Can Foreigners Buy Property In Cyprus?

Can Foreigners Buy Property In Cyprus?

European Union nationals can purchase properties in Cyprus with little or no restrictions. However, it is different with non-EU nationals or foreigners as you may choose to call them. They are only permitted to purchase about one acre of land or just one apartment or house. Usually, foreigners travel to other countries for various purposes. It could be for leisure, business, school, vacation, and so on. Whichever one it is, they need a place to stay while they are there. Some people use hotels or short lets for the time they are there. However,  some people travel annually and so, they decide to get a property in that country. This article will cover buying of properties in Cyprus by foreigners and every process involved. In essence, foreigners can buy property in Cyprus but there are things they need to know.

Acquisition of Property by Non-EU Citizens/Foreigners

Non-EU citizens or foreigners refer to anyone who is not a citizen of the Republic under Cyprus law. This doesn't include foreigners who are married to Cyprus citizens. Therefore, acquisition of real estate property by a foreigner includes:

  1. Transfer of property by registration
  2. Acquisition of company shares that own real estate property
  3. Long lease of over thirty-three years
  4. Establishing a trust or organization that owns real estate to a foreigner's benefit.


Property Types For Foreigners In Cyprus

Since foreigners can purchase property in Cyprus, here are the property types:

  1. Residential Property:

There are so many types of residential property that foreigners can buy in Cyprus. From houses in modern environments to beautiful stone houses in villages, there are a lot to choose from. You can purchase a villa, apartment,  bungalow, and more, in your ideal locations. You can even choose to buy a second-hand (resale) property or a “project” and renovate it to your taste. Better still, you could purchase a modern home if you are likely to move in immediately.

  1. Holiday Property:

As aforementioned, foreigners may need property strictly for holiday purposes. There are several apartments and properties to get for this course. You could get a house by the sea in Peyia or just a property with beautiful views in your area of choice.


Processes For Buying A Property As A Foreigner In Cyprus

Although it may take a while, the process of buying property in Cyprus is quite simple as compared to other EU countries. A foreigner – non European is allowed to buy property in Cyprus without restrictions as long as the buyer doesn't have a criminal record and the requirements are met.

Any foreigner who wants to buy a house or who is seeking to buy a property in Cyprus has to identify and apply with the Council of Ministers. Only then can permission be given to forge ahead with the purchase process. Of course, every country has its rules that citizens and foreigners must obey to keep law and order in check. In some places, you may not need to apply to get property as a foreigner. In Cyprus, however, it is compulsory to do that.

If you complete the processes involved, then you will be approved and allowed to buy a property in Cyprus.  However,  the processes can take a while and you need someone knowledge in the field to guide you. This is why it is advisable to hire the services of a professional real estate lawyer in Cyprus. The lawyer will guide you through the processes involved and help you take care of the entire application. If you are applying as a foreigner seeking to buy property in Paphos/Cyprus, the following should be submitted asides permission from the Council of Ministers:

  • Property details (this includes the type of property,location, estimate, and so on)
  • Information and property contract of the current property owner
  • Income statement of the buyer alongside current residence
  • Proof of clean criminal record from the country of origin
  • Terms of payment and sales contract
  • Buyer's passport
  • Survey plan
  • A sectional view of the property
  • Proof of financial means of support. This proof will show that you will be able to manage and maintain the property well and pay all the bills needed to be paid.

Once the permit is granted, the buyer must agree to use the property for its intended use and agree to pay all taxes. Also, all fees must be paid in foreign currency and the fees must be paid within 1 to 3 years of construction on the property if the property is purchased as new or off-plan. A form will be given and the buyer is required to fill it in person or through a lawyer. Your lawyer will let you know the specific requirements as well as the right documents needed to purchase a property.


Things To Do When Buying Property In Cyprus

There are so many things to consider and do when getting a property in Cyprus. Some of them include:

  • Getting a professional real estate lawyer in Cyprus
  • Making sure that the property is available for sale and not connected to an ownership dispute. This usually happens in the occupied part of Cyprus as the property you are looking to purchase may be in the middle of an ownership dispute
  • Getting a local estate agent to ensure that you are not overpaying for the property
  • Making an inventory of any damages to the property. This also includes noting areas that need renovation. Also an inventory list should be prepared by the estate agent with all the content of the property.
  • Checking access to general services and utilities. This is usually done by the lawyer/solicitor.


