By Stelios Orphanides
The number of property transactions in December rose an annual 36 per cent to 1,537, the highest number reported since July 2008, the department of lands and surveys said.
The increase in property transactions in December, ahead of the introduction of 19 per cent value added tax (VAT) rate on land plots in January, was mainly on an annual 113 per cent increase to 306 of the number of properties sold to new owners in Nicosia, the department said. Most transactions took place again in Limassol and their number rose 23 per cent to 532.
In Paphos, property transactions rose 10 per cent to 349, in Larnaca 18 per cent to 181 and in the Famagusta district 94 per cent to 169, the department said.
Throughout 2017, the number of transactions rose island-wide 24 per cent to 8,734, which is again the highest figure since 2008, the department said.
The number of real estate assets acquired by new buyers rose 42 per cent last year to 1,464 in Nicosia, 27 per cent to 3,167 in Limassol, 44 per cent to 628 in Famagusta and 23 per cent to 2,135 in Paphos, the land department said. In Larnaca, they fell 1 per cent to 1,340.
The above figures also include properties acquired by banks as part of loan restructuring agreements. In September 2015 to April 2017, the total number of properties affected by loan restructurings was 1,121 island-wide and its value was €575.7m, according to the department.