However, it may be premature to go into panic mode, as figures for January 2012 were arguably skewed, thanks to a rush to deposit contracts of sale in a bid to benefit from the reduction in Property Transfer Fees. What's more, while the country is struggling to recover from the end of the housing boom that halted in 2008, there are signs that the sector is on the brink of a resurgence.
The Cypriot residency scheme is beginning to attract more and more foreign buyers, with China expected to be particularly active. Christos Mavrellis, managing partner with Chrysses Demetriades & Co LLC, told the China Daily in January that Asian developers are planning to buy land in Cyprus or enter into joint ventures with local developers to build homes for Chinese people. Figures showed that Cyprus had received 590 applications from Chinese developers to build homes in the country at the end of 2012.
Nonetheless, others aren't as convinced about the prospect of Cypriot recovery in the near future. While January 2013 figures were expected to be lower than the year previous, they were noted as being at the lowest monthly level on record. Cypriot Property News reported that sales were down in all areas in January, with Nicosia the hardest hit (-75 per cent). Sales also fell by 74 per cent in Famagusta, 70 per cent in Larnaca and 55 per cent in both Limassol and Paphos.