Market conditions in Cyprus for home buyers and investors seeking a property for sale in Limassol continue on an upward trend. Across the island, the number of registered contracts of sale increased by around 9.4 per cent, 2014 – 2015. The majority of sales occurred in Limassol (31.6 per cent) followed by Paphos (25.1 per cent) and Larnaca (21.6 per cent), according to the Department of Lands and Surveys. The proportion increased again in Limassol to 33.23 per cent in the first two quarters of 2016.
The figures are encouraging. Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus after the capital, Nicosia, and while nearly three quarters of the total property sales in recent years were made by Cypriot buyers, the percentage of sales to overseas markets continues to make progress. Most data - according to the RICS Index - tends to refer to apartment prices and rents based on 85 m2, two-bedroom apartments of medium quality, and house prices relating to semi-detached, three-bedroom houses (250m2) of medium quality with garden.
The improvement in both local and international economic conditions since the financial crisis of 2008 has definitely seen a livening of overseas interest in acquiring real estate in Cyprus. As a result, sales involving the exchange of Title Deeds increased by 41 per cent and contracts of sale deposited at Land Registry offices rose by 43 per cent (Cyprus Real Estate Market Outlook - Real Estate Advisory Services, Deloitte, June 2016).
Undoubted attractions offered to investors in the property market, which have stimulated the market were the incentives, such as the 50 per cent reduction in transfer fees for all sales and the 100 per cent exemption from future capital gains tax for profits on properties. In addition, the long-standing issue surrounding the inability to issue title deeds in the name of purchasers who have paid the amount due in full to the land developer was resolved following the regulatory reforms of the ‘Trapped Buyers Law 2015”, which provides greater transparency.
Cyprus has always enjoyed a reputation with property buyers from abroad for the near all-year around sunshine and stunning beaches, and it’s not surprising to find that foreign interest is mostly focused on the residential sector in prime locations close to the beach.
Another contributory factor has to be the 17 million euro regeneration of the Old Port of Limassol into the 650-berth Limassol Marina, which opened in 2014, accompanied by a modern leisure and business development of the area. Of the 3.18 million people who now visit Cyprus every year, an average of 13 per cent are to be found in Limassol.