Βy Stelios Orphanides
The home price index rose a quarterly 0.3 per cent to 73.5 in October to December last year but fell an annual 0.9 per cent, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.
“The small increase, the second in a row, reflects the recovery of the real estate sector,” the Central Bank of Cyprus said in a statement on its website on Monday.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, apartment prices rose a quarterly 1.3 per cent while house prices dropped 0.1 per cent, the central bank said. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, apartment prices rose in October to December 1.9 per cent while house prices dropped in equal measure.
Home prices rose a quarterly 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 in both Nicosia and Limassol district and 2 per cent in Famagusta, the bank supervisor said. Prices dropped 1.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent in Paphos and Larnaca respectively.
In Limassol, home prices dropped 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the respective quarter of 2015, the central bank said. In Nicosia, prices dropped 1.1 per cent, in Larnaca and Paphos 1.5 per cent and in the Famagusta area 5.6 per cent.
Apartment prices rose in the last quarter of 2016 compared to July to September in all districts but Paphos, where they dropped 2.4 per cent, the central bank said. In Limassol, flat prices rose 2 per cent, in Larnaca 1.9 per cent, in Nicosia 0.8 per cent and in Famagusta 0.1 per cent.
The central bank said that the drop in flat prices in Paphos would have been smaller if debt-to-asset swaps as part of loan restructuring agreements had not been taken to account.
House prices rose in the fourth quarter of 2016 in Nicosia and Famagusta 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively, the central bank said. In Limassol, house prices remained stable and dropped 2.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent in Larnaca and Paphos respectively.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, flat prices rose in October to December last year in Nicosia “for the first time” 0.3 per cent, in Limassol 1.6 per cent, in Larnaca 2.8 per cent and in Paphos 2.2 per cent, the central bank said. In Famagusta, apartment prices plunged 6.4 per cent.
House prices on the other hand, fell in the last quarter of 2016 an annual 1.6 per cent in Nicosia, 1.2 per cent in Limassol, 3.5 per cent in Larnaca, 1.5 per cent Paphos and 4.6 per cent in Famagusta, the central bank said.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, transactions rose 70 per cent and construction activity rose 18 per cent, the central bank added.