Property sales in Cyprus exceeded all estimates in 2014, recording the first year-on-year increase in transactions since 2010.
According to statistics published by the Department of Lands and Surveys, property transactions in 2014 grew by 20% to reach 4,527 compared with 3,767 the previous year.
Cyprus has recovered beyond international expectations as a result of the steady progress made in restructuring its economy, with a projected return to growth in 2015.
So far, Cyprus has passed all evaluations with flying colours and the country - one of the smallest EU member states - is estimated to come out of recession in 2015. After a three-year exclusion, the country's return to international markets sooner than expected has been a significant confidence booster.
Of the 4,527 property transactions in 2014, 74% were bought by Cypriots with the remaining 26% being purchased by overseas buyers.
Cyprus has an open, free-market, service-based economy with a long record of successful economic performance. The country's strong business environment, highly educated workforce and favourable tax regime are set to continue attracting investment in its property market.
The tourist hotspot Famagusta recorded the largest increase in the number of registered sales, from 241 in 2013 to 330 in 2014, an increase of 37%, followed by Limassol (35%) and Larnaca (31%). Nicosia and Paphos both recorded a much more modest increase of just 6% although transactions are expected to pick-up substantially in these regions during 2015.
The Cypriot tourism sector was harshly affected by the financial crisis and the country's proximity to Syria has hampered growth in both tourist and real estate markets to some degree. Visitor numbers still increased marginally in 2014 by 1.4%. Tourists from the UK decreased by 5.1%, Russia by 25.2% and there were 10.4% fewer visitors from Greece whereas there was a surge in visitors from Germany, recording a 24.5% increase during the year.
Tourism is expected to strengthen into 2015 and with property prices at extremely low levels, there are plenty of opportunities for investors to snap up high-yielding bargain properties on this beautiful Mediterranean island.