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December property sales decrease


According to the Land Department, the number of sale contracts in December 2018 decreased by 48% compared with December 2017. The fall comes over nineteen consecutive months of sales growth.

During December, 800 contracts for the sale of commercial and residential properties,  plots, were made to the Land Registry compared to 1537 in December 2017. However, this fall may not be as significant as it may seem at first glance. In December 2017, there was a surge in sales of land for construction after the decision of the Parliament in November 2017 to introduce 19% VAT on the sale of land from January 2, 2018.

Of these 800 contracts, 450 (43.8%) were for property  bought by Cypriots, and 350 (56.3%) for property acquired by non-Cypriots; 135 are EU citizens and 215 are third country nationals.

Sales fell in all areas. As a percentage, sales in Famagusta fell by 73%, in Nicosia - by 57%, and sales in Limassol - by 45%. Meanwhile, sales in Paphos and Larnaca fell by 43% and 34%, respectively.

Despite the decline in December, the total number of sales in 2018 was the highest in history since 2008, when 14,667 properties were sold. With the exception of Larnaca, where sales remained stable, they increased in all other areas. In Nicosia, the capital of the island and the main business center, sales increased by 10%, while sales in Limassol, the commercial center and port, grew by 8%. Annual sales in Paphos and Famagusta grew by 5% and 2% respectively.

According to the Department’s statistics, during December 2018, not Cypriots handed over 350 property purchase and sale contracts, of which 135 (38.6%) were handed over by EU citizens, and the remaining 215 (61.4%) were citizens of non-EU countries.

Paphos remains the most popular area with a foreign market, where the number of sales contracts was 170, while in Limassol there are 89, in Larnaca - 51, in Nicosia - 23 and Famagusta - 17.

During 2018, a total of 4,367 contracts for the sale of real estate to foreign buyers were handed over, of which 1,428 were surrendered by EU citizens, and the remaining 2,939 were non-EU citizens.

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