Relentless rise in property sales


For a fifth consecutive month, the number of property sales in Cyprus hit a 14 year high in May as measured by the number of contracts deposited at Land Registry offices.

Property sales include domestic dwellings, retail premises, offices, warehouses and land (fields and plots).

The reasons for the growth in sales in unclear, bearing in mind that:

  • Subsidised purchases through the government scheme concluded at the end of 2021. (The scheme provided an interest subsidy of 1.5 percent for a period of four years for loans not exceeding €400,000 for house purchases.)
  • Cyprus’ annual inflation rate rose to 9.1 percent in May from 8.8 percent in April; the highest rate in the last 40 years.
  • The disgraced Citizenship by Investment scheme, which allowed foreign investors to acquire a Cypriot passport (known as a ‘golden passport’) in return for buying a high-end property, was brought to an abrupt end in November 2020. The scheme got Cyprus into hot water with the European Union.

The impact of the above should have dampened enthusiasm for buying property and it’s difficult to explain why property sales continue to rise?

Total sales reached 1,143; a 50 percent increase on the May 2021 figure of 760 and the highest number recorded since May 2008.

Although sales in Nicosia (the capital) fell by 7 percent, they rose in the four remaining districts compared to May 2021. The highest number of sales was recorded in Limassol, followed by Paphos, Larnaca, Nicosia, and finally Famagusta.

Total Property Sale Transactions – 2021/2022 Comparison

Sales during the first five months of 2022 reached 5,090, a 42 percent increase on the 3,577 achieved in the same period of 2021.

Looking at each segment of the market in turn:

Domestic property sales

Domestic sales in May saw an overall rise of 28 percent compared to May 2021. Although sales in Famagusta fell, this was more than outweighed by increases in the four remaining districts.

The highest number of sales was recorded in Limassol, followed by Nicosia, Larnaca, Paphos and Famagusta.

(It’s also worth bearing in mind that the figures include an unreported number of ‘non-sale’ agreements such as loan restructurings, recoveries and debt-to-asset swaps agreed between the banks and defaulting borrowers. Unfortunately, the Department of Lands & Surveys doesn’t record these separately.)

Domestic Cyprus May 2022
Domestic Sale Transactions – 2021/2022 Comparison

Domestic sales during the first five months of 2022 reached 2,935, an 18 percent increase on the 2,482 achieved in the same period of 2021.

Foreign property sales

Property sales to foreigners rose 94 percent compared to May 2021 with sales rising in all districts with the exception of Nicosia.

The highest number of sales was recorded in Limassol, followed by Paphos, Larnaca, Famagusta and Nicosia.

Total foreign sales Cyprus May 2022
Total Foreign Sale Transactions – 2021/2022 Comparison

Foreign sales during the first five months of 2022 reached 2,155, a 97 percent increase on the 1,095 achieved in the same period of 2021.

Foreign sales (EU Nationals)

Sales to EU nationals rose 48 percent compared to May 2021 with sales rising in all districts with the exception of Nicosia.

Paphos recorded the largest number of sales, followed by Limassol, Larnaca, Famagusta and Nicosia.

Foreign (EU) Sale Transactions – 2021/2022 Comparison

Sales to EU nationals during the first five months of 2022 reached 1,022, a 97 percent increase on the 519 achieved in the same period of 2021.

Foreign sales (Non-EU Nationals)

Sales to non-EU nationals rose by a remarkable 149 percent compared to May 2021 with sales rising in all districts with the exception of Nicosia.

Limassol recorded the largest number of sales, followed by Larnaca, Paphos, Famagusta and finally Nicosia.

Sales to non-EU citizens - Cyprus May 2022
Foreign (non-EU) Sale Transactions – 2021/2022 Comparison

Sales to non-EU nationals during the first five months of 2022 reached 1,022, a 97 percent increase on the 519 achieved in the same period of 2021.