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Real estate investment in Cyprus

Chris Michael
by Chris Michael
Updated: June 05, 2024

Cyprus is one of the greenest and most thriving islands in Europe, with excellent weather and an easy way of life. It is also in a unique geographic position between continents and trading routes. Business activities have flourished since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs and Homer’s epics.

However, there are more reasons for foreigners to invest in Cyprus property than the love of sunshine and history. Discover them in our guide.

Сyprus real estate investment

Cyprus real estate market key facts

Property prices

As of June 2024, the median price for an apartment in Cyprus is € 550,000, with the median price per square meter being around € 4,359. On the other hand, the median price for a house or villa is € 690,000, with the median price per square meter being around € 3,289.

Limassol is the most expensive district in Cyprus, with a median listing home price of € 675,000, while Larnaca claims the title of the most affordable area, with a median listing home price of € 395,000.

The median listing home price in Paphos is € 580,000, in Nicosia — € 470,000, and in Famagusta — € 592,000. However, since we mainly focus on real estate in Limassol, our number of listings in other districts negatively impacts the accuracy of the calculations for these regions.

It is important to note that the median price is the middle value in a sorted list, less affected by extremely high and low values than the average price. Therefore, it is a more reliable indicator of the typical market value.

Housing market trends

The Cyprus property market has consistently grown in residential property prices over the past three years. In 2022, the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) saw annual gains of 7,4%, reflecting strong demand and limited supply.

This trend continued into 2023, with the RPPI recording yearly increases of 7,7% in Q1, 7,4% in Q2, 7,6% in Q3, and 8,3% in Q4, driven primarily by significant rises in apartment prices, which increased by 12,7% in Q4 2023.

This upward trajectory has persisted in 2024, with solid increases in apartment prices and more modest housing price gains.

The demand remains robust, particularly from local buyers, despite higher mortgage rates, which have moderated overall market activity.

District-level analysis indicates that all regions experienced YoY price increases, with Limassol and Paphos leading in apartment price growth.

(Sources: RPPI by Central Bank of Cyprus, Statistics by Department of Lands and Surveys).

Property rental yield

According to the RICS Residential Property Price Index for the first quarter of 2024, the rental value is increasing, with offices and houses being the leading contributor.

The surest bet for rental Cyprus property investment is Limassol, with a rental yield of 7%. The second best is Nicosia, with 5%, followed by Larnaca and Paphos, with 4% for both.

Overall, the rental yield in Cyprus is 5,44% for apartments, 2,97% for houses, and 5,83% for retail (RICS Residential Property Price Index 2024Q1).

Transaction value

The total accepted amount of Pancyprian property sales (transfers) for 2023 was 4,399 billion, up 216 million from 2022 and 1,208 billion from 2021 (Department of Lands and Surveys).

Record high real estate sales transactions for the second quarter of 2023 (highest in 15 years) and a steady rise from 2022 till December 2023 (Department of Lands and Surveys and Central Bank of Cyprus).

Limassol leads in sales and real property value (Real Estate Agents Registration Council of Cyprus).

Is the property in Cyprus a good investment?

With its robust economy and status as a European Union member, Cyprus presents a stable and attractive opportunity for investors. With rental yields averaging between 4-6% annually, the real estate market in Cyprus is up-and-coming, offering the potential for a steady passive income and a significant return on investment in the long term.

In 2024, buying property worth at least €300,000 in Cyprus can result in permanent residency and, after eight years, in Cypriot citizenship, making it a sound investment.

Cyprus permanent residence by investment

In 2024, foreigners can get a Cyprus permanent residence by investment if they:

  • Buy a property of at least € 300,000 plus VAT;
  • Have at least € 50,000 annual income coming from abroad.
  • Do not take up any paid work in the Republic.

Under this permit, applicants can bring their spouses and underage children to Cyprus. For the spouse, the applicant’s annual income is increased by € 15,000 and € 10,000 for each underage child. There are no language or professional qualification requirements for applicants, only that they have a clear criminal record.

Investors can apply for Cypriot citizenship after residing in the country for eight years with permanent residency status. Please note that this was five years of residency before the recent amendments to the Civil Registry Law of Cyprus, which came into effect in 2024.

Each year, the applicant must show that they continue to maintain the investment and hold a health insurance certificate (if they have not registered with the General Health System GeSy). The applicant and adult members of their family must show that they still have a clean criminal record every three years.

The application process is fast-tracked and takes an estimated period of two months.

The top reasons for investing in Cyprus

  • Strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa is a significant factor for investment in Cyprus, as it serves as a gateway for businesses to access multiple markets. Its EU membership provides investors with the benefits of a European business environment, including trade opportunities and regulatory stability.
  • Positive economic outlook. According to data from the World Bank, Cyprus is experiencing steady GDP growth, with rates of 9,9% in 2021 and 5,1% in 2022 (latest available). The island also has a high demand for services and real estate.
  • The attractive tax system. Exceptions reduce the amount of tax investors need to pay. A Double Tax Treaty Network ensures foreign investors do not pay tax twice. The Ministry of Finance explains tax incentives and tax treaties on its web pages.
  • Quality business support services: business made easy with a powerful layer of professional services and infrastructure.
  • Low business costs: labour, support services, and office rental rates are low.
  • Access to talent: Cyprus has a highly skilled workforce.
  • Access to markets: European Union member states’ markets, EU trade agreements, and access to the major markets boost investing in Cyprus.
  • Strong legal and regulatory framework for secure investing: the legal system is based on British common law, facilitating international business. Common law has traditionally provided an excellent framework for contracts, domestic and international sales and shipping. Also, the EU financial, commercial, intellectual property and anti-money laundering Directives and Regulations apply in Cyprus.

