Nicosia leading real estate recovery

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Nicosia continues to drive the real estate market’s recovery, with total property sales in the capital for the first ten months exceeding those recorded in pre-coronavirus 2019.

Compared to coronavirus-stricken 2020, sales in the capital increased by a whopping 33% from January to October and 38% more than the same period in 2019.

Despite an overall 7% decrease of Cyprus property sales to October, compared to 2019, Nicosia achieved a remarkable increase, being the only district to do so.

An influx of recent sales has narrowed the gap between the first ten months of 2021 and the same period in 2019, as the decrease for nine months was 9%.

The decrease from January to August 2021 compared to the same period in 2020 was 14%.

According to the data published by the Land Registry, the number of sales documents totalled 7914 for January – October 2021, up from 6508 in the same period last year and down from 8549 in 2019.

Part of the annual increase is attributed to last year’s low base due to lockdowns that significantly reduced economic activity and the operation of the land registry.

Annual real estate sales rose in all districts; however, compared to 2019, sales decreased in all districts except Nicosia.

The biggest drop of 40% was in Paphos, while a decrease of 18% was experienced in Limassol.

As the Central Bank pointed out in its latest real estate price index, the property market has been going through a period of adjustment since the beginning of the pandemic.

It attributed this to a possible shift of buyer and investor preferences to smaller apartments or houses of lesser value than previous years.

The Central Bank said that Cypriots who have saved a considerable amount of cash over recent years are looking to buy a small house or flat either to set up a home or for investment purposes.

It has boosted the prices of houses and flats, and the increase in the cost of building materials has kept house prices stable.

At the same time, the demand for property by foreign investors shows signs of stabilization, as reflected in the data on sales documents.

According to market participants, this is due to the promotion of investments and the program for obtaining a permanent residence permit in Cyprus, introduced to replace the disgraced golden passport scheme.

In 2020, sales documents fell to their lowest point since 2016 at 7,968 compared to 10,366 in 2019, recording an annual decrease of 23.1%.