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Mini boom in real estate buys

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Cyprus’ real estate market is experiencing a mini-boom as Cypriots rush to buy property before an increase in building costs takes its toll on the market, and insecurity from the Ukraine war sets in.

According to data released by the Land Registry Office, the first five months of 2022 have seen the highest number of sales documents submitted since 2008.

Sales documents submitted with the land registry from January to May were 5,090, compared to 3,577 for the same period last year, recording an increase of 42%.

Compared to the same period in pre-coronavirus 2019, there was a 5% increase.

At first glance, the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia have not affected the demand for properties, despite concerns that sanctions would exclude Russians from being eligible to buy property in the EU.

Real estate appraiser Polis Kourousides told news site Stockwatch that demand from foreigners and locals is high despite the war and the turmoil in the economic environment caused by hiking inflation.

“It turns out that buying real estate is the best way to safeguard wealth against inflation,” said Kourousides.

He added that some buyers may have rushed to buy apartments and houses before increasing construction costs are passed on to consumers.

According to the data, Paphos saw the biggest increase in property sales, as deals reached 1,080 in the first five months, compared to 601 in the same period last year, a 79.7% jump.

Limassol followed with a 61.9% rise in sales, reaching 1,758 from 1086.

Real estate sales in Larnaca also increased by 58.3% and 13.1% in the free area of Famagusta.

The capital recorded the smallest increase in property sales of a mere 0.4%.

Compared to last year, the overall increase recorded in May was 50%, as 1,143 sales documents were submitted with the Land Registry.

In 2021 some 10,347 sales documents were submitted compared to 7,968 in 2020, an annual increase of 29.9%.

According to the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC), the annual cost of building materials went up by 17.3% in March from last year.

Cyprus is also witnessing the highest inflation rate recorded in four decades, with May equaling the 9.1% registered in February 1982.