there will be a considerable increase compared to 2014 which will exceed 20 per cent,” he said.

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Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Alexander Reuterswärd

    Now that is great news, since 2013 was a great year and this growth is on top of that we are talking growth 😉

    • Mike Smith

      Good news to start the year!

      • Argent

        Dont believe a word……

    • Garry Smith

      Wow, a 20% increase on a year where the banks went under is fantastic news…………….
      Isn’t it??

      • Alexander Reuterswärd

        they were only more or less closed for two months so considering this 20% up this year with 12 months operations i think we should be very impressed.

  • Bystander

    Apparently, property prices are more sensible now. I would not say that Limassol area properties are priced what they’re worth, but still much better than in 2009. You can actually find a not-so-bad flat in the city for under 100,000

    • Mike Smith

      The same flat in 2009 was about 250,000?

      • Bystander

        I would say, an under-100,000 flat now was about 180,000 back then. Those sold for 250 are about 160-180 now, I believe. Cannot tell exactly, I am basing my estimates on properties viewed during these years through famous `bazaraki’ and few other sites/forums. Limassol and areas around, to my observation, experienced least drop in property prices. Those properties that have seen almost a 50% drop are usually over 20 years old. Newer ones lost, possibly, 25% to 35%.

        • Mike Smith

          Um interesting. Not as bad as Larnaca.

  • ajp

    I am not really sure how accurate these figures are and if real it would show a huge demand for property. So, if the banks are not lending given their very strict loan to value ratio then the transactions must all be cash, and if so, is this reflected in bank deposits where interest rates are not competitive. who are the people buying the property or, more to the point who is selling is it ex-pats selling up and trying to get money off the island. The property market still looks stagnent especially in Limassol and Paphos as I know many people whose property is on the market but there has been no interest from any quarter.

    • Bystander

      I got a feeling that these transactions are mostly purchases by newcomers to the island from places like China, Russia and Ukraine.

      • Mike Smith

        And maybe Syria.

    • Mike Smith

      And how little are they selling for. I’ve heard if you want to sell you need to knock off 65% off the 2007 peak prices at the very least unless someones desperate for it.

      • tallguy

        of course….real estate prices have tripled between 2004 and 2008….so the guy who’s selling you today a house 300 000, that he bought 100 000 in 2004 can easily agree to knock off 65% and still not loosing any money…

    • Argent

      Wouldn’t surprise me if its locals getting a good deal. Investing their retirement/redundancy money in dodgy property.

  • Barry White

    With such good news, can there be any primary house owner who doesn`t wish to pay down their mortgage and IPT arrears ???? The queue at the Title Deeds office will be huge.

  • Cyprus observer

    It makes me laugh to think that some people are using the percentage increase figures to try to present the argument that the Cyprus property market is on the mend. Nothing is further from the truth. these purchases, as pointed out below, are probably those very rich Chinese who have easily 300,000 euros to throw away on a non insulated damp concrete box, simply to get a travel permit for Europe. The mainstream property market of the Cypriots, Brits, Germans, French, Russian etc etc is still in the doldrums. One this set of new consumers realise how much they have been fleeced, the word will get out too. To quote an investment company advertising on line in the CM this morning …”We realise that the market in Cyprus is almost non existent these days and as a result, values have plummeted – Most people would not consider selling at these very low levels, and why would you? With this in mind, We guarantee to offer you above current market value for your property”
    Of course, the fun part is determining what IS the market value!!! There is the catch! Not for another 5 to 8 years will this market be anything close to what was “normality”….if this word can be used in the context of Cyprus.

    • Bystander

      Exactly. The market is standing still and it will be still until re-possessions will start.

  • guest bernard

    How interesting. Meanwhile back in the north, the Chairman of the Estate Agents Association is receiving publicity of a similar nature.

    ” Peering into his crystal ball he sees property price increases as a result of Europeans selling their property in the South and buying cheaper property on offer in the north. Sungur expects there to be a “golden era” after this year. Perhaps he expects a dramatic drop in prices in the North this year making property there more attractive to sell next year?”

    Reading both these reports, I can only assume they are on something very strong and should take more water with it.

    Do not buy in Cyprus until justice is done for those already defrauded.

  • Road Warrior

    My advice to anyone is still the same, without deeds, do not buy in Cyprus.

    • Argent

      Should read, do not buy in Cyprus.

      • Salomi

        I do n’t know who are buying the property in Cyprus.I could not recover from the purchase of one house .A house without any legal validity still after three years.

    • xenonx

      The Chinese have a fast track to title deeds and are pretty much the only buyers in Paphos.

      New buyers have special status.

      I doubt any fool would buy in Paphos without being offered title deeds. Only the original buyers are being screwed.

      • Road Warrior

        Indeed, €300,000 for a damp, one bedroom concrete fridge, a bargain, not !

    • Barry White

      That would be no good deed goes unpunished ?

  • Salomi

    Good statistics.

  • Could this be the result of those with NPLs transfering 2nd and 3rd properties and land to offspring and their businesses in order to avoid repossetion? Transactions dont necessarily mean sales 😉

    • Barry White

      Naughty, but probably accurate – the information is on the transfer forms. And then there will be the shuffling of properties to family members in order to ensure Grandma may qualify for the Government Minimum payment scheme.

  • Philippos

    A Property Transaction a day in Famagusta District, does not a BOOM make in 2014, nor point to one in 2015. Don’t be fooled, Horiani, Hang on to your fields a little bit longer, we might only be at an intermediate bottom and they can be really quite nasty! I couldn’t find anything about price levels for these few transactions either.

  • JSReturnsAgain

    20% increase on zero is still 0%. Banks bust, developers bust, government broke and people living in fantasy land. I’m making millions selling golf courses to Kilingons, want to invest ? CM, please, please, please be a newspaper and not an advert for lost causes, it’s embarassing.

    • Mike Smith

      One market that needs to be explored is for Cyprus to become regional export hub for manure. Theres millions of tonnes of bull…t around.