Acquisition of real estate in Cyprus

Acquisition of real estate in Cyprus

Cyprus’ geographical location between Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, together with a well-established legal, banking and accounting infrastructure, make local and foreign businessmen invest in real estate. An essential advantage of the Cypriot legal system is the protection of property without discrimination. This means that under Cypriot law, Cypriot citizens and foreigners can enjoy all the rights related to the ownership of their property without any interference from the state or individuals. In addition, Cyprus has been a member state of the EU since 2004 and adopted the Euro in 2008. As a result, acquiring real estate in Cyprus has become easier.

Cypriots and EU citizens:

Under Cypriot law, Cypriots and EU citizens in Cyprus can acquire any property without restrictions.

Non-EU citizens:

For non-EU nationals, there are restrictions on the type and size of real estate they can buy. More precisely, citizens of non-EU countries can buy a house/apartment/plot/land up to 4.014m2. It should be emphasized that non-EU nationals can also purchase a shop provided that the shop will only be used for business purposes. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that Cypriot companies whose shareholders are non-EU nationals can obtain business offices and housing for their foreign employees, provided they maintain a full-fledged office.

Under the provisions of the Acquisition of Immovable Property (Foreigners) Act (Cap.109), non-EU nationals wishing to purchase immovable property in Cyprus must apply to the District Office of the area where the property is located.

The applicant must submit the following documents/details along with the application:

• Form Comm 145 completed and signed

• Sale and purchase contract

• Financial status (ie bank statement)

• Data about the property and the current owner

• Terms of payment and method of acquisition

• A copy of the passport of the applicant and his/her spouse. In case the spouse does not have the same surname as the Applicant, then a marriage certificate is required to be submitted

• Copies of state geodetic plans

The approval/denial letter from the District Office may take approximately up to six months. Nevertheless, the Applicant may in the meantime undertake processing of the immovable property he has purchased.

Transfer of ownership:

The transfer of ownership of real estate is done at the Ministry of Lands and Surveys. It is necessary to submit the following documents:

• Application form N207;

• Real estate registration act;

• Copy of the Regional Office’s approval;

• Evidence that all property taxes have been paid;

Fees and Charges:

When the buyer registers the real estate in his name at the Regional Land Office, he/she will have to pay the relevant transfer fee, which is calculated based on the market value of the property at the time of signing the contracts. For more information, see Table 1.

Property value in euros / transfer fee (%)

Less than €85,430.10 / 3

€85,430.10-€170,860.14 / 5

More than €170,860.14 / 8

table 1

Real estate tax:

According to section 3 of Law 24/1980, the property owner is required to pay an annual real estate tax as shown below.

Value (€) / Annual tax (%)

Less than 40,000 / 0.6

40,001-120,000 / 0.8

120,001-170,000 / 0.9

170,001-300,000 / 1.1

300,001-500,000 / 1.3

500,001-800,000 / 1.5

800,001-3,000,000 / 1.7

More than 3,000,000 / 1.9

Stamp Duty:

Generally, the buyer is required to pay stamp duty of 0.15% of the property value up to €170,860.14 and 0.20% for more than €170,860.14. The contract should be stamped within 30 days of its signing. It should be noted that if you do not pay the stamp duty on time then you will have to pay the stamp duty plus penalty.

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