Buying a property in Cyprus  

WHY CYPRUS?

The Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union as from May / 2004. According to the provisions of Protocol 10 of the EU Accession Treaty the entire territory of the Republic of Cyprus, including the areas that have been under military occupation by turkey since 1974, became part of the EU. The Turkish occupied area in the northern part of Cyprus is an integral pert of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Cyprus. Nevertheless, the application of the EU rules and regulations (the acquis communautaire) is suspended in the occupied areas, as the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control in those areas.

The island of Cyprus is a very attractive destination for the prospective international property investors. Prospective buyers, however, should exercise great caution before exploring property purchases in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus because of potentially serious legal complications related to the rightful ownership and title deeds of the land.

The prospective property investor should consider the many advantages offered by Cyprus, including:

  • Cyprus is a largest island in the eastern Mediterranean and offers diverse scenery and vegetation. Its mild climate is one of the healthiest in the world with 340 days of bright sunshine a year.
  • Cyprus is situated at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa and is easily accessible by ship or plane. The two international airports of Larnaca and Paphos operate daily scheduled flights, as well as charter flights to destinations throughout Europe, the Middle East and the rest of the world.
  • Cyprus is a rich in history and culture. Remnants spread throughout the island bare to its tumultuous history. The cultural scene is also vibrant with festivals, concerts, cinemas, theatre and opera performances, often held in ancient theatres.
  • Cyprus enjoys political stability, a strong economy and currency; the country will be joining the Eurozone by the year 2008.
  • Cyprus offers its residents a low-cost, high standard of living, low taxation rates, international investment opportunities, excellent educational and medical facilities and a very low crime rate (e.g.6% of that of UKs).
  • There is no language barrier in Cyprus as almost everybody speaks English and many Cypriots can communicate in several other languages as well.
  • Getting around is easy as highways link all of the major town and cities and road signs are also in English. The Telecommunications network in Cyprus is excellent and prices are low.
  • There is a very modern, legally sound, stable and credible banking system.
  • Property transactions are regulated by law and a most efficient lands office. The property market is booming and prices are on the rise.
  • There are excellent sports and recreational facilities. The completion in the near future of four new marinas will add to the diversity of water sports and the pending construction of 11 additional international golf-courses (total 14) will place Cyprus at the top of the list in terms of golf courses per person in the Mediterranean.

 

What you need to Know:

  • The immovable property industry is regulated to the benefit of the buyer. For more information, contact the Ministry of Interior (www.moi.gov.cy) The buyer can always seek independent legal advise.
  • It is advisable that contracts for the purchase of property be deposited with the Government Lands and Surveys Department, especially if the property has no title deed and the ownership transfer is not immediate. The deposits must be made within 60 days from the singing of the contract. This acts as an encumbrance (change) on the property for the benefit of the buyer.
  • A professional registered valuer (refer to the Association of Professional Valuers of Cyprus) can provide a written report on the zoning, limitations, prospects and valuation. A valuation report can protect the buyer from purchasing overpriced properties, providing at the same time a useful report for the financiers.
  • If buying through a real estate agent, be aware of the provisions of Law 273 (1) /2004, according to which Real Estate Agents have to be registered with the Estate Agents Registration Council, to take out a professional liability insurance for the minimum sum of CP 100.000 and be in possession of a valid annual license to practice. Before transacting with a Real Estate Agent, ask to see their registration number, annual license and insurance coverage. A Real Estate Agents license is issued only to individuals.
  • Property can be bought directly from a developer. Most developers are members of the Cyprus Land and Building Developers Association.
  • Local Banks offer numerous financing schemes in all currencies.
  • It is recommended that for older property, the services of a civil engineer are acquired to advise on the structural stability of the building.
  • For technical information consult the Technical Chamber of Cyprus, umbrella organization for architects, engineers, quality surveyors, property valuers and town planners at www.etek.org.cy