Cyprus: Obtaining housing and purchasing property

With the help of jspkg Real Estate, you will be able to buy and sell real estate in Cyprus at the best possible price.

If you’re considering relocating to Cyprus, you should first consider what you hope to gain from the move.

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Buying Property in Cyprus – A property’s Guide to Cyprus

Property-buying advice

Buying property in Cyprus could be exactly what you’ve been looking for if you’re looking for that dream vacation house abroad or simply looking to invest in a foreign property. Cyprus, or the Republic of Cyprus as it is officially known, is a member of the European Union and one of the major Mediterranean islands located south of Turkey. For many years, the British have considered this island to be a personal favorite. Cyprus has everything that somebody might possibly want, regardless of their taste or choice. It features year-round sunshine, scorching temperatures, white sand beaches with brilliant turquoise waters, and a culture and way of life rooted in history and tradition… A huge draw is the laid-back ambience and exotic Mediterranean vibe.

With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that many Britons are considering buying a second property in Cyprus, whether for retirement or investment purposes.

Another reason for the popularity of this wonderful island among Brits is that English is extensively spoken there.

Many people feel more at ease and confident about establishing roots there because of this.

Cyprus has the allure of being a home away from home.

The jspkg foreign property buyers guide includes a lot of crucial points that you should think about if you’re thinking about buying property in Cyprus as an investment or a Cypriot vacation home abroad.

Purchasing Real property in Cyprus

However, the most significant advantage of purchasing property in Cyprus from an investment standpoint is the country’s favorable tax policy, which attracts many retirees.

Foreign pensions are currently taxed at a maximum rate of 5%, which is unheard of in other countries.

Cyprus, like all EU countries, had a massive surge in property development before to the global economic slump, and the country prospered with new investment and housing prospects popping up everywhere.

Similarly, the housing boom in Cyprus has halted due to the consequences of the downturn, as it has in many other countries.

Cyprus, on the other hand, appears to be recovering faster than the rest of the world, with newly built residences and certain off-plan constructions resuming their popularity.

Property interest in Cyprus is slowly but steadily increasing… With this in mind, now might be the best time to buy that dream home for a fraction of what it would have property before the crash.

What are the Best Places to Buy Property in Cyprus?

If you’re serious about buying a property in Cyprus, you’ll need to start looking into the many areas and types of property that are available… However, we feel that the areas of Lanarca, Limassol, and Paphos will not disappoint.

PAPHOS REAL property BUYING

Paphos, in particular, offers numerous benefits to first-time property buyers in Cyprus.

First and foremost, it has a major international airport within half an hour of its center, which is a huge benefit if you want to rent out your property to holidaymakers and visitors to Cyprus.

Paphos, on the island’s west coast, also has beautiful golden sand beaches and a plethora of tourist attractions to keep visitors occupied during their stay.

Paphos, for example, will not disappoint you if shopping and dining out are high on your wish list.

It boasts outstanding utilities and several tourist attractions while still retaining the exquisite Mediterranean charm for which Cyprus is known.

On the outskirts of Paphos, you’ll find a slew of charming fishing villages and harbors that are popular with Brits and ideal for those seeking a more laid-back lifestyle.

Few homes are available for purchase here, primarily because they have already been picked up or are held by residents.

If you want to buy a house in Paphos, your best choice is to buy a new build property in a purpose-built hamlet, which will almost always be cheaper.

That is not to mean that you should abandon your search for a property in a traditional Cypriot village.

Many people locate their dream property in this gorgeous region — it’s all about timing and a dash of luck.

HILLS OF APHRODITE

Aphrodite Hills, which overlooks the mythological goddess of love’s birthplace, and Minthis Hills are two more areas to consider for a property purchase on the island.

Of course, Aphrodite Hills is one of Cyprus’ most exclusive neighborhoods, with a plethora of tourist attractions and activities around.

It’s a €150 million resort that opened in 2005 and continues to be as popular today as it was when it initially opened.

HILLS OF MINTHIS

The island’s Minthis Hills region is likewise proving to be a desirable location to live.

