Buying real estate in Cyprus as a foreigner?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Buying property in Cyprus as a foreigner: a full guide

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, an industry specialist has reviewed and approved the final article.

buying property foreigner Cyprus

Everything you need to know is included in our Cyprus Property Pack

Cyprus, with its picturesque scenery, rich cultural history, and welcoming locals, draws in many foreigners looking for real estate investment opportunities.

Nevertheless, comprehending the complexities of buying property in a foreign country can be daunting, particularly concerning the legal framework and regulations involved.

That's why this guide is here to provide assistance! We'll explain how the property market works in Cyprus in a straightforward and easy-to-understand manner, covering everything you need to know.

Also, for a more in-depth analysis, you can check our property pack for Cyprus.

Can you purchase and own a property in Cyprus as a foreigner?

If you are American, we have a dedicated blog post regarding the property buying and owning process in Cyprus for US citizens.

Foreigners can indeed buy real estate in Cyprus, but there are some nuances and regulations that you should be aware of.

Firstly, foreign buyers, regardless of their nationality, are generally allowed to purchase real estate in Cyprus.

This includes both residential properties like houses and apartments, and commercial properties. However, there are certain limitations and conditions.

Regarding land ownership, as a foreigner, you can own land in Cyprus. But, there's a cap on the amount of land you can buy, which is currently set at around 4,014 square meters. This limitation is in place to prevent mass acquisition of land by non-residents.

Your rights as a foreign buyer are quite similar to those of local Cypriots. Once you purchase a property, you have the same property rights as a local would.

However, the process to get there involves some extra steps compared to a local buyer.

There are no special rules that significantly differentiate based on the country you come from.

However, being a citizen of an EU country might make some aspects of the purchase process a bit smoother, especially regarding the movement and stay within Cyprus.

Residency in Cyprus is not a prerequisite for buying property. You can purchase property even if you don't reside in Cyprus. This opens the door for investments in holiday homes or rental properties.

Regarding visas or permits, as a non-EU citizen, if you plan to stay in Cyprus for a prolonged period, you will need to obtain the appropriate visa or residence permit.

However, buying property alone doesn't automatically grant you residency rights. There are specific investment programs and residency permits, like the Permanent Residency Permit, which can be obtained through significant investment in real estate, but these are separate processes.

You will need specific authorization from the Council of Ministers for your property purchase, which is a formality and usually granted without much hassle.

This is to ensure that your investment aligns with the country's regulations and is primarily a security measure.

There isn't a strict minimum investment requirement for buying property as a foreigner, but as mentioned, investing a larger amount could qualify you for certain residency programs.

Can you become a resident in Cyprus by owning a property?

Become a resident in Cyprus by purchasing and owning property through a specific investment scheme.

This scheme is often referred to as the Permanent Residency Permit program. Let's break down how this works and what it entails.

The key element of this program is the investment in real estate. To qualify, you are required to make a minimum investment in property.

Historically, this amount has been around €300,000, but it's important to check the current regulations as this could be subject to change. This investment typically needs to be in new property, directly purchased from a developer.

In terms of the process, the first step is, of course, selecting and purchasing the property that meets the program's criteria. Once you've made this investment, you can then apply for the Permanent Residency Permit.

Along with the investment, you'll need to prove that you have a stable and regular income sufficient to support yourself and any dependents.

This income should ideally come from abroad, and you'll also need to open a Cypriot bank account and deposit a certain amount of money, which again could vary but has been around €30,000 in the past.

The number of people who have used this scheme is substantial, as it's been a popular route for non-EU nationals seeking residency in a European Union country. The exact numbers fluctuate yearly, but it has attracted investors from all around the world.

Regarding the residency itself, as the name suggests, it's a Permanent Residency Permit.

This means that as long as you maintain the property investment and comply with the other requirements (like not being absent from Cyprus for more than two consecutive years), your residency status remains valid.

As for the path to citizenship, owning property and having permanent residency can indeed set you on a path towards acquiring Cypriot citizenship, but this is a separate process with its own set of requirements and timelines.

Typically, citizenship can be applied for after seven years of residency, but this involves additional criteria like language proficiency and knowledge of Cypriot history and culture.

