Here is a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of purchasing real estate property in Cyprus.
Cyprus has become an attractive place to live, leading to an increasing number of foreigners choosing to move to the island. Its warm climate, rich culture and history and blue flag beaches create an ideal environment for an enjoyable life. At the same time, its rising economy and safe environment make it the ultimate hub for business and family relocation.
The Immovable Property (Tenure Registration, Registration, and Valuation) Law, Cap.224, regulates all related matters to property registration. There are no restrictions for EEA and EU citizens towards buying Property. The same applies to legal entities headquartered in Cyprus or any other European member state.
Non-EU citizens are also entitled to own properties in Cyprus after obtaining approval from the Council of Ministers and signing a Sale Agreement.
CONNECTED COSTS AND FEES for Purchasing a property in Cyprus
Buying a property could be a lengthy and financial commitment which requires careful planning.
Some of the costs entailed in the purchase process typically burden the Purchaser:
- Stamp duties
Duly executed Agreements for the purchase of Property should be imposed with stamp duty. This stamp duty can be paid at any District Inland Revenue Department. No stamp duty applies for selling properties worth less than €5,000. For purchases up to €170,860, stamp duties are calculated at 0.15% of the Purchase Price. For properties with a value over €170,860, 0.20% of stamp duty applies.
- Sale Agreement deposit fees
A fixed €50 rate is payable to the District Land Registry Office when depositing the Sale Agreement with the Land Registry Office.
Land Registry Transfer Fees (and title deed issuance fees)
Transfer fees are payable by the Purchaser directly to the District Land Registry Office when the Property's title deed is transferred to the Purchaser's name. They are calculated based on the Land Registry's market value of the Property and not on the Purchase Price. Transfer fees do not apply when the purchase of Property includes the VAT (they may apply if the purchase price is lower than the Property's actual value). They are calculated as per the below percentages and, according to the current regulations, are reduced by 50%.
|PROPERTY VALUE IN €||%|
|Up to 85.000||3|
The current VAT rate in Cyprus is 19%. VAT generally applies to newly developed residential properties, commercial properties and plots of land with no lodgings (exceptions may apply). The Purchaser currently has the option to apply for a reduced 5% VAT coefficient for the first 200 m2 of the Property, provided it is residential, and it is their first and primary residence in the Republic. A specific application must be submitted to the VAT Authorities.
- Legal fees
Lawyers or legal representatives vary in Real Estate transactions. Our firm aims to offer competitive and reasonable fees for our complete spectrum of services. For a detailed fee quote, please get in touch with a member of our firm.
- Estate agents' fees
A sale may involve a Real Estate Agent.
Real Estate Agents in Cyprus usually charge 5% on the Purchase Price for their services. Depending on the occasion, either the Seller or the buyer completes this payment.
Mortgages for Non-Cypriots
Cyprus has an open real estate market. Mortgages for EU and non-EU nationals may also be granted to purchase a property in Cyprus. The procedure of applying for a mortgage usually takes 1-3 months until the loan approval, considering that all the requested documentation is provided to the Bank.
For assistance in securing a mortgage with a bank in Cyprus to acquire Property in Cyprus, please feel free to contact a member of our firm.
FINDING A PROPERTY OR REAL ESTATE TO BUY IN CYPRUS
To make an informed decision, you must thoroughly investigate the property market. This investigation of the property market may include searching in the local press, consulting estate agents and checking online.
You can start by listing the characteristics and priorities you have regarding the Property, having in mind the following:
- Type of Property / Real Estate
- Whether it already has a title deed
- Location & Price
- Number of bedrooms & bathrooms
- Parking & storage spaces
- Age of Property
Although it is not necessary, most buyers choose to consult a law firm or an estate agent. This way, you may have a team of professionals to guide you through every process step.
The most crucial step before a property purchase is undertaking the relevant due diligence.
It is crucial to cross-check whether the Property is clean from any encumbrances, whether it has a clean title deed and if it complies with any planning permissions and building permits.
Burdens on the Property and any non-compliance issues could prevent the issuance and transfer of the respective title deed. Also important is to undertake a due diligence search on the potential Seller.
Our team of real estate lawyer professionals take pride in offering expert due diligence services to secure your rights and interests in a potential purchase of Property.
NEGOTIATING THE PURCHASE OF PROPERTY & SALE AGREEMENT
Provided that the relevant due diligence has taken place and a purchase price has been agreed upon, negotiating the Sale Agreement terms and the payment mode may take some back and forth, for which seeking legal advice is recommended. Our full scope of real estate and property law services includes drafting and reviewing the Sale Agreement and negotiating its terms on your behalf with the Seller or their legal representatives. As soon as the Sale Agreement is signed, our team of lawyers undertakes to apply the relevant stamp duty and deposit the said Agreement at the Land Registry Office on your behalf to ensure the maximum security of your rights as a Purchaser.
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY
As a final step, after duly executing and depositing a Sale Agreement, the title deed of the Property you purchased will need to be transferred in your name. This transfer is complete after booking an appointment and submitting the relevant application and supporting documents (our team can advise further on the full list) to the District Land Registry Office. On the day, any balance of the Purchase Price shall be settled, while transfer fees (if applicable, as explained above) will need to be paid to the Land Registry Office. The Land Registry shall then transfer the ownership of the Property while also issuing a title deed in the Purchaser's name.
APPLICABLE COSTS AFTER THE TRANSFER OF A PROPERTY IN CYPRUS
After the transfer process is completed, an owner of Property in Cyprus is liable to pay the following taxes/dues:
- Municipality taxes which consist of yearly municipal tax of 0.015% to 0.025% on the Property's value, refuse tax, and other municipality fees: The price ranges from €85 to €500 depending on the Property's size and are payable to the relevant Municipality or Community Council of your Property;
- Sewerage tax, which is approximately 0.05-0.065% of the Property's value, is payable to the Sewerage Board of the Property's District.
- Water and electricity bills payable to the Water Board and Electricity and Communications Authority.
- There is no property tax (annulled since 2017 and forwards). There is no inheritance tax.
- Capital gains tax (currently 20%), triggered on a subsequent sale.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.