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Real estate investment in Cyprus

Chris Michael
by Chris Michael
Updated: February 22, 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 to invest in Cyprus property than the love of sunshine and history. Discover them in our guide.

Сyprus real estate investment

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 that 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).

Cyprus real estate market key facts

Property prices

As of January 2024, the median price for an apartment in Cyprus is €550,000, with the median price per square meter being around €4,290. On the other hand, the median price for a house or villa is €780,000, with the median price per square meter being around €3,350.

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

Transaction value

€ 5,8 billion in Cyprus property sales for 2022 and € 1,7 billion for the first quarter of 2023, with a year-on-year growth of € 0.4 billion (Real Estate Agents Registration Council of Cyprus).

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).

Property rental yield

Rental value is rising, with apartments being the largest (RICS Residential Property Price Index 2023Q3).

The surest bet for rental 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 5.53% for apartments, 2,95% for houses, and 5,84% for retail (RICS Residential Property Price Index 2023Q3).

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, purchasing property in Cyprus is widely regarded as a sound investment that can yield numerous benefits for the owner.

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

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 two Cyprus donums, which is 2,676 sq m.

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 January 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 used to be paid by the property owners to the Inland Revenue until the end of 2016. However, since 2017, this tax has been abolished. 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:

  • dividends;
  • Interest;
  • or capital gains, apart from real estate in Cyprus.

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.

Cyprus permanent residence by investment

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 five years with permanent residency status.

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.

What our office can do for you

We offer a variety of investment properties and commercial real estate listings in Cyprus.

We help in every selection, negotiation, buying and registration stage.

We act as your agents or proxies if you wish to buy or rent without visiting Cyprus. Our dedicated team of trusted professionals led by Chris Michael have 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
  • The top reasons for investing in Cyprus
  • Cyprus real estate market key facts
  • 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
  • Cyprus permanent residence by investment
  • What our office can do for you