By Stelios Orphanides
Residential property prices rose for a seventh consecutive quarter 0.6 per cent in January to March of 2018 compared with the previous quarter, the highest rate since the end of 2009, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.
Compared with last year’s first quarter, property prices rose 1.8 per cent in the first three months of the year, which was the highest since the third quarter of 2008 when the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the US sparked the global financial crisis, the central bank said in a statement on FFriday.The property price index stood in the first quarter at 75, the highest since the end of 2014.
Flat and house prices rose in January to March a quarterly 0.9 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively, the bank supervisor said. Compared with the previous year, apartments and house prices rose 4 per cent and 1 per cent respectively in the first quarter.
“The real estate sector’s recovery is expected to continue over the next quarters,” the central bank said. “This is reflected in economic indicators which continued to recover in the first quarter of 2018. Despite the introduction of value added tax (VAT) on the sale of plots, sale deeds and building permits continued to rise throughout the first quarter”.
Home prices rose in the first quarter in all districts except Larnaca, where they fell marginally, compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, it said. In Famagusta and Limassol, they rose 1.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively. In Nicosia and Paphos they rose 0.6 per cent.
Residential property values rose in January to March compared with the respective period last year in all districts, the central bank added. The highest increase was again in Famagusta with 2.9 per cent, followed by Limassol’s 2.7 per cent, while in Paphos, Nicosia and Larnaca the increase was 2 per cent, 1.2 per and 1.1 per cent respectively.