Thinking of buying real estate in Cyprus?

Acquiring property in a different country is a complex task. Don't fall into common traps – grab our guide and make better decisions.

buying property foreigner Cyprus

Market metrics

You can find fresh and updated data in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Cyprus.

By taking a closer look at the GDP per capita indicator, it becomes apparent that Cypriot people have become 8.8% richer over the last 5 years.

With the population becoming wealthier, there is a likelihood of increased demand for real estate, potentially leading to higher prices in the future.

Looking at the data reported by Numbeo, we can see that residential properties in Cyprus offer yields between 7.1% and 9.8%.

These values for rental yields and monstrate the lucrative potential of investing in this real estate market for a foreign investor.

To know more, you can also read our dedicated article: is it a good time to buy a property in Cyprus?

How foreigners live in Cyprus

Living as an expat in Cyprus can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

With its Mediterranean climate, stunning scenery and friendly locals, Cyprus is a great place to live and work. The country has a strong economy and a high standard of living, making it an attractive destination for those looking to move abroad.

Cyprus is a culturally diverse country, with a mix of Greek and Turkish influences. This means that expats can enjoy a variety of cultural activities, from festivals and concerts to traditional cuisine. The country is also home to some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

The cost of living in Cyprus is relatively low, making it an attractive option for those looking to move abroad. Expats can benefit from low taxes and a range of government incentives, such as tax breaks for businesses. The country also has a strong infrastructure, with good transport links and access to healthcare and education.

The people of Cyprus are friendly and welcoming to expats, and the country is generally safe and secure. Expats will find that the locals are very open to cultural exchange, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the local culture and make new friends.

Overall, living as an expat in Cyprus can be a great experience. With its beautiful scenery, low cost of living and welcoming people, Cyprus is a great place to live and work.

What are the best places to buy a property in Cyprus?

This table summarizes some of the best places to buy a property in Cyprus.

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (EUR) Strengths
Nicosia ≈ 300,000 2,000 - 3,500 Capital city, administrative and financial center, cultural attractions
Limassol ≈ 240,000 2,500 - 4,500 Business and commercial hub, cosmopolitan lifestyle, vibrant nightlife
Larnaca ≈ 80,000 2,000 - 3,500 Coastal city, international airport, beautiful beaches, historical sites
Paphos ≈ 40,000 2,500 - 4,000 UNESCO World Heritage Site, archaeological treasures, resort town
Ayia Napa ≈ 3,000 2,500 - 4,000 Tourist hotspot, sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, water sports
Protaras ≈ 25,000 2,500 - 4,000 Beach resort, family-friendly, crystal-clear waters, coastal cliffs
Troodos Mountains N/A 1,500 - 3,000 Mountainous region, scenic landscapes, hiking and skiing opportunities

Do you need a lawyer to buy a property in Cyprus?

When purchasing a property in Cyprus, engaging a local lawyer can be essential to navigate the legal requirements and ensure a successful transaction.

One important document they can assist with is the Sale Agreement, a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Cypriot lawyer can also help with conducting a Title Deeds Search to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Moreover, they can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permits and approvals, such as approval from the District Land Office or the Council of Ministers.

They will ensure that all relevant taxes and fees, such as the Property Transfer Fees and Stamp Duty, are paid correctly and in compliance with Cypriot laws and regulations.

What are the risks when buying real estate in Cyprus?

We've got an article dedicated to the risks associated with purchasing property in Cyprus.

The main risk when buying a property in Cyprus is the potential for title disputes due to the complex history of the island.

Cyprus has a long history of foreign occupation and the legal system reflects this, with a number of different laws in place to protect the rights of various parties. This means that it can be difficult to establish who owns a particular piece of land or property, and disputes can arise between a buyer and seller about the title.

Another risk when buying a property in Cyprus is the potential for property developers to build on land that is not legally theirs. This is due to the lack of a strong land registry system, meaning that it can be difficult to identify who owns a particular piece of land. This can lead to buyers investing in a property that is not legally theirs, and they risk losing their money if the title dispute is not resolved.

