Purchasing properties in Cyprus is relatively simple compared with many other countries.
Foreign buyers are entitled to FREEHOLD ownership of a villa, an apartment, or a piece of land.
Cyprus joined the EU in 2005 and therefore EU citizens do not require a work permit to work in Cyprus.
The financial institutions of Cyprus have undergone (and are still undergoing) a lot of changes. This is making mortgage finance easier for foreigners to get and with more attractive terms.
Banks offer all the usual facilities to assist in the purchase of Cypriot property. The typical loan amount is between 60% - 80% of the property value. Repayment periods are usually between 10 - 20 years.
There are occasionallyguaranteed rental schemes available on new property in Cyprus to.
When a sale takes place the transfer of property ownership is a simple procedure through the Cyprus Land Registry Office. It is usually done in person or by someone with Power of Attorney (the solicitor).
Foreign purchasers must provide evidence of the foreign exchange transactions for the money used to purchase the property before registration can take place.
The Council of Ministers’ permission is required for all foreign property purchases. This is largely a formality and does not present a problem to respectable foreign property buyers.
The contract of sale must be in writing and to protect the buyer’s rights to the property the contract needs to be registered at the District Land Registry office within the sixty days from the contract date.
The new title deed will be registered in the name of the buyer and recorded in the Government archive.
The buyer may sell or dispose of the property at any time as long as a valid contract exists.
The legal system in Cyprus is based on the British legal system. The land Registry in Cyprus is also based on the British system and it is one of the most advanced and reliable systems in the world.
This makes purchasing property in Cyprus very secure.
Contracts and paper work relating to a property transaction are in English.
Banks in Cyprus are efficient, modern and well equipped with the latest technology.
Foreigners can easily open foreign currency and local deposit accounts. It is also advisable to visit a bank to discuss opening an account before leaving the island if a property has been purchased.
There are an increasing number of international banks with branches in Cyprus; check with your local branch before visiting Cyprus to get the address.
Credit cards are widely used in Cyprus.
Cyprus uses the Cypriot Pound, often depicted by C£ or CYP.
1 Cyprus pound = 100 cents.
Bank notes are: £1, £5, £10 and £20.
People who have purchased property and who are living in Cyprus can easily obtain a residents permit. A person must show that he/she and their family is self supporting by having an income of C£5,000 per person. The following documents must accompany the application:
The application for permanent residence can be submitted to the local immigration office in the area of residence.
Non European Citizens must have a work permit in order to work in Cyprus.
EU Citizens do not require a permit.
A property transfer fee is charged when a property is registered in a persons name, it is charged at the following rates:
Value up to C£50,000 3%
C£50,001 C£100,000 5%
C£100,001 and over 8%
For example if the purchase price is CYP 80,000
1st C£50,000 3% = C£1,500
next C£30,000 5% = C£1,500
If the purchase is over C£50,000 and made in joint names the value for is halved:
For example if the purchase price is C£ 80,000
1st C£40,000 3% = C£1,200
next C£40,000 3% = C£1,200
Stamp Duty is paid at the time of signing the contract as follows:
Up to C£100,000 = C£1.50 per C£1,000
and thereafter = C£2 per C£1,000
Taxes and rates depend on the size of the property. As a general guide they will be approximately C£60 -180 per year. This tax is for refuge collection, street lighting, sewerage, etc.
Immoveable property ownership tax is calculated on the market value of the property as at 1st January 1980.
It is calculated as follows:
Up to 100,000 exempt
100,001 – 250,000 2%
250,001 – 500,000 3%
Over 500,000 3.5%
Capital gains tax in Cyprus is 20%. There is a tax free allowance of C£10,000.
There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus.
For people considering moving to Cyprus to start a business the very low 10% Corporation Tax is a great incentive. To qualify the business must have management and control taking place on the Island.
People retiring to Cyprus are exempt from all withholding taxes at source and may be taxed at the nominal rate of just 5% after the allowance of C£6,000 per person.
Cyprus also has double taxation treaties with many European countries, safe-guarding its residents from paying tax in both countries. Therefore citizens of countries with these agreements can take advantage of the very low tax rate in Cyprus.
Cyprus enjoys one of the healthiest climates anywhere on the globe.
It is the sunniest island in the Mediterranean with 340 days of sunshine per year and boasts the warmest sea temperatures.
People typically swim in the sea from April until December.
Cyprus is one of the few Global locations where it is possible to ski in the mountains and swim in the sea in the same day.
Approximately 40 major airlines fly to Cyprus.
Cyprus has 2 international airports at Larnaca and Paphos.
There are major ports for freight and cruise ships in Limassol and Larnaca.
A major attraction to UK property buyers is that Cyprus is very similar to the UK in many ways, for example:
Driving is on the left in Cyprus
Modern new roads and motorways link major towns and Cities.
Telecommunications and Internet technologies are amongst the best in the world.
This has been an important factor in establishing the island as an offshore business centre.
In the year 2000, over 1200 international business companies were operating from Cyprus.
The postal service is efficient and reasonably priced.
Cyprus provides a good standard of living and yet it is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in.
There is the choice of local markets and modern supermarkets in most towns with wide selections of brand names and convenience foods.
The low cost of living in Cyprus compared with the UK is a major attraction to the Island.
Greek is the official language of Cyprus.
Over 80% of the population speak English as Cyprus was once a British colony.
All road signs, directions and shop signs are written in English.
Other European languages are becoming more widely spoken as tourism increases.
The crime rate in Cyprus is very low at just 1/6 th of the European average.
The health service in Cyprus is modern, high quality and inexpensive. A doctors visit costs around C£15.00.
Private medical insurance is also available from approximately C£170.00 per annum. Most doctors in Cyprus are trained in the UK or USA.
Cyprus has a number of private international schools where children can study in English and an English curriculum.
Alternatively the standard of education in Cyprus is very high and there are many schools and colleges.
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