The increase in real estate trading activity observed in recent years was reversed in the first half of 2020.
The total volume and value of real estate realized in Cyprus through the Land Registry (both in terms of sales contracts and sales transfers) recorded a significant decline in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, which is mainly attributed to the fact that:
-From January to May 2019, the market experienced an influx of transactions from foreign buyers that came mostly from the revision of the criteria in the Cyprus Investment Program that took place in June 2019
In the spread of the pandemic, natural persons and legal entities could delay or cancel investments due to the uncertainty that existed.
TOTAL NUMBER OF TRANSACTIONS
Specifically, the total number of real estate transactions in the first half of 2020 reached 5,600, compared to 8,800 in the first half of 2019, which corresponds to a decrease of 36%. An even greater decline was observed in the amount of transactions which fell to € 1.2 billion in the first half of 2020, recording a decrease of 55% compared to € 2.7 billion in the first half of 2019.
According to the report of PwC Cyprus Cyprus Real Estate Market, in the first half of 2020, the value of transactions in the residential real estate market of Cyprus amounted to € 828 million, recording a decrease of 60% compared to the same period last year. The decline is mainly due to the lockdown during March-May 2020, where very few transactions took place.
RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE
In total, transactions were made for 3,500 housing units (2,200 apartments and 1,300 houses), showing a total decrease of 42%. At the same time, it should be noted that the housing units where transactions took place were on average lower in value compared to the first half of 2019.
The residential real estate sector accounted for 69% of the total value of transactions in the industry during the first half of 2020 (apartments: 37%, houses: 32%), compared to a contribution of 77% in the first half of 2019.
Following the revision of the Cyprus Investment Program criteria that took place in May 2019 and until the lockdown period in March 2020, the average monthly transaction value amounted to € 285 million. Recording a decrease of 41% compared to the period of 2019 By During the lockdown months (March-May 2020), the average transaction value decreased significantly to € 140 million, with April being the worst month in terms of transactions in all categories of real estate.
REAL ESTATE SALES BY CATEGORY:
-In the first half of 2020, 2,200 transactions were made compared to 4,100 in the corresponding period last year, recording a decrease of 46%.
-The value of transactions decreased by 67%, falling to € 400 million compared to € 1.2 billion last year.
-In the first half of 2020, 1,300 transactions were made compared to 2,100 last year, recording a drop of 38%.
-The value of transactions fell to € 400 million compared to € 900 million, with 56%.
-The number of transactions in the first half of 2020 remained unchanged at 1,200 as last year.
-But the value of transactions fell to € 100 million compared to € 200 million last year.
-The number of transactions decreased by 33%, declining from 900 to 600.
-The value of transactions decreased to € 100 million from € 200 million last year.
TOTAL SALES BY PROVINCE
- In the first half of 2020 - 1,013
- In the second half of 2020 - 830
- In the first half of 2020 -1,987
- In the second half of 2020 - 934
- In the first half of 2020 - 563
- In the second half of 2020 - 772
- The first half of 2020 - 232
- The second half of 2020 - 372
- The first half of 2020 713
- In the second half of 2020, 1,416
TRADE VOLUME BY PROVINCE
- The first half of 2020 €300 million
- In the second half of 2020, €434 million
- In the first half of 2020, €401 million
- In the second half of 2020, €1.14 billion
- The first half of 2020 € 178 million.
- In the second half of 2020, € 280 million
- In the first half of 2020, € 71 million
- In the second half of 2020, € 161 million
- The first half of 2020 €257 million.
- In the second half of 2020, €664 million
SALES TO FOREIGN BUYERS
During the first half of 2020, 1,391 properties in Cyprus were acquired by foreign buyers, compared to 2,482 properties acquired during the first half of 2019, recording a decrease of 44%. Examining the monthly transactions, it is evident that transactions appeared reduced even before the pandemic (January-February 2020) compared to the corresponding months of 2019.
About 68% of real estate acquired by foreigners in the first half of 2020 concerns non-EU buyers compared to 70% last year. In Larnaca, 79% of foreign trade concerns non-EU buyers. The corresponding share of non-EU resident markets in Limassol was 71% and in Famagusta, Paphos, and Nicosia at 65%, 65%, and 47%, respectively.
The highest concentration of sales documents submitted by foreign buyers was in Paphos (38%), followed by Limassol (27%). The two cities together make up two-thirds of foreign trade on the island.
FALL IN ALL CITIES
All towns of Cyprus recorded an annual decrease, between 25% - 50%, in terms of the number of properties acquired by foreigners. Although Nicosia accounted for only 7% of real estate acquired by foreigners in the first half of 2020, it fell 48% compared to the first half of 2019. Limassol and Paphos are behind, with a decrease of 47%.
THE LUXURIOUS RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE
Concerning the purchase of residential real estate related to the investment program, a decline was also recorded. Based on the analysis of PwC Cyprus during the first half of the year, housing transactions worth more than €1.5 million reached 51 in total, down 78% compared to the first half of 2019, where 234 home sales were recorded.
In total, the value of housing transactions related to the investment program of Cyprus amounted to €117 million in the first half of 2020, down 78% compared to last year.
These transactions represent 10% of the value of all transactions made in the first half of 2020 compared to 20% last year.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS IN CYPRUS BY CATEGORY
- Apartments 37%
- Houses 32%
- Processes and plots 21%
- Commercial real estate 6%
- Other properties 4%