Minthis Slopes blends natural beauty with luxurious apartments in the picturesque hills of Tsada town.

The Procedure for Purchasing Real property in Cyprus

Isn’t it amazing how all of this sounds?

But how do you go about making your Cypriot dream home a reality if you’re serious about buying property in Cyprus and have located your ideal home?

Before you get caught up in the excitement of it all, take a step back and educate yourself on the Cyprus property market, property laws, the purchase procedure, and more.

Because it is a distinct country from the UK, it will have different laws, rules, and regulations governing the purchase of real property.

You should also conduct extensive research to ensure that you are purchasing in the best location for both your personal needs and financial potential… Finally, and perhaps most crucially, you must determine whether you can genuinely afford this property investment.

Can Foreigners Purchase Real property in Cyprus?

After you’ve mastered the local rules, regulations, legal processes, and secured financing, the first practical step is to determine whether you’re allowed to buy property in Cyprus.

Many countries throughout the world have very strict laws about who can own property in their country, so this will need to be investigated before any property purchase can be made.

Fortunately, as a member of the EU, there are no restrictions on EU citizens purchasing property in Cyprus.

Understanding the Legal System in Your Community

Another significant benefit is that Cyprus’ laws are based on English law, which means that the property buying process will be recognizable to property investors from the United Kingdom, making the transaction less stressful and transparent.

Deposit Agreement for Reservations

After you’ve selected your desired holiday property in Cyprus and agreed on a price with the owner or their representative, you’ll need to sign a Reservation Deposit Agreement and pay a deposit.

The deposit amount is not set in stone and may vary based on the property and other factors, but as a general guideline, it should be at least 1% of the purchase price, and this money will be paid subject to contract.

The property will be removed off the market for a predetermined amount of time after this Reservation Deposit Agreement step is completed or is at least in progress.

Conducting Legal Research

During the period the property is not on the market, your solicitor will do all essential searches to ensure that the property title is clear and free of any concerns.

A attorney will use this time to ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell and that the property is not linked to any debts or shady deals, just as they do in the UK.

The Purchase Agreement

If your solicitor’s searches turn up nothing, the property selling process can forward to the ‘Contract of Sale’ step.

During this crucial step, the buyer has a fixed amount of time to make payment to the seller.

After full payment has been received, the property is almost ready to be taken possession of, with just a few minor formalities to be worked out.

Following this stage, the property’s title deed will be transferred from the seller to the buyer.

The Procedure for Selling a property… Just like in the United Kingdom!

To reiterate, Cyprus is in high demand not just because of its white sandy beaches, crystal blue seas, culture, laid-back lifestyle, and exotic Mediterranean aura, but also because the entire property purchasing and selling process is very similar to that of the United Kingdom.

This means that most of the time when buying property in Cyprus, things are fairly clear cut and transparent, so there’s less risk of being caught out by a local rule or regulation, and you can spend more time focusing on your prospective property purchase and making it work for you, rather than getting to grips with an unfamiliar and difficult-to-understand property legal system.

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PROPERTY CYPRUS BUYER GUIDE

GUIDE FOR BUYERS

Whether you are purchasing property to meet the requirements for citizenship by investment or permanent residency, it is critical to be aware of potential dangers as well as the additional fees. Hiring an experienced real estate lawyer helps keep you from making the same mistakes that others have made. Purchasing a home is a huge investment, and the finer parts of the transaction must be carefully considered.

The first step is to ensure that the property is free and clear of any liens. It may be the property of a divorced couple, or it could be the subject of an inheritance dispute, or it could be the subject of a mortgage, in which case the house would belong to the bank. A qualified real estate attorney will undertake all essential investigations to ensure that the property you are about to purchase is fully available.

After that, you’ll have to work out the commission you’ll pay the agency you’re buying the property from. There may be ‘hidden’ commissions that you are unaware of, so read everything you sign carefully. In addition to the house price and commission, the amount of VAT due, transfer fees, stamp duties, immovable property taxes, and, of course, legal fees must all be considered.

