Despite the overall growth in the number of properties sold in Cyprus in the first 8 months of 2021, the number of transactions for the sale of housing to foreigners still leaves much to be desired.
The latest data show a significant increase in demand in the domestic market (4089). At the same time, sales to foreigners over the same period are significantly lower (2000) pre-pandemic levels.
There is no doubt that the main reason lies in the cancellation of the passport program, Brexit, restrictive measures and multiple lockdowns on the island. All of this together had a negative impact on the activity of foreign investors.
Real estate sales to citizens and residents of Cyprus
Domestic sales are encouraging, with a 32% increase in August this year over the same month last year. In total, local residents purchased 477 housing units. This was facilitated by both low interest rates on loans and government support programs.
However, it should be borne in mind that these figures include an unknown number of transactions in a format other than sales, such as loan restructuring, transfer of rights in the framework of debt repayment, etc. The government does not publish information on such transactions separately. However, it is known that REMU, the Bank of Cyprus division that manages the bank's real estate, in the first half of 2021 sold 387 objects for 85 million euros and received ownership rights to objects with a total value of 21 million euros as part of the alienation of collateral for loans.
Total overseas sales
The total number of sales to foreign investors in August increased by 24% over the same period last year. Foreigners have purchased 247 housing units in Cyprus. In the first 8 months, foreign investors bought 2,000 objects in the country, an increase of 8%. By the way, these figures are much lower than in 2018 (2,884).
If you look at the cities: in Nicosia, there was a decrease in transactions with foreigners by 7%, in the free areas of Famagusta - by 23%. At the same time, in Larnaca the number of transactions increased by 47%, in Limassol - by 37%, in Paphos - by 29%.
Real estate sales to EU citizens
Sales to EU citizens rose 60% in August compared to the same period last year. At the same time, the number of transactions increased in all districts, except for Nicosia (-18%) and Larnaca (-12%). At the same time, in the first eight months of 2021, sales increased in all cities of Cyprus compared to the same period last year.
Real estate sales to third country nationals
Sales to non-EU citizens (including UK citizens) fell 1% in August compared to August 2020. It is noteworthy that only Nicosia (+ 33%) and Larnaca (+ 100%) recorded positive dynamics in August. In other cities, the number of purchase and sale transactions dropped sharply in the last summer month.
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