August saw a 27% increase in the number of property sales in Cyprus compared to the same month last year, according to the Department of Lands and Surveys statistics.
This rise follows an 18% increase in July, a 28% increase in June, and 59% increase in May.
Sales rose in all districts with Limassol leading the way with sales up 56% compared with August 2016. Sales in Nicosia (the capital) rose by 19%, and sales in Paphos rose 18%.
“The Cyprus economy is currently growing at a rate of 3.5% of the GDP per year, much higher than the EU average, and the outlook remains positive,” Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told the Cyprus International Investment Summit that took place in Limassol earlier this month.
Experts are attributing the increase in property sales largely in part to a favorable economic outlook.
The other factors include property tax incentives, government’s citizenship programme (which is attracting hundreds of non-European Union buyers every year since its introduction in 2013), an increase in relatively cheap available debt funding and improving banking system.
According to a report published in The Guardian, Cyprus is ‘selling’ citizenship to rich foreigners under the program without proper security checks carried out on applicants by the authorities.
Many of these rich foreigners include businessmen who are facing corruption charges in their own countries.
The government of Cyprus has raised more than €4bn (US$4.75bn) since 2013 by providing citizenship to the super rich, granting them the right to live and work throughout Europe in exchange for cash investment. More than 400 passports are understood to have been issued through this scheme last year alone, according to the Guardian.