Economic indicators show that the coronavirus epidemic has already dealt a heavy blow to Cyprus’ real estate market with sales documents in March recording a 33% drop, Phileleftheros reports citing official statistics.
All districts except Nicosia, the capital, have recorded a decrease with the hardest hit being Paphos (-56%) and Limassol (-50%). These two coastal towns were once the leaders in property sales but the coronavirus crisis seems to have put the brakes on this.
The falling numbers are also due to the fact that many real estate offices had suspended operations after the first state decree on March 16 calling for a business shut down.
However, all these companies as well as the Land Registry, slowly-slowly made arrangements for employees to work from home. Something that did not prevent the real estate market’s stagnation which is proved by the falling number of sales documents.
It seems that only the capital is strong enough in this sector with the district’s number of sale documents increasing by 6% and reaching 139 in March, while in Limassol there was a 50% drop with 143 sales documents being submitted.
In Larnaca, the drop in sales documents reached 10% (106 sales documents), in Famagusta area 9% (41) and in Paphos 56% (81).
In the first quarter of the year, the island-wide decline was reduced to 16% with a total of 1991 sales documents submitted. Specifically, sales documents were down by 31% in Limassol, compared to the corresponding period last year, by 28% in Paphos and by 5% in Famagusta.
However, during the first quarter of the year, there was an increase in both Nicosia (6%) and Larnaca (4%).
The number of real estate transactions with foreign buyers has also recorded a substantial decrease.
A total of 368 sales documents by foreign buyers were submitted in March 2019 compared to 212 last month, marking a decrease of 42%. In March 2019, there were 243 property buyers outside the EU, compared to a total of 146 the same month this year.
By Demetra Landou