Property ownership in Cyprus

Cyprus Property Ownership
Foreign property buyers are entitled to the freehold ownership of their property in Cyprus. Cyprus joined the EU in 2005 and therefore any EU citizen does not require a work permit in order to work in Cyprus.

Cyprus Mortgages
Mortgage companies in Cyprus are currently undergoing a period of change meaning it is getting ever easier for foreign investors to get a mortgage. Typical loan amounts of Cyprus properties is around 60-80% of the purchase price with repayment periods ranging from between 10 and 20 years.

Cyprus Property Deeds
When a sale has been agreed, the transfer of the property ownership is a simple process which takes place through the Cyprus Land Registry Office. You can do this in person, or by the power of attorney (where your solicitor will go through the process on your behalf). Foreign buyers must however provide evidence of currency exchange to prove that the purchaser has funds available before the registration can take place.

All foreign purchases must have prior permission from the Council of Ministers, however this is largely a formality and does not normally pose a problem for foreigners who wish to buy a property in Cyrpus.

The contract of the sale must be made in writing. To protect the rights of the buyer, the contract has to be registered at the District Land Registry office within 60 days of from the beginning of the contract date. The new title deed will then be registered in the purchaser’s name and will also be recorded in the Government archive.

Cyprus’ Legal System
The legal system and Land Registry in Cyprus is loosely based on the British systems. This makes both systems fairly advanced and reliable, and helps to make purchasing Cypriotic property secure and easy. Much of the paperwork associated with the property purchase will be written in English.

The Banking System
It is easy for foreign investors to open foreign currency and local deposit accounts at local Cyprus banks. It is advisable for foreign investors to have opened a bank account and spoken to their local bank before purchasing a property.

There are many different banks in Cyprus to choose from – international, national and local. You may wish to see if your normal bank has a branch in Cyprus.

Cyprus Residential Permit
It is easy to gain a residents permit when you have purchased a property in Cyprus. To obtain a residents permit, you must show that your family is self supporting which means having an income of around about £5,000 per person. The application for permanent residence can ve made at the local immigration office.

Working in Cyprus
EU citizens do not require a work permit
Non-EU citizen must have a work permit before they are allowed to work in Cyprus.

Property Taxes
Property transfer fees are charged when a property gets registered with a new owner. The following charges apply:
Value up to C£50,000 3%
C£50,001 C£100,000 5%
C£100,001 and over 8%

If the purchase is over C£50,000 and made in joint names the value for is halved.

Stamp Duty is paid at the time of signing the contract. Stamp duty rates are:
Up to C£100,000 = C£1.50 per C£1,000
and thereafter = C£2 per C£1,000

Local authority taxes and rates depend on the size of the property. As a guide, budget around C£100.

Immoveable property ownership tax (an annual tax) is calculated on the market value of the property as at 1st January 1980. It is calculated by:
Up to C£100,000 exempt
C£100,001 – C£250,000: 2%
C£250,001 – C£500,000: 3%
Over C£500,000: 3.5%

Capital gains tax is set at 20%, and there is a tax free allowance of C£10,000. There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus.

If you are moving to Cyprus to start up a business, the low corporation tax of 10% is an attractive proposition. To qualify, you must have the management and control of the company taking place on the island.

If you are retiring to Cyprus, you will be exempt from all withholding taxes at source although you may be taxed at 5% after your £6,000 allowance (per person).

Cyprus has the double taxation treaty meaning that residents will not pay tax in both countries. This means you can take advantage of the low tax rates in Cyprus.

Weather & Climate
Cyprus is one of the sunniest countries in the Mediterranean with year-round sunshine and warm sea temperatures. It also boasts skiing up in the mountains as well as long stretches of beautiful beaches.

– Over 40 major airlines fly into Cyprus’ two main airports, Larnaca and Paphos.
– There are two major ports – Limassol and Larnaca.
– You must drive on the left hand side of the road
– There are modern roads and motorways linking most major cities.

The official language of Cyprus is Greek. Most of the population speak English, so communication problems are generally not an issue. All road signs and most shop signs will be written in English.

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  1. From Cyprus Property Buying Area Guide | Overseas Property Buying Guides | Buying Property in Cyprus | Buying Foreign Property | May 7, 2009

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