Below are some of the most common questions asked by investors who are considering the merits of north and south Cyprus for their next property investment.
Can foreign nationals own property in Cyprus?
Foreign ownership of property in Cyprus is unrestricted in the south and the purchase procedure is as straightforward as in any other EU country.
In northern Cyprus property ownership has limitations. Land is measured in donums. Foreign nationals cannot buy more than 1 donum of land (1,338 square metres or approximately 14,000 square feet) for one property. However this area of land will satisfy the majority of our clients. However should you wish to purchase a large piece of land, this can be easily be done by adding members of your family as the owners, or by forming a local company to buy the land in its name.
Why should I choose Cyprus?
- The property market is one of the fastest growing in European Union. Prices in some areas are increasing by an annual average of 20%.
- Property prices are still lower than in many other European countries, particularly in the north.
- Increase in the number of golf properties available. Golf property prices fetch up to 40% more.
- Comparatively low tax rate, including a Double Tax Treaty with southern Cyprus and the UK.
- Capital Gains Tax of only 20% and Corporation Tax for Cypriot limited companies (through which you can own your property) at only 10%.
- UK pensions can be received tax free in Cyprus.
- Foreign residents permanently residing in Cyprus pay only a 5% flat rate of income tax.
- 340 days of sunshine a year make it a comfortable and enjoyable place to live.
- High standard of living, with good facilities, including top class golf courses.
- Low cost of living.
- Comparatively low crime rate and friendly people.
- Excellent medical facilities, education and offshore business advantages.
- Tourism is predicted to grow by 4.6% over the next 10 years, contributing some 13.9% to the country´s GDP by 2014.
- British based legal system, where English speaking lawyers abound.
- British based banking system in southern Cyprus, making choosing mortgages and managing your money similar to “back home”.
- Member of the Eurozone from January 2008.
- Northern Cyprus is set to join the EU when Turkey meets the requirements.
- Very efficient land registry with straightforward and well administered procedures.
What is the economic and political situation?
Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided into the government-controlled southern two thirds of the island and the remaining one third in the northern part, administered by Turkish Cypriots. This governs the economic and political situation of the island.
Shortly after founding the Republic, serious differences arose between the two communities about the implementation and interpretation of the new constitution. The Greek Cypriots argued that Turkish Cypriot interests were obstacles the efficient running of their government. Since a military coup in 1974, UN peacekeeping forces have maintained a buffer zone between the two sides. Apart from the occasional demonstration or incidents between soldiers, the island has remained completely free of violent conflict.
Today, North Cyprus will need to reach political settlement with the south and Turkey will need to resolve the North Cyprus situation in order to enter the EU.
How do we travel to Cyprus?
Travellers arriving in the Republic of Cyprus may enter the Republic only through the legal ports of entry: Larnaka and Pafos International Airports, or the ports of Larnaka, Lemesos (Limassol), and Pafos.
Border Checkpoints – As a peace measure to aid the unification of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots it was agreed that various crossings should be opened along what is known as the Green Line. The Green line is what serves as the current partition of Cyprus separating the Island into North and South Cyprus. At present there are 5 active checkpoints that can be used for crossing the Green Line in Cyprus. There are plans to open more but after the opening of the last crossing, Zohdia efforts to open new checkpoints have slowed considerably.
Turkish North (TRNC) – Ercan is the main airport in the North and direct flights available from Turkey as well as from the UK (London, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin). Ercan is 20 minutes drive to Nicsia (Lefkosa) and 30 minutes to Kyrenia (Girne). Connnections from Turkey are at Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Adana and Antalya.
Republic of Cyprus (south) – The two major international airports with direct flights to the UK are located at Larnaca and Paphos.
What is the direct flying time from UK to Cyprus?
It takes approximately 5 ½ hours to fly direct from the UK to both north and south Cyprus.
Is a visa required to enter Cyprus?
Entry requirements for UK nationals: British nationals must have a valid passport. For holders of passports endorsed British Citizen or British Overseas Territories Citizen, a visa is not required for a stay of 90 days, provided the visit is for tourist purposes only. In all other cases a visa is required, and passports must be valid at least three months beyond the period of intended stay. However, it is advisable to hold a passport valid for six months beyond period of the intended stay.
Turkish residents can visit North Cyprus, but entry to South Cyprus is prohibited to them (unless they marry a Turkish Cypriot).
Entry to North Cyprus – The citizens of European Union nations, Turkey, USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Israel, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
All other nationals should check the requirements with the nearest Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Embassy. Visitors have their passports stamped at the arrival checkpoints of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. If you travel from North Cyprus to South Cyprus, a visa form needs to be completed and stamped at the border checkpoints. This paper visa form is loosely inserted into the passport and stamped either upon departure or arrival in North Cyprus.