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Residential property sales rising

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Residential property sales have shot up by 38% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in coronavirus-stricken 2020.

According to the Land Registry Office data, registered residential property sales rose to 4,501 for the first six months of the year, compared to 3,272 transactions in January-June last year.

The increase in sales recorded this year is partially attributed to lockdown measures in 2020, which had severely impacted the economic activity and operational capability of the Land Registry.

Local buyers are the driving force behind activity in the real estate sector, as 3,062 transactions or 68% of sales in Q1 2021, involved Cypriots.

The remaining 1,439 properties were sold to foreign buyers.

In 2020, local buyers were involved in 57.5% of transactions, but this outlook will change with abolishing the discredited Citizenship for Investment scheme last November.

In June alone, property sales recorded a year-on-year increase of 43%, compared to an 81% spike in May.

The June increase in sales involving foreign buyers reached 74.6%, from 197 sales documents to 344.

On a district level, Nicosia recorded the biggest increase in residential property deals in Q1, with sales spiking by 61% to 1,336 from 830 in the same period last year.

Despite interest from foreign investors rapidly declining following the passport scheme ending in November, Limassol saw a 49% increase, with residential property sales going from 934 to 1,396.

Larnaca also saw sales rise by 26%, from 563 to 711, while Famagusta recorded an increase of 29%.

Paphos recorded a small 6% increase, with sales documents going from 713 in Q1 2020 to 758 in January to June this year.

Last year saw residential property sales hit their lowest ebb since 2016, dropping by 23.1% from 10,366 in 2019 to 7,968.