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Slight pick up in property sales in Cyprus, latest figures show

On the face of it they show an increase of almost 30% last month compared with February 2009, but this represented just 704 contracts of sale, some 60% down on transactions in the same month in 2008.
Prices have been falling and some developers are offering discounts of up to 30% as an incentive to buyers and this has what is attracting people, according to Solomon Kourouklides, president of the Cyprus Real Estate Agents’ Association. But he added that these opportunities cannot go on for much longer and the real estate market faces a levelling off and perhaps even further dips.
'The latest increase is attributable to the opportunities in the market. Many Cypriot individuals and investors have bought properties from non-Cypriots or Cypriots who cannot pay off their loans. But these opportunities will run out. If the economic parameters remain the same, we believe that the market will remain at the save level as in 2009, while there is a possibility of a slight deterioration,’ he explained.
Meanwhile officials have taken the first steps towards a new law that will allow other European estate agents to operate in Cyprus.
A new draft law is to be put before Parliament to bring the island’s existing estate agent’s laws into line with other EU countries. It has been prompted by an EU inquiry that said Cyprus’ restrictive practices penalised estate agents from other EU member states wishing to practice on the Island.
Changes to the existing law relate to the establishment of companies as real estate agents, the professional qualifications of real estate agents, the provision of services by real estate agents situated in other European Union member states and the examination that EU real estate agents must take if they wish to settle in Cyprus.
It will mean that EU agents will be able to register with the Estate Agents Registration Council providing they prove that they have a minimum of five years experience in the industry. A copy of the draft law has also been sent to the European Commission