The island has always been a popular location with British buyers, especially retirees, and almost 30,000 of them own homes there, a further 10,000 choosing to rent properties. However, estate agents are now seeing an increased demand from younger people with young families who want to work or start a business.
Those who have lived in Cyprus for many years and been used to a steady, if rather unremarkable, property market are beginning to see property supplements appear in newspapers and growing numbers of property magazines for sale. This is a relatively new departure for Cyprus and illustrates the dramatic change in the property market on the island during the last few years.
There are many excellent reasons for buying a home in Cyprus, although it’s important not to be under any illusions about what you can expect. The first and most important question you need to ask yourself is exactly why you want to buy a home in Cyprus? For example, are you seeking a holiday home or a more permanent home because you want to live and work on the island or perhaps retire there? If you’re looking for a second or holiday home, remember that flight times from the UK to Cyprus are far longer than to Spain or France (around four hours), which may affect how often you and your family can enjoy a property.
Perhaps you have plans to work or start a business in Cyprus, which has been made far easier for EU citizens since Cyprus became a member of the Union in May 2004. If this is your long-term plan, you will be faced with a completely different set of criteria than if you were ‘simply’ buying a holiday home. You should look at the cost of living and the cost of property in the different areas of Cyprus to see what suits you best. If you have school-age children, you should consider what their schooling options will be. You may want a property that’s more accessible to main roads and the major towns. Does it have reliable postal services and access to telephone lines? Can it be connected to all the necessary services?
Before buying, you must also ask yourself: Can I really afford to buy a home in Cyprus? What of the future? Is my income secure and protected against inflation and currency fluctuations?
Buying a home in Cyprus is cheaper than buying in Spain or France and can be a good, long-term investment. The country has recently become a healthier market for investors, having experienced a property boom in anticipation of joining the EU. Cyprus signed its accession treaty in April 2003 and became a full EU member in May 2004. The market stabilised a little at the end of 2004, but a thriving property market seems set to continue in 2005, with new developments springing up all over the island.
Laws relating to property ownership in the Republic of Cyprus have changed since the country joined the EU. In 2009 the restrictions on property purchase by EU citizens have been lifted. If you plan to buy property in Cyprus, you should also be aware that the island has been divided since the Turkish invasion in 1974.
If you’re considering letting your property to offset the mortgage and running costs, you should be aware that there are letting restrictions in Cyprus.