We have answers to many of your questions regarding buying property in Cyprus, and if we don't, we know the people that do! If you have a question that is not listed here, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help. Q- Who can purchase property? Since Cyprus gained entry into the EU on May 1st 2004, all EU citizens have the right of free movement, to live and work in Cyprus without restrictions as long as they have an EU passport. This includes freedom of home ownership and investment properties. The Central Bank of Cyprus requires that when buying property in Cyprus the property must be paid for with external funds. Bank transfers and personal cheques are accepted for buying property in Cyprus. Foreign currency loans for non-Cypriot citizens can be arranged. Loan Conditions for buying property vary from one bank to another, however a loan for 60-80% of the property's value is usually granted. The repayment period is generally a maximum of 10 or more years. All EU citizens have the right of free movement, to live and work in Cyprus without restrictions as long as they have an EU passport. This includes freedom of home ownership and investment properties. Non EU Residents:
Can buy one house or apartment.
Can buy land not exceeding 4014 square meters.
Can not own any shares in a company dealing with property.
Do not have a criminal record.
Q- Are there any tax advantages if I live in Cyprus? Since the Cyprus joined the EU it has become somewhat of a Tax haven. UK citizens upon becoming a Cyprus tax resident can receive up to 70% off their income tax bill. You must declare your worldwide income in Cyprus then the UK government does not require you to pay more.
Q- What taxes and fees do I pay during the purchasing process? Fees in Cyprus consist of a small stamp duty charge, the amount of which is calculated on the purchase price. If the property has title deeds, then you will need to pay the transfer fees to have the deeds transferred into your name(s). The fees to be paid are calculated on the purchase price, and the number of names the property is to be registered in. When you take possession of the property you will have connection fees for the utilities - electricity, water and telephone. You need also to allow for lawyer's fees, which are usually around 1% of the purchase price. There is no agent fee paid by the buyer.
Stamp duty is calcuated as follows: €2.56 per €1.708.60 euro for the first €170.860.00 and €3.417 per €1.708.60 euro for any amount above the €170.860.00. Q - What is a cancellation agreement and is there a fee? If a property does not have title deeds then a cancellation agreement is drawn up that cancels the contract between the developer who still holds the deed and the seller. Then a new contract is drawn up between the developer and the new buyer. A fee is charged for the existing contract between the original buyer of the property and the developer to be cancelled. This is a cost of selling without deeds and is undertaken by the seller. The cost is generally 3% of the original purchase price but depends on the developer. When buying a property without deeds you may be able to cap a future possible cancellation fee at around 500 Euros in your contract when you purchase. Q- What steps are involved in buying a property in Cyprus? 1. You will sign a Contract with the persons or company that owns the property you have chosen.
2. The Contract then needs to be stamped. This costs €1.50 per €1000 of the Contract value. When the Contract has been stamped, it will be deposited at the Land Registry within one month. This process secures the Purchasers rights.
3. As a foreign investor you have to provide proof of foreign currency to secure the purchase. It must be transferred to the Cyprus Central Bank from an external account. Or cash can be brought in by hand but, this should be declared at the airport.
4. Once the monies have been imported, approval will be obtained from the Central Bank. This approval will also be required by the Land Registry prior to the Title Deed of the chosen property being registered in your name.
5. If the property is sold in the future, imported funds can then be exported in total plus any profit to the value of £10,000 per annum.
6. An application will need to be made to the Council of Ministers for permission to own property in Cyprus. Transfer of ownership (Title Deed) cannot take place until this is received. This application will require details of the property and the personal and financial status of each applicant. This permit usually takes approximately six (6) months to complete so it is advisable that the application is made in advance.
7. When the permit is received from the Council of Ministers and assuming the Title Deeds are issued (in the case of new property) then the transfer can take place. Q - Can I get a mortgage? Depending upon your residency determines the minimum amount you will need to provide for a deposit. Cyprus residents can get a 80% mortgage, EU residents are required to place a minimum deposit of 20% to 40%. For non-EU residnets, the minimum amount of deposit is usually 30% - 40% of the purchase price. Arrangement fee: All of the banks charge arrangement fees. Most charge 0.75% to 1.0% of the amount of the mortgage. It is advisable to check because each bank differs. Repayment term: This is often as little as 10 to 15 years, but up to 30 is often available and occasionally longer. Q - Is it true that the VAT paid on the purchase of a property can be refunded? Yes a 10% refund applies for permanent residences who are first time buyers after ownership of 5 years provided that the house is under 250 square meters in size. Q - How do we calculate property transfer fees? The purchase price is usually the market value and the fees are based on the market value of the property.The first 85,430 Euro is charged at 3%, the next 85,430 is charged at 5% and any amount over 170,860 Euros will be charged at 8%. An example of a house valued at 200,000 is calculated:
85,430 at 3% = 2562.90
85,430 at 5% = 4271.50
29,140 at 8% = 2331.20
Total tax fee = 6833.40
Q - How much is the capital gains tax if I decide to sell my property? You are required to pay 20% on the differance between the sales price and the price you originally purchased the property plus inflation during the period. There is an allowance of 17,086 Euro per owner and 34,172 Euros if a couple deducted from the resale price. If you are a permenant residant in Cyprus and lived in the home for 5 years then the allowance is 85,430 Euros Q- How do I find the market value of a home? When you find a home that you are interested in or if you are thinking of selling, then a certified appraiser should be used to evaluate the property. We can by recommending someone to you or we can help by telling you what recent similar properties in the same area have sold for. Q - How is the education system in Cyprus? Cyprus has a highly developed education system with both state and private schools available. In Cyprus, almost 7% of the GDP is spent on education making it one of the top three spenders on education in the EU. Public schools are in general seen as equivalent in quality of education to private schools. There are many locals that send their children to private English speaking schools as they know their children will be competing for university spots. Also, most children in private and state schools take extra private lessons to keep abreast or ahead of the intense lessons. Almost 80% of Cypriot students are studying at a university abroad. Cyprus also has the highest percentage of citizens (working age) with higher education in the EU. Q -Where can I find information on importing or exporting pets to Cyprus? Paphiakos and CCP Animal Welfare can provide information and advice on import and export of domestic pets and animals. Tel: 26 946 461 Fax: 26 222 236. Or see the Ministry of Foregin Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus website for more information. Q- How is the transportation system in Cyprus? Public transport comprises of bus services, taxis, and 'shared' taxi services that are locally known as service taxis and much less expensive than a private taxi. Private car ownership is the 5th highest per capita in the world. Traffic moves on the left hand-side of the road, not on the right. Driving can be dangerous with winding roads and some agressive drivers so be alert at all times since Cyprus has a high fatality and accident rate despite increased police patrols and hefty fines. Extensive plans are underway to expand and improve bus services and restructure public transport throughout Cyprus - the work on this is still ongoing but improvements have been notable. The main harbours are in Limassol and Larnaca that service cargo, passenger, and cruise ships.There are two international airports, one in Paphos and a larger in Larnaca - both have recently been renovated (2009). Q - Where can I find up-to-date statistics on the cost of living in Cyprus? One of the best sources we have found is from the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus. On this site you can see prices and inflation, economic factors, tourism statistics, labour and much more useful information.