Purchasing real estate in Cyprus as a foreigner

Whether you’re seeking for a place to spend extended summer vacations or retire to Cyprus, the attractiveness of Cyprus’ mediterranean climate and golden beaches makes it an appealing second home for Brits.

Purchasing property in Cyprus necessitates meticulous planning to ensure that everything goes properly and that any possible hazards are avoided. Our comprehensive guide on buying property in Cyprus is available to assist you. It includes all you need to know about the real estate market, mortgages, and fees, as well as the actual purchasing procedure.

We’ll even look at some of the most appealing areas on the island that you may call home, as well as the best ways to finance the costs of overseas property. We hope that this guide will be a good place to start if you’re thinking about buying a home in Cyprus.

What is the state of the housing market in Cyprus?

The property market in Cyprus is divided into two distinct sections: the urban centres of Nicosia, Limassol, and Larnaca, and the coastal resort areas of Paphos and Famagusta, which are in high demand among expats seeking sun.

The market was doing far better than it had in a long time up to 2022, after three years of strong improvement.

1. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the country’s economy, as well as the property market.

According to the Quality Home Developers February 2022-Cyprus Real Estate Market Report, total sales contracts in 2022 were 7,968 compared to 10,366 in 2019, a 23 percent decrease.

This has had an impact on the island’s housing supply and demand. Prospective international purchasers, on the other hand, might take heart: according to the survey, apartment prices remain stable, appear to be unaffected by the pandemic, and are predicted to recover quickest.

While things are still unknown, experts polled for the Cyprus Real Estate Pulse study (December 2022) believe that availability to finance, market confidence, international travel, and investment will all play a role in the short-term performance and recovery of the Cyprus property market.

Can foreigners purchase real estate in Cyprus?

In a nutshell, yes, foreigners can buy property in Cyprus. Furthermore, compared to many European countries, it is easier to do so here. Portugal is another country where it is easy to buy real estate as a foreigner too. 

EU nationals can buy property in Cyprus without any limitations. It is still feasible for UK citizens, however the rules have altered slightly since the UK exited the EU.

After Brexit, buying property in Cyprus

UK citizens are permitted to purchase one freehold property in Cyprus. The property can be an apartment, house, or villa on a construction site or a plot of land with a maximum size of 4,014 square metres.

The purchase of a second property (such as a vacation home) may be permitted in particular cases. UK citizens interested in purchasing property in Cyprus should be advised that after Brexit, they will be limited to 90 days in any 180-day period. You’ll need to apply for a visa if you want to remain longer.

Importantly, the buying procedure has changed for post-Brexit customers. You must apply to the Council of Ministers for authorization to purchase a property before entering into a sale, and title deeds will not be delivered to you until approval is granted. While it’s a formality and it’s unlikely that your application would be denied, you’ll need a clause in the contract that spells out what will happen if permission is denied.

The application can take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete. You won’t be able to rent or lease property, buy a share in a property, or buy a home in joint names if you’re not married.

What is the average price of various homes in Cyprus?

Property prices vary greatly depending on where you are on the island. The nation’s capital, Nicosia, and the trendy wine-making region of Limassol, for example, are more expensive than others. It also matters how close you live to the city centre, as it does in many towns.

We’ve put together some approximate rates per square metre to give you get a sense of how affordable property is in some of the most popular destinations:

In the city centre, location and price per square metre

  • €2762.50 Limassol
  • €1771.43 Nicosia
  • Paphos, €1700
  • €1575 Larnaca
  • €864.33 Famagusta

The finest places in Cyprus to buy real estate

There are appealing houses to be found all around the island, so where you decide to buy will be determined by the type of lifestyle you choose.

