Can a UK Resident buy property in Cyprus?
When the Brexit transition period came to an end on January 1, 2021, people of the United Kingdom were classified as "third country" nationals, which is a term used to describe citizens of countries that are not members of the European Union.
Cyprus (and notably Paphos) is a popular destination for British people looking to buy a second property in the sun. In the meanwhile, as third-country nationals, the restrictions on what Brits may buy and the procedures for acquiring property have been relaxed.
What exactly can the British buy?
Before Brexit, British citizens could purchase an unlimited number of properties of any size they desired; however, beginning of January 1, 2021, they are only permitted to purchase one of the following types of property:
- An apartment
- A house
- A villa on a building site or on a plot of land with a maximum area of 4,014 square meters
- A plot of land not exceeding 4,014 sqm, provided that a residence shall be constructed for owner occupancy within three years after the purchase date of the land
- A second house may be permitted, depending on the nature and intended use of the property (i.e., a holiday home in addition to a permanent home)
- Leases with a term of more than 33 years are subject to the same limitations as freehold assets with a shorter period.
- Offshore corporations may also invest in real estate to use for their operations or as residences for their international personnel.
Permission to acquire land outside development areas for the purpose of developing other types of properties (such as office buildings or recreational facilities or industrial facilities, among others) is granted subject to certain conditions, including the percentage of foreign participation in the scheme, the amount of actual foreign investment, and other government policies.
Post-Brexit buyers who are "new" to the market will not be authorized to:
- lease or rent out their property.
- buy a share in a property
- The purchase of a real estate in joint names by an unmarried couple is prohibited.
Can a UK Resident buy property in Cyprus?
Citizens of the United Kingdom can purchase a property in Cyprus in accordance with the same laws and restrictions as any other non-EU citizen.
There are some limits on the size of the piece of property you may buy in Cyprus, as well as the length of time you can spend in your house without becoming a legally recognized resident of the country.
In any of the EU member nations, you are permitted to remain for three months out of every six months without requiring a visa. If you wish to stay for an extended period of time, you will need to apply for authorization to do so.
In terms of size, your piece of land should not be more than 4,014 square meters.
Obtaining a mortgage might also be more difficult. Thus it is recommended that you work with a reliable international broker.
Is it safe to invest in real estate in Cyprus?
It is risk-free, provided you do thorough research and comprehend the procedure. Precautions should be taken while purchasing a home in Cyprus in order to avoid potential problems:
- Always check to see whether the land is mortgaged; otherwise, proceed with caution
- Make use of a reputable firm
- If you're purchasing off-the-plan, have a look at any houses that have previously been completed by a developer
- Plan ahead of time to ensure that you are aware of the standards to which you may look forward
- Examine the terms and conditions that govern the upkeep of your property
- Verify that your lawyer is not affiliated with the developer, vendor, or real estate agency and that he or she is completely independent
Do I require the services of a lawyer when buying a home in Cyprus?
It is strongly advised that you hire a lawyer that is skilled in dealing with all of the complications of paperwork and, most importantly, in hunting down the title deed to the property before proceeding with the purchase.
Developers are known to take out mortgages on land or another real estate. Should such a developer go bankrupt after signing a contract with you, you would most likely be held accountable for the mortgage you signed with them?
This has impacted a large number of purchasers in Cyprus, and it has been a distressing experience for those who have been affected.
Request that your lawyer performs a search for any mortgages that have been placed on the property.
Please keep in mind that if you enter into an agreement to purchase a property in Cyprus with any financial claim or mortgage attached to it, you will not be able to get title to the property until the mortgage is paid off, so proceed with caution.
Make sure that your lawyer does not also represent the selling side (private vendor or developer) since this may be a regular practice and can be quite harmful in terms of ensuring that your best interests are represented in the transaction.
Whenever you are looking to purchase a home in Cyprus that requires renovation, be sure that you can get to the property easily and that you will be allowed to build or enhance it in accordance with local planning rules.
The procedure for Buying A Home in Cyprus for UK Residents
British citizens must now submit a written request to the Council of Ministers in order to obtain approval to purchase a piece of land.
However, despite the fact that they will be allowed to engage in sale agreements and submit their sales contracts at the Land Registry office, they will not be able to get the property's critically vital Title Deed until permission has been granted.
Despite the fact that approval is given in practically all situations, Brits purchasing property will require a clause in their contract of sale specifying what will happen if permission from the Council of Ministers is denied in the uncommon event that permission is denied.
All of the funds required to acquire a home must come from outside the country.
Tourists from the United Kingdom
The right of British visitors, including those who own vacation houses and other property in Cyprus, to come and leave as they want has been suspended from the first day of January 2021.
Within a 180-day period, they are only permitted to stay on the island and in other EU nations for a total of 90 days. If they want to stay for an extended period of time, they will need a visa.
Many British "silver swallows," which overwinter in Cyprus and return to the United Kingdom in the summer, have had their feathers trimmed, and their duration in Cyprus will be limited to 90 days if they do not have a visa to enter.
In contrast to several other EU nations, travellers and tourists from the United Kingdom are permitted to drive in Cyprus using their UK driving license.
Why Should UK Residents Buy Property in Cyprus?
It could be a good moment to invest in a property in Cyprus. Many people are unaware that Cyprus is not just a popular tourist destination but that there are also several advantages to investing in real estate in the country.
Now is the best time to invest in real estate in Cyprus, and the situation is only going to get better from here on out. Cyprus is a little-known secret that will soon be known by everyone, and now is the moment to get your foot in the door before everyone else does.
Affordability of real estate
The weather in the Mediterranean may be wonderful, but the costs are anything from affordable. It should come as no surprise that you can find a lot of property at a fair price in Cyprus, but what is unexpected is the degree to which you can find it.
The property market on the island is still recovering from the recession, and it has been discovered that housing prices on the island are half those in Spain and one-third those in the United Kingdom, respectively.
Taxation at a low rate
Many individuals are concerned about the high taxes placed on a property when they are renting, as well as the amount of taxes they will have to pay when they eventually own their own house.
Cyprus has one of the lowest rates of property taxation in Europe, making it one of the most attractive investment destinations. Not only that, but because of the low rate of income tax, you'll have the extra money in your pocket as a result of this.
If you enjoy being in the great outdoors, Cyprus provides a variety of natural settings to choose from. Added to this is the fact that there are several public holidays to take advantage of the opportunities that nature has to provide.