PwC Cyprus reports that 260 high-end properties in Cyprus (in excess of €1.5 million) were sold during 2017, which contributed to the wider recovery of the real estate industry and the rise in prices for the first time in several years.

TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY Cyprus properties were sold for more that €1.5 million during 2017 according to a report by PwC Cyprus – Cyprus Real Estate Market Year in Review | 2017.

PwC notes that The Cyprus economy relies heavily on the real estate sector, as Cyprus has one of the highest home ownership rates in Europe and there is a significant overseas market for holiday and second homes.

From 2014 onwards, there were signs of improved confidence in the Cyprus economy and the real estate market, leading to increased transaction activity in the market. A further significant increase was recorded in 2016 (Year-on-year increase of 43%) with a subsequent increase of 24% during 2017. The total number of contracts filed at the Department of Lands & Surveys during 2017 reached an eight-year high of 8,734 (2016: 7,063).

During 2017, the highest volume of properties for which sale contracts were filed by foreign buyers, was recorded in Paphos (36%), followed by Limassol (34%) and Larnaca (16%).

The vast majority of sales to foreigners relate to residential properties. During the past few years, such sales have been increasing predominantly as a result of the revisions to the scheme for naturalisation of investors in Cyprus by exception.

Double-digit growth rates in foreign transactions were exhibited across all districts of Cyprus in 2017. The highest annual growth was recorded in Famagusta (61%), followed by Paphos (38%) and Limassol (33%).

Demand for hi-end residential Cyprus property

PwC reports that during the period 2010-2013, the volume of sales of high-end residential property (≥ €1.5 million) across Cyprus was stable, averaging around 41 units per annum.

From 2014 onwards and following revisions to the scheme for naturalisation of investors in Cyprus, demand for this type of properties has been increasing continuously.

During 2017, the total number of high-end residential transactions reached 260, which corresponds to an annual increase of 45% (2016: 179).

Hi-end sales distribution

Limassol continues to be the preferred location for high-end residential properties (approximately 52% of total transactions of 2017), followed by Paphos (36%) and Famagusta (9%).

Nicosia and Larnaca represent the least active districts, with total transactions among the two districts representing 3% of total (8 transactions).

As per Land Registry data, during 2017, 66% of high-end residential property transactions in Limassol related to apartments with the remainder 34% relating to villas. As regards Paphos, almost entirely high-end residential transactions recorded in 2017 related to villas.

The majority of transactions in the high-end residential segment across Cyprus is within the €1.5 -€2 million price band.

Demand for Cyprus properties in excess of €2 million continued to rise, largely as the result of the launch of new high-end residential developments in the market increasing the supply of units of this price range.