PROPERTY sales to foreigners (non-Cypriots) continued to decline in July with numbers falling by 36% compared to the numbers sold in July 2019 and by 43% during the first seven months of 2020 compared to the same period last year according to official statistics.
Although the Coronavirus pandemic and the travel ban have contributed to the fall in sales, it is not a recent phenomenon. With the exception of December, when there was a small increase in sales of 3%, sales to foreigners have been falling month-on-month since June last year.
In July, property sales to foreigners accounted for a third of total sales, with numbers equally split between EU and non-EU purchasers.
Since the start of the year sales to non-EU purchasers are down by almost a half (46%), while sales EU purchasers are down 35%.
However, non-EU citizens still account for the lion’s share of total foreign sales. Here are the detailed figures:
Total foreign sales
The total number of sales to non-Cypriots, which accounted for 33% of all sales in July, fell by 36% compared to July 2019. Although sales in the capital Nicosia remained steady, property sales to non-Cypriots fell in the remaining four districts:
While sales in Paphos fell by 36%, sales in Limassol, Famagusta and Larnaca fell by 35%, 34% and 12% respectively.
Total Overseas Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to foreigners has fallen by 43% compared to the same period last year.
Foreign sales to EU nationals
Although the total number of sales to EU nationals fell 8% in July, the figures seem to be going in the right direction.
With the exception of Paphos, where sales fell by 40% compared to July last year, they rose in the remaining four districts.
Sales in Famagusta rose by 65%, while sales in the capital Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol rose by 23%, 19% and 4% respectively.
Foreign (EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to EU nationals has fallen by 35% compared to the same period last year.
Foreign sales to non-EU nationals
The total number of sales to non-EU nationals fell by 51% compared to July 2019, with sales falling in all districts.
Sales in Famagusta fell 90% and sales in Paphos fell 58%. Meanwhile, sales in Limassol, Nicosia and Larnaca fell by 48%, 38% and 22% respectively.
(The decision by the Cyprus parliament to vote into law two bills aimed at tightening Cyprus citizenship by investment programme will no doubt have a negative effect on property sales to non-EU citizens.)
Foreign (Non-EU) Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to non-EU nationals has fallen by 46% compared to the same period last year.
Domestic property sales
Sales to the domestic market are more encouraging, with sales up 17% in July compared to July 2019.
Although sales in Paphos and Larnaca fell by 22% and 20%, they rose in the remaining three districts.
Sales rose in Famagusta by 1350% (representing an increase of 27 on the number sold in July 2019).
Meanwhile, sales in Nicosia and Limassol rose by 50% and 3% respectively.
(The increase in domestic sales has been helped by the introduction of an interest rate subsidy for new housing loans granted from 1st March 2020 until 31st December 2020. The scheme covers loans with a maximum value of €300,000 with a maximum interest rate of 2.30% and will cover 1.5% of the rate for a period of four years.)
Domestic Property Sale Contracts – 2019/2020 Comparison
During the first seven months of 2020 the number of sales to the domestic market has fallen by 31% compared to the same period last year.
Analysis of property sales since 2000
Cyprus Property Sale Contracts 2000 – 2020
1 The Department of Lands & Surveys has advised that overseas sales in 2018 and subsequent year should not be compared to sales in previous years due to changes in the methodology used to classify ‘Aliens’ (foreigners).
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