Limassol leads boom in Cyprus property sector

01 August, 2014 | Posted By: FinancialMirror Guest

Limassol leads boom in Cyprus property sector
Increasing trends in the first five months of 2014

By Alecos Vilanos,

The recovery and rise in the property sector in 2014 has so far been headed by Limassol which, despite last year's Eurgroup decisions, continued developing its projects. The town’s biggest project, the Limassol Marina, opened its doors to the public on June 19. The Marina, in combination with the recent offshore discoveries and the development of the energy sector, is expected to attract a significant number of local and foreign investors.
The recent data collected by the Department of Lands and Surveys, suggest that Cyprus, due to a collective effort demonstrated by all competent bodies and the government to try and revive the economy as well as to the positive feedback and messages of optimism from international rating agencies, managed so far in 2014 to regain its confidence and credibility in the markets, especially in the area of real estate investing.
It also shows that there is a significant increase in the purchase of real estate by foreigners on a national basis. This suggests that Cyprus with its attractive prices offered in combination of quality products and service, good weather, geographical and geopolitical position, the legal framework, the low corporate tax, as well as the conditions in our neighbouring countries, continues to attract the interest of foreign and local investors.
According to Land Registry data, bills of sales submitted totalled 551 units in May this year as opposed to 214 in May 2013, recording an annual increase of 157%, while bills of sales with foreign buyers amounted to 153 in May compared to 71 in May 2013, recording an equally impressive 115.5% rise.
Based on Land Registry data, the number of foreign buyers who have submitted bills sales in Limassol totalled 45 in May compared to just 19 in April. In addition, regarding the bills of sales submitted to the district Land Registry Office in Limassol, during the five months in 2014, there was a 45% increase compared to the five months in 2013.
In Limassol, the number of bills of sales submitted in May amounted to 162, compared to 63 in the corresponding month in 2013 (157% increase), while in April 2014 they were 92, compared to 72 same month in 2013 (a 28% increase).
On a nationwide basis, during the first five months of the year, there was an increase of 20% in submitting the bills of sales, while in Nicosia there was a 51% increase, in Larnaca there was a 10% increase and in Famagusta there was an increase of 53%. In contrast, Paphos suffered a decrease of 12% in submitting bills of sales.
According to sales statistics, the number of cases in Limassol amounted to 223 in May, compared to 158 in April, while the number of plots of land was 121 in January, 179 in February, 143 in March, 171 in April and 233 in May. Also, the total value in May reached EUR 45,583,003.32, as opposed to EUR 28,279,765.60 in April, while the total accepted amount reached EUR 47,748,932.43 in May, compared to 29,917,930. 35 in April.
Based on Land Registry data, during the first five months of the year, total sales climbed from 1,512 last year to 1,810 this year for a 20% rise.
The number of properties that have been transferred (sales) to foreigners in May in Limassol was 19 compared to 6 in April, while the number of properties that have been transferred (sales) to foreigners on a national basis reached 58 in May compared to 44 in April.
Based on Land Registry data, the number of properties for which bills of sales have been submitted by foreign buyers, in Limassol amounted to 37 in May compared to 18 in April, whereas in the case of the number of foreign buyers – transfers (sales) in Limassol these bills of sales reached 24 in May compared to 10 in April.
Meanwhile, in Limassol, in addition to the new Marina project, it is expected that the plot of land housing the Tritoftidi clinic, a total area of about 2,500 square meters, will be utilised by a group of Lebanese investors, while other grandiose projects, such as the Oval luxury office building, are in the process of construction.
In conclusion, the real estate sector still retains the leading role for the recovery of the economy. In the years to come, incentives provided by the government to obtain a permanent residence permit or for issuing passports to non-EU nationals along with the purchase of property or investments, like the urban area for large development projects, are expected to increase the demand for real estate and investment market for offices, homes and other facilities.
There is optimism around of full recovery of the property sector in Cyprus, and in particular in attracting a larger number of buyers and investors. Investments in property over time lead to long-term benefits and never lose their values.
Taking into consideration the figures above, it appears that in May a gradual recovery of the property market was recorded and there is an increasing interest by investors and buyers, while the situation in the real estate market is showing signs of stabilisation. However, in order to achieve a complete recovery and return to normalcy, the restrictions concerning financing for purchase or real estate investment have to be fully reinstated.

Alecos Vilanos is Manager of Vilanos Real Estate Agents.