Rules Guiding Purchasing Property In Cyprus By Foreigners

Foreigners should know that it is only allowed to purchase property intended for personal use. If you buy a property as a foreigner in Cyprus and proceed to rent it out for commercial purposes, it is considered illegal. Here are other rules and guidelines:

  • EU citizens are allowed to buy property in Cyprus without any restrictions.
  • Permanent residents don't need any permission and application to purchase property
  • Non-EU citizens can purchase property up to 4,014 square meters of land. It can also be equivalent to one apartment or house
  • European Union nationals that don't reside in Cyprus can buy property without permission


Property Taxes And Stamp Duty

If you are buying property in Cyprus, you are supposed to pay stamp duties, transfer fees, and legal fees. Usually, it is advisable to include about 5% of the purchase price to cover these costs, including registration fees. If you are also going to hire the services of a lawyer which is highly advisable, you should include the legal costs too. You are to pay the stamp duty after signing the legal documents. Transfer fees will be calculated on the day of the transaction and be based on the valuation of the Land Registry. Your lawyer or an estate agent can advice you about an approximate estimation of Transfer fees.


Foreigners And Renting Property

If you have successfully applied and have been approved to purchase property in Cyprus as a foreigner, you are not allowed to use it for commercial purposes. This means that you are not allowed to rent that property out under any circumstances to make a gain. In essence, you are only allowed to have your personal home and not allowed to become a landlord for a short while. However, you can get around this legally. You can start by applying to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). There, you will register your property as a holiday residence and you can be allowed to rent it out.

This method is quite long and tedious to complete as there are several rules you must adhere to. One of these rules is that the home must be a detached home. Therefore, it is advisable to have a lawyer walk you through the processes involved. This is because you have to pay for the procedure and it is not a guarantee that your request will be granted. So, to be on the safe side, you should get a lawyer to guide you. If your property is not suitable for renting out as a holiday residence, your application will not be granted. If you are approved, you will be expected to pay the CTO income tax and an annual 3% fee of the projected income.


Getting The Best Value For Money

Over the years, Cyprus has been widely known for having great locations to buy real estate property. To have the best value for money, a foreigner seeking to buy property needs to be careful. There may be unscrupulous developers and agents who may want to dwindle buyers into making wrong purchases. To get the best value for money, here's what you should consider:

  1. Purpose of purchase: Since you are getting a home for residential purposes, you should consider getting one that befits your standard of an ideal home.
  2. Type of property: You should make research before settling for the type of property to buy.
  3. Area the property is located: You should move around the city and decide which area is more comfortable for you to live in. You wouldn't want to stay in an area that would inconvenience you.
  4. If new or off plan go for a reliable developer: You should be careful to choose a good developer that will help you make the right property choice without problems.
  5. Area of housing: If you have a large family, then you should consider getting a place that will fit everyone in. If you are alone, there's no need to spend on a property you wouldn't entirely use.
  6. Repairs: You should ensure that the property you are buying doesn't have construction issues without your knowledge.
  7. Transport accessibility: You should consider if you can easily commute from one part of the city to another.

Below are the steps taken when getting property in Cyprus:

  • You make a 10% deposit of the total value of the property, as the buyer. The property will be reserved for you.
  • Next, the investor will finish a contract with a Cyprus lawyer who will act as a legal representative for the transaction.
  • The property will be reserved for a month and a half. During this time, documentation will be checked by the lawyer from time to time.
  • When the contract of purchase is ready, you will sign as the buyer and pay half of the property cost. You will also pay the Stamp duty.
  • The lawyer by now would have prepared an application for getting permission to purchase property from the Council of Ministers. Application will also be made for VAT exemption.
  • Within 14 days, the authorities will give permission, exempting you from VAT charges. Then you will pay the remaining amount of the property fee and become the rightful owner.


After Getting Property In Cyprus As A Foreigner, What Next?

After purchasing a property in Cyprus, you can decide to move in immediately. If you purchased a property and you don't intend to live there permanently, you should pay someone to take care of the pool and the garden if there is any. It could be that the property is a holiday residence and you only come in during the holidays. Have someone tend to the garden while you are away. You will also have to pay utility bills and they differ depending on your location.

If you are away for a long time leaving bills unpaid, your property can be deactivated. Your electricity can be cut off, including access to water too. The ideal thing to do is to make plans for maintaining the house before leaving.



As a foreigner, buying real estate in Cyprus is a very good idea because you will get value for your money. Also, your property in Cyprus can be a Plan B for you in case there's an emergency in your home country. Filled with great experiences, good scenery, and lots of fun, Cyprus is the ideal place to purchase a property. If you are confused, you can just make enquiries and hire the services of a good lawyer to help you out. Your lawyer will walk you through the entire process needed to purchase property in Cyprus. Before you know it, you can be a proud owner of a choice property in Cyprus.

Christos Nikolaou

Author: Christos Nikolaou

BEng Mechanical Engineering, MSc Real Estate, ETEK Property Valuer, Register and Licensed Real Estate Agent.

Christos Nikolaou is the founder and Managing Director of Property Canvas, he holds a license as an Estate Agent from the Association of Real Estate Agents of Cyprus and he is a registered Property Valuer in the Technical and Scientific Chamber of Cyprus (ETEK). He is the author of our “Can Foreigners Buy Property In Cyprus?” and is a certified advance negotiator.


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