Do you want city culture with a view of the sea, for example? Larnaca might be the place for you. Or do you simply wish to live near the nicest beaches in Cyprus? It’s be that Famagusta is more to your liking.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular British expat hotspots so you can get a sense of life on the island:

  • Paphos is a major tourist destination with a thriving expat community. It has a lot to offer, including a beautiful harbour, a historically significant old town, and beaches. It has a local international airport that makes frequent travel easy.
  • Famagusta: Located on Cyprus’ east coast, it boasts some of the island’s best beaches, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and watersports. Ayia Napa is also in this area. It is now a renovated, family-oriented resort that was once known for its clubs.
  • Limassol, Cyprus’ second largest city and the seat of the Limassol district, is located on the island’s southern coast. The Limassol area is well-known as the heart of Cyprus’s wine industry.
  • On the west coast of Cyprus sits Larnaca, the country’s oldest city. It mixes culture and beach life, and because it offers the best of both worlds, it is a popular tourist destination. It also has a big international airport, so getting there is simple.
  • Nicosia: Cyprus’ capital city is 50 kilometres from the coast, and it is a flourishing metropolis with its ancient centre, spectacular Venetian fortifications, bustling shops, museums, and art galleries. Nicosia may be the best option for individuals who enjoy city life.

A step-by-step guide to buying property in Cyprus as a foreigner

The procedures for purchasing property are comparable to those in the United Kingdom, with a few exceptions. The major steps are listed below.

  • If you’re not a cash buyer, look into mortgages and loans first to see how much money banks are ready to lend you before you start looking chevalier.
  • To ensure that your interests are protected, use a local lawyer who is independent from the developer/vendor and estate agent participating in the transaction.
  • Begin your home hunt by visiting websites like Rightmove Overseas.
  • It’s critical to visit a home in person once you’ve located it to ensure that the condition matches your expectations.
  • Make an offer: Once you’ve discovered a property you like, contact the estate agent to make an offer.
  • Request approval to purchase the property from the Council of Ministers in writing.
  • Sign the sale contract, which the vendor will also sign.
  • Money should be transferred.
  • Complete the sale once authorization is given and finances are validated, the property will be registered in your name.

How can you avoid traps while buying a home in Cyprus?

There are several things to look out for and steps to take during the home purchase process to help you avoid mistakes.

  • Developers frequently take out mortgages on land or property, for which you would be liable if they went bankrupt while you were under contract to buy it. Appoint an impartial lawyer to confirm that no mortgages have been placed on the land before to buying, so that you don’t run into problems afterwards. Request a land search certificate from the Land Registry through your lawyer.
  • Be warned that purchasing property in Northern Cyprus involves considerable risk. Due to claims of title coming from persons displaced in 197410, property ownership in the north is frequently challenged. Purchasing such a property may lead to legal action. If you want to buy in the north of the island, you should rent first to familiarise yourself with the market. A qualified lawyer can also assist you in obtaining a property with the appropriate type of irrefutable deeds.

In Cyprus, how can I secure a bank loan or a mortgage?

The good news is that if you need a mortgage to help you buy a home in Cyprus, you can receive one from a Cypriot bank. However, it is connected with a level of risk (especially property in north Cyprus), therefore you’ll need a professional international mortgage broker to get you the ideal financing for your needs.

When you’re ready to apply, be prepared to demonstrate that you’re a low-risk borrower. Prepare to show your passport as identification. If you’re self-employed, you’ll also need to show proof of income in the form of recent paystubs, personal bank statements, or audited accounts. You’ll also need documentation of any other investments, such as stocks, bonds, and pension funds. A property valuation report will be required by the lender.

Your mortgage application may be granted if the lender determines that your finances and the property in question are in order. Once you’ve been accepted, let your lender know when the funds will be disbursed.

What taxes and fees will I be required to pay?

Keep the following additional costs in mind when planning your purchase:

  • Transfer fees range from 3 to 8%.
  • Stamp duty is calculated based on the price of the property and ranges from 0.15 percent to 0.20 percent.
  • VAT is 19 percent.
  • 0.10-1 percent legal charge

The vendor usually handles the estate agency fees, so you shouldn’t have to pay them.

You now have all of the information you require to begin your search for the ideal location in sunny Cyprus. Make sure to hire impartial lawyers to help you conduct thorough inspections of your property so that the procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Best wishes in your search!

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