The Cyprus property market is experiencing a mini-boom as Cypriots rush to buy property before rising construction costs hit the market and expose the Ukraine to war.
The first five months of 2022 saw the highest number of sales filings since 2008, according to data released by the Land Registry Office.
There were 5,090 sales documents submitted to the land registry from January to May, compared to 3,577 in the same period last year, an increase of 42%.
Compared to the same period in pre-coronavirus 2019, there was an increase of 5%.
At first glance, the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia did not affect the demand for real estate, despite fears that sanctions would deprive Russians of the right to buy property in the EU.
Real estate appraiser Polis Kourouchides told news site Stockwatch that demand from foreigners and locals is strong despite the war and economic turmoil caused by rising inflation.
“It turns out buying real estate is the best way to protect wealth from inflation,” Kurowsides said.
He added that some buyers may have rushed to buy apartments and houses before rising construction costs are passed on to consumers.
According to the data, Paphos saw the biggest increase in property sales, with 1,080 transactions completed in the first five months compared to 601 in the same period last year, up 79.7%.
It is followed by Limassol with a 61.9% increase in sales, reaching 1758 from 1086.
Property sales in Larnaca also rose by 58.3% and by 13.1% in the Famagusta Free Zone.
The capital recorded the smallest increase in real estate sales – only 0.4%.
Compared to last year, the total increase recorded in May was 50%, as 1,143 sales documents were submitted to the Land Registry.
Approximately 10,347 sales documents were submitted in 2021, up from 7,968 in 2020, up 29.9% year-over-year.
According to the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC), the annual cost of building materials rose by 17.3% in March compared to last year.
Cyprus also has the highest inflation rate recorded in four decades, reaching the 9.1% level recorded in February 1982 in May.