Transfer fees are due at the time the property is registered in your name at the Lands Registry Office. The fee will be determined by the property’s worth and whether it was purchased in multiple names. If the property is purchased jointly and in two names, the value will be divided between the two, and both parties will save money on these costs because the calculation will be based on 50% of the property’s worth. With the exception of EU nationals who live in Cyprus continuously, transferring property to a foreigner will require the approval of the Council of Ministers.

If you are purchasing a home in a gated community with multiple homes, be aware that the developer may have mortgaged the entire property in order to obtain a bank loan for the development. If you buy a house without having your lawyer conduct a due diligence search on the property, you could be in serious danger if the developer goes bankrupt. This happens, unfortunately, not only in Cyprus, but all throughout the world. It is the buyer’s responsibility to avoid falling into this trap. You essentially need to know that once you’ve paid the whole sum for your property, you’ll receive a free and clear title deed.

If you are requested to pay a deposit to secure the property of your dreams, make sure it is specified clearly in a written contract that this amount would be removed from the purchase price, and find out what you would be entitled to if the deal falls through. In fact, be sure that everything you’ve discussed with the seller or developer is written down to avoid any future disagreements. Because saying something and doing it are two different things, be sure you sign a legally enforceable contract that spells out everything that was agreed upon.

Keep in mind that a Contract of Sale must be stamped and registered at the Land Registry office within the timeframe required by law; failing to do so may result in the loss of certain legal rights.

If you are purchasing a luxury villa in Cyprus and will not be living there for the entire year, you should consider hiring a property management firm to look after the property while you are away. Find a reliable company and make certain that all of your requirements are written down in a legally binding contract. You must also ensure that your home and its belongings are covered by comprehensive insurance.

Another factor to consider while purchasing a home in Cyprus is your Will. Cyprus has unique regulations regarding a deceased person’s estate; a specified percentage of the estate belongs to the husband, and the remainder is shared among the children. If this is not what you want, make sure you have a Will drawn up by a lawyer so that your family is protected the way you want them to be in the sad event that something happens to you.

Cyprus Holiday Homes for Sale

There are listings for coastal homes, flats, houses in rural areas, and everything in between when it comes to properties for sale in Cyprus. Cyprus is a lovely island with wonderful weather all year, making it a tempting option for a second home, retirement in the sun, or as an investment for rental potential.

Cyprus Commercial Real Estate For Sale

Find commercial real estate for sale in Cyprus, such as hotels, retail outlets, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and other business opportunities. We usually offer a diverse selection of commercial real estate for sale in Cyprus, with listings from local agents.

Cyprus Land for Sale

A plot of land in Limassol or a house in Paphos? Whether you’re looking for land for a home or a business, Cyprus has plenty of options, and because to favorable town planning incentives, the depth and height of developments are usually friendly.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BUY PROPERTY IN CYPRUS?

In comparison to other European countries, the procedure of purchasing property in Cyprus is quite simple

There are no limits on foreigners purchasing property in Cyprus, as long as the right documents is provided and the applicant does not have a criminal background.

Non-Cypriots must apply to the Council of Ministers for authorization to purchase property, and granting permission is almost certain if they meet the following criteria.

Taking up residence in freshly purchased residences before authorization is obtained is not restricted. It’s also worth noting that permission to purchase a property in Cyprus is only allowed for personal use; renting out your property for profit is prohibited.

  1. EU residents can buy property in Cyprus without any restrictions as long as they commit to living in the country for the next five years.
  2. Permanent inhabitants of the EU do not required to apply for permission to purchase property.
  3. EU citizens who are not residents of Cyprus must obtain authorisation from the Council of Ministers before purchasing property.
  4. Non-EU citizens are permitted to purchase up to 4,014 square meters of land or one house or apartment.
  5. Offshore businesses can buy real estate for their operations or houses for their overseas personnel.
  6. EU legal organizations with headquarters in Cyprus and offices established in Cyprus do not require approval to purchase real estate.
  7. To purchase any property or legal entity, Cypriot legal entities managed by EU nationals outside the country must obtain authorisation from the Council of Ministers.

