The number of real properties bought by non-Cypriots rose an annual 12 per cent in the first seven months of the year to 876, which is almost one quarter of the number of properties which changed hands this year, the Department of Lands and Surveys said.
The increase in foreign demand mainly affected the Limassol district in which foreign buyers acquired a total of 284 properties in January to July, which is 43 per cent more compared to the respective period of 2015, the department said in a statement on its website. While most properties acquired by foreigners were in Paphos, their number fell 3.7 per cent to 288.
Foreign buyers purchased in the Larnaca and Nicosia districts respectively, 181 and 68 in the first seven months of the year, which was respectively 16 per cent and 11 per cent more compared with the same period last year, the department said. The number of properties sold to foreigners in the Famagusta district dropped almost 17 per cent to 55.
Overall, the number of property transactions in January to July rose an annual 28 per cent to 3,637 after increasing 26 per cent to 625 in July alone, the department said. The increase came mainly from Limassol, where property transactions rose 41 per cent in July and 37 per cent in the first seven months of the year to 220 and 1,221 respectively. The number of transactions reported in Nicosia rose 70 per cent in July and 23 in January to July to 102 and 576 respectively.
In Paphos the total number of properties sold in July and up until July this year was 153 and 850 after rising 9 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, the department said. In Larnaca, they increased 29 per cent and 30 per cent to 123 and 780 respectively while in the Famagusta district the number of property transactions dropped 40 per cent to 27 in the seventh moth of the year and rose 19 per cent to 210 in January to July.
Overall transaction figures include also properties acquired by commercial banks as part of loan restructuring agreements.