Finally, there is a risk of currency fluctuations when buying a property in Cyprus. The currency of Cyprus is the Euro, which is subject to fluctuations in value. This means that buyers may find that the value of their property has decreased significantly if the Euro depreciates, and they could be left with a property that has lost a significant portion of its value.

real estate Cyprus

Everything you need to know is included in our Cyprus Property Pack

What is the list of documents needed for a real estate transaction in Cyprus?

When buying a property in Cyprus, the documents needed include:

- A valid passport or ID card

- A valid residence permit

- A signed contract of sale

- A title deed

- A property valuation report

- A certificate of encumbrance from the Land Registry

- An energy performance certificate

- A contract for the supply of electricity, water, and sewage

- A contract for the supply of telephone and Internet services

- An application for transfer of ownership to the Land Registry

- A receipt of payment of the property transfer fees

We review each of these documents and tell you how to use them in our property pack for Cyprus.

How can you negotiate effectively with people from Cyprus?

When buying a property in Cyprus, to negotiate effectively, you have to know the local culture.

For example, it is important to understand that personal relationships and trust play a significant role in business dealings in Cyprus. Building a rapport with the seller and showing genuine interest in their culture and traditions can go a long way in establishing a positive negotiation environment.

Agood practice to negotiate effectively would be to demonstrate patience and avoid rushing the process.

Cypriots value taking the time to build relationships and may view hasty negotiations as disrespectful or insincere.

In Cyprus, people usually appreciate face-to-face interactions during negotiations.

They prefer meeting in person and engaging in direct communication to establish trust and assess the sincerity of the buyer. Therefore, it is advisable to schedule meetings and be present during negotiations rather than relying solely on phone calls or emails.

Foreigners usually don't know that, in Cyprus, people often engage in friendly small talk before getting down to business. This informal conversation allows both parties to establish a personal connection and build trust. It is essential to participate in these conversations with genuine interest and respect, as they lay the foundation for successful negotiations.

Can foreigners obtain a bank loan in Cyprus?

Foreigners can get property loans in Cyprus, but the eligibility criteria and requirements vary depending on the lender and loan terms.

To obtain a property loan in Cyprus as a foreigner, you typically need a valid residence permit, a stable income, a good credit history, and may be required to make a down payment of a certain percentage of the property's value.

Some banks in Cyprus that can grant mortgages to foreigners include Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, and Alpha Bank Cyprus.

Furthermore, in Cyprus, mortgage rates for a 20-year term range between 1% and 5%, offering borrowers excellent conditions for securing financing.

What are the taxes related to a property transaction in Cyprus?

Here is a breakdown of taxes related to a property transaction in Cyprus.

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Rental Income Tax Tax on rental income generated from the property A progressive rates of 20-35%, depending on the amount of profit Owner
Sale Tax Tax on the sale value of the property 0.4% of the property sale value Seller
Stamp Duty A tax on the transfer of property ownership Typically 0.15% to 0.20% of the property value Buyer
Value Added Tax (VAT) Tax on the sale of new residential properties 5% VAT for first-time buyers of primary residences, 19% VAT for other cases Buyer
Capital Gains Tax Tax on the capital gain from the sale of a property 20% of the property value and based on the increase in the price of the property Seller
Immovable Property Tax Annual tax on the property ownership Between 0.6% and 1.6% based on the property value Owner
Municipality Tax An annual tax imposed by the local municipality for property owners Varies from 0.1% to 0.2% of the market value of the property Buyer

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Cyprus?

Below is a simple breakdown of fees for a property transaction in Cyprus.

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Transfer Fee Fees for transferring the property ownership Varies from 3% to 8% of the property value, depending on the property value Buyer
Real Estate Agent Fee Fee charged by real estate agents for their services Typically around 3% to 5% of the property value Seller
Legal Fee Fee for legal services related to the property transfer Between 0.1% and 1% depending on the complexity of the transaction and legal practitioner fees Buyer

Buying real estate in Cyprus can be risky

An increasing number of foreign investors are showing interest in Cyprus. However, 90% of them will make mistakes. Avoid the pitfalls with our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Cyprus