The approval of the Council of Ministers is required

Requirements

  • It is necessary to apply in person or through a lawyer.
  • Completed application form
  • Personal and financial history, as well as information about your present residence
  • Proof that you have never been convicted of a crime in your home country
  • The specifics of the property that is being purchased
  • Information about the current owner or developer
  • Contract of sale and payment terms
  • buyer’s passport photocopy

Non-residents who have purchased property in Cyprus are not permitted to rent it out to tourists for a property. To put it another way, permission is granted for your own personal residence, but you are not permitted to become a landlord and rent out your residence on a short-term basis. The only legal option to get around this is to register your property as a holiday residence with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). This is a lengthy and demanding process, and certain rules and regulations must be followed in order to be considered for registration by the CTO. Applications can only be made on detached homes, and if this is what you want to do, you should hire a lawyer because whether you acquire a permit or not, you will still have to pay for the procedure, which may or may not result in nothing if your property turns out to be unfit. If your home is authorized, you must also consider the expense of renting it out, as you will be subject to income tax and a monthly charge to the CTO of 3% of the estimated income.

You can, however, rent your property to cyprus on a long-term basis. Even if you receive your rents from outside of Cyprus, the revenue you receive from renting out your property will be taxed in Cyprus.

Despite the fact that renting out your property is unlawful, many people appear to be letting friends and family to stay in their homes while they are away. Nobody can say if they pay for the use of the house, but no one can prevent you from providing the keys to friends or family. This is how many people get away with renting out their homes without facing legal consequences. The Cypriot government does not enforce this issue severely because it does not want to discourage possible investments in Cyprus, and it is also not such a bad thing to have visitors staying in these houses on a short-term basis because they bring in much-needed cash.

Residency and visas

You will be entitled to stay if you were a legal resident of Cyprus or if you can establish that you arrived in Cyprus before January 1, 2021.

You will have a MEU1 or MEU3 residence document if you registered as a resident before January 1, 2021. A MEU2 will be issued to non-EU family members. In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the Cypriot government introduced a new residency permit for UK nationals and their family members on January 1, 2021. You have the option to receive this new document if you are registering for the first time.

If you have been a legal resident of Cyprus for the following periods of time:

You will be eligible for permanent residency and a 10-year renewable residency document after five years (MUKW3)

You will be eligible for a document with a 5-year validity if you have less than 5 years (MUKW1)

A MUKW2 document will be available to non-EU family members.

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Buying a property in Cyprus? Here’s what you need to know

Consider this advise while buying a property or a timeshare in Cyprus.

If you’re thinking of buying a property in Cyprus, keep in mind that the legal system and procedures may differ significantly from what you’re used to in the UK. This information is meant to be used as guidance when acquiring a property or timeshare in Cyprus.

The best advice for buying a property in Cyprus

  1. When it comes to buying and renting out property, do your homework and obey the rules in your area.
  2. Always acquire written confirmation of what was agreed upon during any negotiations, and always demand a paper (rather than an electronic) receipt for any money paid.
  3. Verify that the seller or property developer has the property or land’s title deeds and may transfer them to you. Check sure the title deeds for the property in question exist before buying new or partially built from a developer.
  4. Verify that the property or land’s deeds have not been used as security for any loans.
  5. Check to see whether the owner has any overdue utility bills, local tax requests, or other obligations that you may be responsible for if you buy the property.
  6. Verify that all utilities, such as water, sewage, and electricity, are connected and ready to use.
  7. Before buying, speak with other property owners in the area or on the development to see if there are any difficulties you should be aware of (such as floods in winter, lack of water or electricity supplies in summer)
  8. Request that the developer show you some of the projects that he or she has done, and speak with property owners in these developments to see if they have experienced any issues.
  9. Determine if the developer has any outstanding commitments to utility providers for the provision of water, sewage, electricity, and other services to the development.

