Buying Property In Cyprus
Pathos has seen the greatest rise in prices with more foreign buyers than ever flocking to the area to snap property up before Cyprus enter the European Community. Land in Pathos is more expensive than any other place in Cyprus; properties here tend to be about 25% more expensive than other regions. According to local estate agents, property prices have risen by upto 30% over the last 2 years. The market is very fast, resale properties only stay on the market for a couple of weeks. New developments are easier to find, but once again developers sell most of the units before the building is even finished. Resale properties are handled much the same way as in the UK with a valuation taking place and the agent’s fees agreed before the property is marketed. Paphos is the best town for rental returns as the airport is nearby with many UK carriers. Also it’s a 12 month season, there’s a large volume of tourist traffic plus good resale potential. Rental returns average 5-8%. Also since Cyprus has joined the EU, mortgages in CYP are worth considering, for once the financial institutions can offer more reasonable packages better for pure investors. Permission to purchase a property must be obtained from the Council of Ministers by written application. The non-Cypriot purchaser must submit this after the agreement has been signed. However, the permission is granted more or less as a matter of course to all bona fide buyers. In the meantime purchasers may take possession of their property without restriction. By law, a non-Cypriot in Cyprus is not required to hold a permanent residence permit, but they are easy to obtain once certain requirements are fulfilled. You need to submit an application and provide proof that you and your family are self-supporting. The application for permanent residence may be submitted to the local immigration office in the area of residence.
The legal fees usually charged by a lawyer are approximately CYP 500 and cover the admin costs of the Sale Agreement and General Agreement. Stamp duty is due at the time of signing the contract. This is levied at the rate of CYP 1.50 per CYP 1,000 up to CYP 100,000 and thereafter at the rate of CYP 2 per CYP 1,000. The purchase contract must be stamped within 30 days of its dated signature or a fine will be imposed. Transfer of ownership from vendor to purchaser is accomplished by a simple procedure through the land registry office. The contract of sale must be in writing, and it is advisable that such contracts be registered at the District Land Registry Office within 60 days from the contract date. When issued, the title deed will be registered in the name of the buyer and will be recorded in the government archives these are confidential and will not be published or made accessible under any circumstances. The transfer of the title can be effective once the Council of Ministers permission is obtained along with confirmation of receipt of the foreign funds. Upon transfer and registration in the purchasers name the district Land Registry Office will charge transfer fees which are based on the market value of the property at the time of purchase, as follows: Value up to CYP 50,000 – 3%, value of CYP 50,001 CYP 100,000 – 5% and value of CYP 100,000+ – 8%.