Real estate in pandemic recovery mode 

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Cyprus’ real estate market continued its recovery this year, with some indicators exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to a survey carried out by property analysts Delfi Analytics.

In comments accompanying the survey, Delfi Partners & Company said: “2021 was a year of correcting the anomalies caused by the pandemic in the market during 2020 when a significant number of transactions were postponed due to the prevailing uncertainty”.

According to Delfi Analytics, real estate transfers in the first 11 months of 2021 increased by 3.4% compared to the same period of 2019.

At the same time, sales documents decreased by 4.2%, while the number of mortgages dropped by 4.4%.

The value of mortgages increased by 82.2%, largely explained by the large increase recorded this year in Limassol; this may have resulted from a small number of high-value mortgages.

The lack of correlation between the value of mortgages to their total number points to the fact that a select few high-property mortgages have distorted the figures.

Delfi Analytics data suggests an increase in demand for used real estate, with 14,228 transfers recorded to November, an increase of 3.4% from 2019 and up 26.5% compared to 2020.

In contrast, submission of sales documents until November dipped 4.2% compared to 2019.

In the Nicosia district, most indicators were positive during the 11 months, with property transfers (27%) and sales (38%) higher than the corresponding period in 2019.

The number of mortgages also increased, while the value of mortgages compared to 2019 fell by 15%.

In Limassol, transfers increased from 2019 (2%) and 2020 (30%).

In terms of sales documents, there was an increase of 28% from 2020; however, there was still a gap of 11% on 2019 data.

In Limassol, the number of mortgages slightly increased, while the value of those mortgages increased dramatically by 300%.

An indication that a small number of mortgages were related to large loans.

Indicatively, while in 2019 and 2020, the mortgages amounted to approximately €900 mln, this year, they jumped to €3.2 bln.

But 2021 was not kind to Paphos real estate, at least not when compared to pre-coronavirus 2019.

During the first 11 months, property transfers were down by 20% from 2019, while sales and mortgages fell by 35% and 15%,  respectively.

In Larnaca, things were better; property transfers were down by 8% from 2019, while sales were up by 5%.

The number of mortgages was 11% down on 2019, although their value was 0.1% higher.

Finally, the real estate market in Famagusta moved mainly positively, as both transfers (+12%) and sales documents (+4%) and the number of mortgages (+4%) was higher than in 2019.

“In 2022, the course of the pandemic and any new variants such as Omicron will be crucial for both the real estate sector and the economy in general.

“We estimate the trend for the acquisition of used real estate will continue to increase as more properties are made available on the market by banking institutions and asset management companies,” said Delfi managing partner George Mountis.