Consider making a will in the country where you hold your Cyprus property to ensure that individuals you want to inherit your property and assets do so, as inheritance laws in Cyprus may differ from those in the UK. After you’ve completed your due diligence, ask yourself if you’re confident that you can proceed with the acquisition of the property in question without facing any issues. If not, double-check everything.

Seek legal guidance from a third party

Many property owners have troubles because they did not seek independent legal advice and instead relied on lawyers and translators/interpreters who were recommended by the estate agency or developer and, in some circumstances, acted for both sides. Appoint an independent English-speaking lawyer with experience in property sales who is also licensed to practice.

Check to see if your lawyer is covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Make use of a freelance translator/interpreter

If you don’t speak the language of the country where you want to buy, make sure that all contracts and essential papers are translated by an impartial translation, and that you have an interpreter with you at all meetings. Use a translation or interpreter who has been recommended by the agent or lawyer with caution.

Mortgages

Do your homework: examine and compare a variety of products and services offered by various lending institutions. Do not automatically accept the seller’s or their agent’s mortgage recommendation. Inquire with the lender if you have any questions about the terms and conditions.

Look for the mortgage that is best suited to your talents and requirements. There are a variety of mortgages available, and you should pay close attention to the interest rate and payback length, as well as the expenses for setting up the mortgage, early repayment, and cancellation fees.

Make certain you completely comprehend the mortgage agreement before you sign it.

Consider the impact of local currency fluctuations versus the euro, as well as how any changes may affect your interest rate increases on your repayments.

Added expenses

There will be a variety of extra charges besides the purchase price when acquiring a property in Cyprus, just as there will be if you were buying a property in another country.

  1. Fees for a financial adviser to handle your tax affairs in both Cyprus and the United States. If the property is sold, you may be liable for tax.
  2. a chartered surveyor or a quantity surveyor’s fees
  3. Fees for a mortgage broker, an arrangement or opening charge, and an administrative cost for the bank to appoint a representative to manage payment of taxes and inscription of the title in the property register are all examples of mortgage fees.
  4. Fees for foreign bank transfers should be discussed with your bank ahead of time.
  5. Fee for bankers’ drafts and bank-guaranteed checks, which you should discuss with your bank ahead of time.
  6. costs for obtaining a power of attorney if one is needed
  7. Costs of furniture, shipping, and insurance
  8. Fees for making a will, which may be required in some countries.
  9. Fees for translation
  10. Fees for water, sewage, power, and other utilities

Following the purchase of the property, there will be a variety of continuing fees, which may include:

  • Property tax on an annual basis
  • Fees for garbage collection and mains drainage
  • Non-resident income tax or income tax
  • If your home is part of a bigger estate development, you may have to pay community fees.

Buying a property before it is built

Buying an off-the-plan property entails a larger level of risk than buying a property home.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about buying an off-plan property or one that’s still being built:

  1. Make no payments to the developer or anybody else unless you have a bank guarantee.
  2. If the construction is not started or completed within the deadline mentioned in the contract, or if the habitation certificate is not obtained, make sure the sales contract you sign with the developer indicates the developer’s commitment to reimburse all advanced money plus interest to the purchaser.
  3. Before making any payments on the property, double-check the terms of the bank guarantee.
  4. Before making any payments, make sure the financial institution is authorized to give financial assurances in the jurisdiction. Please confirm this information with an independent local lawyer/financial adviser.
  5. Keep copies of any receipts stating the precise amount you have paid when making stage payments.
  6. Keep copies of all documents related to the property purchase and the developer’s responsibilities in case the property isn’t finished and you need to execute the bank guarantee.

If the developer has broken the contract and you wish to cancel it, get independent legal advice.

What to do if something goes wrong

Those who have been duped

If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud and do not have an insurance policy or bank guarantee, you should get independent legal counsel before filing a lawsuit in court.

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Real estate outlook gloomy, Nicosia bucks trend

Real estate experts are pessimistic about the sector’s prospects, citing a drop in home sales compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Property sales in Cyprus fell by 17% in the first seven months of 2021, compared to the same time in 2019, prior to the coronavirus epidemic in March 2020.