(Sources: Cyprus data at worldbank.org, Cyprus Investors Guide: A step-by-step guide to your investment and the Cyprus Tax Guide for Investment by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency).

Buying property, land, and other real estate in Cyprus

EU nationals may buy real estate in Cyprus (land, apartment/flat, house, other) without restrictions.

British, United States and other third-country nationals (TCNs) will need permission from the Council of Ministers. This is a straightforward process carried out by filling out a form. The Council of Ministers will not deny permission to good faith applicants.

However, there are real estate purchase limits for British, US and other TCNs. A TCN can get a house, a professional roof, or land not exceeding 4014 sq m and no more.

To buy real property in Cyprus, you will need the services of a lawyer and a real estate agent.

Buying a property in Cyprus without visiting

This is possible by finding local professionals and using a proxy document. The proxy appoints a person (for example, a lawyer or real estate agent) to act as your agent and representative during the sale and transfer of land/ real estate or during the rental agreement discussion and negotiations.

The proxy can be specific, that is, for a specific purpose or general, for general purposes.

The person appointed as your proxy is in a “fiduciary position”. This means that they must act in an honest, loyal and responsible manner towards you.

Proxy documents from abroad

A foreign proxy document must be stamped and certified at the Cyprus Embassy or Consulate to be valid in Cyprus. The rule is the same whether your country is an EU member state or not.

Your business in Cyprus

Another reason individuals may find investing in Cyprus attractive is the ease of setting up a business.

Forming a company is straightforward, while the Registrar of Companies runs a highly efficient system.

There are several options for foreigners wishing to set up a business in Cyprus. These include:

  • Register a private limited company from scratch.
  • Register a branch of a foreign company in Cyprus.

Companies where foreigners hold the majority of shares can use the Cyprus BFU (Business Facilitation Unit). The BFU has simplified the application and registration procedures. Note, however, that as of June 2024, a company needs to prove an investment of € 200,000 in Cyprus to qualify for the BFU. This is usually done by depositing the amount in a Cyprus bank.

Companies registered in EU member states can do a cross-border conversion or register a European company (SE).

All processes are carried out at the Registrar of Companies in Cyprus. A branch of a foreign company and a company registered through the BFU must also be registered with the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD). Concerning companies that go through the BFU, a notification is sent to the CRMD automatically.

Registering any of the above types of companies will need the professional services of a local lawyer.

The tax benefits for investors in Cyprus

Cyprus' favourable tax regime is an important investment incentive.

Low corporation tax rate

Cyprus has only a 12,5% corporation tax rate, among the lowest in Europe. Also, a competitive tonnage tax for shipping companies and an approved EU open registry.

No immovable property or inheritance tax

Property tax in Cyprus was paid by property owners to the Inland Revenue until the end of 2016. However, this tax has been abolished since 2017. Individuals and families who own property or assets in Cyprus are exempt from paying taxes on those assets.

If you own property in Cyprus or inherit property from someone in Cyprus, you will not be subject to any taxes on transferring that property.

No tax concerning various types of income

In Cyprus, there is no tax concerning various types of income, whether from Cyprus or abroad, including:

Note:

  • Dividends are not subject to income tax but will be subject to special defence contribution (17%) if you are a tax resident of and domiciled in Cyprus.
  • Interest not subject to income tax will be subject to special defence contribution (30%) if you are a tax resident of and domiciled in Cyprus.
  • The interest you earn from your ordinary business activities is taxable as income tax and may be subject to special defence contribution as above.

Cyprus tax residents

People who are tax residents of the Republic are taxed on their worldwide income, whether from within or outside the Republic. Persons who are not tax residents are taxed on their Cyprus-source income.

To be a tax resident of Cyprus, a person must spend more than 183 days in the Republic or at least 60 days in the Republic and not be a tax resident anywhere else.

How much is income tax in Cyprus for residents?

There is no income tax for the first € 19,500 per year. Then, the rate varies according to income, beginning with 20%.

Tax domiciled in Cyprus

A person is tax domiciled in Cyprus if they have been tax residents of Cyprus for 17 years out of 20. The 20 years do not include the year for which this person starts to pay tax.

What our office can do for you

  • We offer a variety of residential properties with high investment potential, our development projects, and commercial real estate listings in Cyprus.
  • We help in every selection, negotiation, buying, and registration stage.
  • We provide personal consultations, market analysis and advice on choosing suitable buy-to-let properties with the highest ROI.
  • We offer professional investment property management services, including rental potential evaluation, maintenance and repairs, administrative duties, tenancy agreement and inventory management.
  • If you wish to buy without visiting Cyprus, we act as your agents or proxies. Our dedicated team of trusted professionals, led by Chris Michael, has years of experience assisting foreign investors in this manner.

FAQs

Disclaimer

This Guide and FAQs are intended to give an accurate picture of investing in Cyprus real estate. Every effort has been made to keep the information precise and up to date. However, we cannot guarantee their precision and accuracy. The Guide and FAQs are meant to help readers understand Cyprus's investing background and practices. However, they are not intended as personalised investment advice or to encourage investing in any specific project or sector. For personalised advice, you should consult a financial specialist or real estate agent.

Table of contents
  • Cyprus real estate market key facts
  • Cyprus permanent residence by investment
  • The top reasons for investing in Cyprus
  • Buying property, land, and other real estate in Cyprus
  • Buying a property in Cyprus without visiting
  • Your business in Cyprus
  • The tax benefits for investors in Cyprus
  • What our office can do for you
  • FAQs