To print this article, all you need to do is be registered or log in to Mondaq.com.
Here is a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of buying property in Cyprus.
Cyprus has become an attractive place to live, which has led to an increasing number of foreigners choosing to settle on 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 booming economy and safe environment make it the ultimate hub for business and family relocation.
The Immovable Property (Registration, Registration and Valuation of Land Rights) Act, Cap 224 governs all matters relating to the registration of property. There are no restrictions for EEA and EU citizens regarding the purchase of property. The same applies to legal persons having their registered office in Cyprus or in any other European Member State.
Non-EU citizens also have the right to own property in Cyprus after obtaining approval from the Council of Ministers and signing a sales agreement.
CONNECTED COSTS AND FEES for Buying Property in Cyprus
Buying a property can be a long and financial commitment that requires careful planning.
Some of the costs involved in the buying process usually fall on the buyer:
Duly signed agreements for the purchase of the property must be taxed with stamp duty. This stamp duty can be paid at any district tax department. No stamp duty applies for the sale of properties with a value of less than €5,000. For purchases up to €170,860, stamp duty is calculated at 0.15% of the purchase price. For properties with a value greater than €170,8600.20% stamp duty applies.
- Sales contract filing fee
A fixed 50 € the rate is payable to the District Land Registry Office upon filing of the Bill of Sale with the Land Registry Office.
Cadastre transfer fee (and title deed issuance fee)
Transfer fees are payable by the purchaser directly to the District Land Registry Office when title to the property is transferred into the purchaser’s name. They are calculated on the basis of the market value of the property in the land register and not on the purchase price. Transfer costs do not apply when the purchase of the Good includes VAT (they may apply if the purchase price is lower than the real value of the Good). They are calculated according to the percentages below and, in accordance with the regulations in force, are reduced by 50%.
|VALUE OF THE PROPERTY 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 land without accommodation (exceptions may apply). The Buyer currently has the possibility of requesting a reduced VAT coefficient of 5% for the first 200 m2 of the Property, provided that he is residential and that it is his first and main residence in the Republic. A specific request must be submitted to the VAT administration.
Lawyers or legal representatives vary in real estate transactions. Our company aims to offer competitive and reasonable fees for our full range of services. For a detailed quote, please contact a member of our firm.
A sale may involve a real estate agent.
Estate agents in Cyprus generally charge 5% on the purchase price for their services. Depending on the case, either the Seller or the Buyer makes this payment.
Mortgages for non-Cypriots
Cyprus has an open real estate market. Mortgages for EU and third country nationals can also be granted to purchase property in Cyprus. The mortgage application process usually takes 1-3 months until the loan is approved, as all requested documentation is provided to the Bank.
For assistance in obtaining a mortgage from a bank in Cyprus to acquire property in Cyprus, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our firm.
FIND A PROPERTY WHERE TO BUY IN CYPRUS
To make an informed decision, you must thoroughly investigate the real estate market. This real estate market investigation may include researching the local press, consulting real estate agents and checking online.
You can start by listing the characteristics and priorities you have regarding the property, keeping in mind the following:
- Type of property / Real estate
- If he already has a title deed
- Location and price
- Number of bedrooms & bathrooms
- Parking and storage spaces
- Age of property
Although not necessary, most buyers choose to consult with a law firm or real estate agent. This way, you can have a team of professionals to guide you through every step of the process.
The most crucial step before a real estate purchase is to undertake the proper due diligence.
It is crucial to cross-check if the property is free of any encumbrances, if it has a clean title deed and if it complies with building permits and building permits.
Encumbrances on the property and any non-compliance issues could prevent the issuance and transfer of the respective title deed. It is also important to undertake due diligence research on the potential seller.
Our team of real estate law professionals pride themselves on offering expert due diligence services to secure your rights and interests in a potential property purchase.
NEGOTIATION OF THE PURCHASE OF A PROPERTY AND A CONTRACT OF SALE
Provided that the relevant due diligence has taken place and a purchase price has been agreed, the negotiation of the terms of the sales contract and the method of payment can take back and forth, for which it is recommended to ask for a judicial advice. Our full range of property and real estate law services include drafting and reviewing the sales contract and negotiating its terms on your behalf with the seller or their legal representatives. As soon as the Sales Contract is signed, our team of lawyers undertakes to apply the corresponding stamp duty and to file the said Contract at the Land Registry Office on your behalf in order to guarantee the maximum security of your rights as Purchaser.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP
As a final step, after duly signing and filing a sales contract, title to the property you have purchased will need to be transferred to your name. This transfer is complete after booking an appointment and submitting the relevant application and supporting documents (our team can advise you further on the full list) at the District Land Registry Office. On the day, any balance of the purchase price will be settled, while the transfer fee (if applicable, as explained above) must be paid at the Land Registry Office. The Cadastre will then transfer ownership of the Property while issuing a title deed in the Buyer’s name.
FEES APPLICABLE AFTER TRANSFERRING A PROPERTY TO CYPRUS
Once the transfer process is completed, the owner of real estate in Cyprus is liable to pay the following taxes/duties:
- Municipal taxes which consist of an annual municipal tax of 0.015% to 0.025% on the value of the property, a waste tax and other municipal charges: the price varies from €85 to €500 depending on the size of the property and is payable to the municipality or community concerned. Council of your Property;
- The sewerage tax, which is approximately 0.05-0.065% of the value of the property, is payable to the sewer board for the district of the property.
- Water and electricity bills payable to Water Board and Electricity and Communications Authority.
- There is no property tax (cancelled since 2017 and beyond). There are no inheritance rights.
- Capital gains tax (currently 20%), triggered on subsequent sale.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Property and construction in Cyprus