Besides using Cyprus for Tax Planning purposes, one may find it to invest in Cyprus too and a field for investment that now arises as an opportunity would be Real Estate. As Europe is in recession, Cyprus is now witnessing more offer than demand and prices started becoming attractive for the purchase of a house or an apartment or indeed land to build. Investment in Real Estate should be divided in 2 main categories, namely:
a) For one’s own private use and
b) For business purposes
We shall restrict this short analysis on property acquisition for private use.
The right to own immovable property in Cyprus is free to every foreign individual who is a “European Union Citizen”, and to other non EU citizens on approval of each individual case by a Committee of Ministers (who act through District Officers).
All immovable properties in Cyprus, (including houses and apartments), are recorded in the records of the Land and Surveys Department of the Ministry of Interior, through District Land Offices, and relevant title deeds with full description of the property concerned are issued to the owner.
The Cyprus Law on the matter provides adequate protection to the buyer, who is advised to use the services of his Cypriot lawyer at all times.
What is required to acquire Immovable Property in Cyprus by a Non EU Citizen:
1. Any non EU citizen may acquire property in Cyprus after applying to a special authority for permission to register the property in his name.
The same application must be submitted by any Cyprus Company of which the Shareholders are not EU citizens at 50% or more of the Company’s shares.
The permission is easily granted to people/Companies who will satisfy the relevant Authority that will buy the property for personal use (or as Investment) and is able to pay for its acquisition and his/her maintenance expenses.
2. The application for permit to acquire immovable property should contain:
• the name, permanent address and nationality and passport number of the applicant,
• address in Cyprus,
• date of birth and marital status and number and ages of children, occupation, and a description of the applicant’s general financial standing accompanied by bank statements and description of annual income and other property held by the applicant in Cyprus and abroad,
• description of the property to be purchased and particulars of present owner,
• the purpose for purchasing the property and when such purpose is expected to materialize, purchase price and how it will be paid,
• dates of applicant’s arrivals and duration and purpose of previous visits,
• generally any information likely to assist in the examination of the application.
The Buyer of immovable property will pay transfer fees (tax) on the day the property will be transferred on his/her/its name at the rate of
• 3% for purchase price, (or current market value in certain cases), up to €85.430:-
• 5% for purchase price, (or current market value in certain cases), between €85.430:- to €170.860:-
• 8% for purchase price, (or current market value in certain cases), between 170.860 and above
There is also Annual property tax on all Immovable property in Cyprus at the rate of:
• 6%oo for market value of property from €0 up to €40.000, as per Government valuation
• 8%oo for market value of property from €40.001 up to €120.000, as per Government valuation
• 9%oo for market value of property from €120.001 up to €170.000, as per Government valuation
• 11%oo for market value of property from €170.001 up to €300.000, as per Government valuation
• 13%oo for market value of property from €300.001 up to €500.000, as per Government valuation
• 15%oo for market value of property from €500.001 up to €800.000, as per Government valuation
• 17%oo for market value of property from €800.001 up to €3,000.000, as per Government valuation
• 19%oo for market value of property over €3,000.001 as per Government valuation