Despite a 31 percent increase in property sales compared to the same time in 2020, analysts say that this is insufficient to reverse the industry’s bleak outlook.

According to Angelos Constantinou of BNP Paribas/ Danos Real Estate’s research department in remarks to the Financial Mirror, a decrease of 17 percent may not seem like much given that the business experienced one blow after another in 2020, but when one looks at the breakdown, disillusionment sets in.

“Essentially, the decline was mitigated by a 46 percent rise in real estate transactions in Nicosia, mostly home purchases.

“Sales declines in high-performing districts during the boom are now reporting losses of up to 45 percent,” Constantinou added.

According to Land Registry statistics, the overall number of sale documents was 5365 from January to July, up from 4097 in the same time previous year but down from 6456 in the first seven months of 2019.

The greatest decline, 45 percent, happened in Paphos, where sales papers decreased from 1646 to 904 in the first seven months of 2021 compared to the same time in 2019.

Limassol had a 26 percent drop in sales, with 1673 in the first seven months of 2021 compared to 2273 in 2019.

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In Larnaca, 843 property transactions occurred in 2018, compared to 929 in 2019, representing a 9% decline. In Famagusta, the decline was 14 percent.

Sales documentation fell to the lowest level since 2016 in 2020, at 7968 units, down from 10366 in 2019, a 23.1 percent fall year on year.

The decline in sales, according to Constantinou, is mostly due to the coronavirus and the death of the Citizenship for Investment scheme, which produced €8 billion in real estate.

Following a ‘gotcha’ Al Jazeera film claiming corruption in the ‘golden passports’ scheme, the government pulled the plug in November.

The undercover film showed high-ranking officials eager to help a Chinese businessman with a shady history acquire a Cypriot passport.

The video also showed how government employees would help to expedite the passport procedure while ignoring the applicant’s criminal past.

The Al Jazeera film sparked a public outrage and resulted in the resignations of the House Speaker and an AKEL MP.

“Obviously, the dissolution of the CIS was the most significant hit to the sector, but the coronavirus epidemic only made matters worse in 2020,” Constantinou claimed.

According to him, low visitor arrivals meant that many homes purchased by investors hoping to benefit from renting them to tourists made their way back into the market, lowering prices and interest in new properties.

“The same is true for housing units in Paphos, where 30 percent of properties are owned by British expatriates who often rent out their homes during the hot summer months that they would prefer spend at home.”

According to Constantinou, it is customary for Britons to rent out their houses over the summer.

“We are now seeing a number of these houses for sale since their owners are either unable to go to Cyprus as readily owing to COVID or are having difficulty renting them out to make ends meet.

“There are no visitors, thus there is no demand for this type of home rental.”

“These houses on the market have an impact on pricing, but they also have an impact on construction because individuals wanting to purchase a property will be drawn to a home that is already built.”

According to the property expert, the situation is no better in Limassol, where development projects have been halted due to developer concerns that demand would dwindle.

He stated that developers are expecting to reap the last CIS fruits, as 784 passport applications submitted by foreign investors prior to the scheme’s formal cancellation have still to be reviewed.

“However, in light of recent scandals involving questionable investors obtaining Cypriot passports, processing their applications is likely to be a lengthy process that may go until 2022.”

Developers have received down payments from these investors, which are nearly as good as cash in the bank, but their applications must be accepted before the acquisitions can be finalised and recorded with the Land Registry.

According to the statistics, sales to locals accounted for 67.3 percent of all sales in 2021, while sales to international customers accounted for 32.7 percent of total sales.

Sales to locals were 1660 in the first seven months of 2020, and 2902 in 2019.

Real estate sales grew by 5% year on year in July, compared to a 43 percent rise in June and an 81 percent increase in May.

In July, sales to foreign purchasers climbed by 16.7 percent year on year, reaching 314 from 269 in July 2020 and 429 in July 2019.