REAL ESTATE: Cyprus properties worth less at a total of EUR 179 bln

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Total worth of Cyprus properties were valued at €178.7 bln last year, around €24 mln less than they were estimated in 2013, according to the Land Registry Department.

Specifically, in 2013 a total of 1,634,946 parcels of land and housing units were valued at €202.6 bln dropping to €178.7 bln in 2018. Estimates only cover properties which are currently under the control of the Cyprus Republic.

Nicosia properties topped the list, both in terms of land and buildings with the value of land in the capital amounting to €44.7 bln.

Nicosia land parcels were worth €53.8 bln in 2013 while Limassol properties were worth €32.3 bln in 2018 from €36 bln five years ago.

Paphos comes in third with €21 bln compared to €23.9 bln in 2013, Larnaca follows with land worth €19.1 bln compared to €20 bln in 2013.

Finally, Famagusta, which has the lowest value of land parcels (compared to other cities) is the only region to see an increase in the value of plots, rising to €9.2 bln from €7.8 bln in 2013.

The total value of land in all provinces amounted to €126.5 bln in 2018 compared to €142.6 bln in 2013.

The value of buildings amounted to approximately €52.2 bln compared to approximately €60 bln in 2013.

The value of buildings in Nicosia are worth approximately €16.7 bln from €20.1 bln, Limassol buildings were worth €14.2 bln from €15.7 bln, Paphos €8.1 bln down from €9 bln in 2013.

Larnaca buildings in 2018 were worth €8 bln compared to €9.4 bln in 2013 and Famagusta €5.2 bln from €5.7 bln.

The Land Registry says the overall valuation does not represent the market value of properties but are used for tax purposes and fees.

It said that properties were valued in collaboration with private surveyors through the purchase of services and sales of recent years were taken into account in the assessment.

The Auditor General has questioned the credibility of the procedure used for the general appraisal of real estate properties applied by the registry.

The Land Registry admitted it may have been mistaken in their appraisal of a state plot opposite the former Nicosia Hilton Hotel in the heart of the capital, estimating the property at just €5 mln down from €70 mln which was the Registry’s 2014 evaluation.

Officials were criticised for delivering four wildly different evaluations over the past decade.

In 2010 the valuation of the land was estimated at €143 mln, with the department suggesting the government demand €160 mln from Qatari investors who were interested in buying the property at the time.

The deal eventually fell through as the Qatari's, looking to invest 500 mln in building a hotel and other properties, disagreed with the high price tag and the plot is, presumably, still up for sale.

In 2013 the land was estimated at €92 mln, in 2014 at €70 mln and the latest estimate in 2018 was €5.3 mln.