Cyprus real estate - Everything you need to know before buying or investing

Buying or renting a property in Cyprus can turn into a complicated affair. To ensure that you take the right approach from the start and avoid making mistakes, we have summarized all the important information about real estate in Cyprus in the following chapters.

Why you should rent a property in Cyprus at the beginning
If you want to emigrate to Cyprus to live here or to spend your retirement, you should first get to know the island of Cyprus. In Cyprus, many things work differently than you might be used to in Germany. Before you buy or rent a property, you should get to know the towns of Nicosia (capital), Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos.

Plan a vacation and travel from place to place. Take an apartment through Airbnb or a hotel, according to your preferences. Gather all the information you can about the island and its customs or find contacts through Facebook. In the larger towns, emigrants meet regularly for a joint morning pint.

screenshot from bazaraki real estate search

Living in Larnaca, Nicosia, Limassol or Paphos

Nicosia: With more than 270000 inhabitants Nicosia is the divided capital of Cyprus. The border runs, so to speak, through the middle of the pedestrian zone. As usual in capital cities, there is a lot of traffic and in summer the temperatures like to rise above 40 degrees Celsius. Get to know Nicosia on a guided tour and then decide if the capital could be a food destination for you.

Larnaca: Larnaca, with its approximately 59,000 inhabitants not only offers an airport (distance from Larnaca to the airport about 20 minutes), but it is a popular spot for vacationers, self-employed expatriates and water sports enthusiasts. You can spend your free time either at the palm-fringed Finikoudes or Mackenzie Beach, or you can go exploring in the surrounding area. You will be surprised what you can discover in a relatively small radius. Of course you don't have to worry about your physical well-being, Cypriot or international cuisine is waiting for you at every corner, no matter if you are fond of meat or vegetarian.

Limassol: Next to Nicosia, Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus with 235,000 inhabitants. Like Larnaca and Paphos, the center of trade and tourism is also located by the sea. Not only cruise ships anchor in the harbor, but recently a ferry has also started operating between Limassol and Piraeus. Besides the romantic old town and the marina, Limassol offers much more. Discover Limassol and its surroundings with a tour via https://city-tourist.de/Limassol-Sightseeing-Touren-Stadtrundfahrten-online-buchen.html.

Paphos: The port city of Paphos is located in the west of Cyprus and has about 40 000 inhabitants. Paphos is surrounded by nature, orchards and the nearby Troodos Mountains. There is also a lot to discover and admire in and around Paphos. Paphos has the second largest airport in the Republic of Cyprus. It is located about 16 km southeast of Paphos.

If you are still not sure where to rent or buy property after touring the island, just try a rental property in a spot that appeals to you. Visit possible expatriate hangouts and just get to know people. Have a conversation with the car rental agent, the vendor at the cafe or just your neighbors. The more open you are, the faster you will get to know and maybe even love your surroundings.

If you are looking for rental apartments, try the Bazaraki platform. Bazaraki is like Ebay, which you are probably familiar with. There you can find real estate of all kinds, furniture, cars, bicycles and much more.

newly built houses in cyprus

What you should know about real estate in Cyprus before you start your search
Look around on real estate portals or on Bazaraki, you will always come across the term "Luxury". In Cyprus, "Luxury" is not synonymous with luxury. Luxury can also be a sofa, or a large refrigerator. You cannot compare the real estate in Germany with the real estate in Cyprus. Most houses here in Cyprus are made of a lot of concrete and rebar. Thanks to the many hours of sunshine in Cyprus, you will experience very few rainy days.

Tips for viewing a property in Cyprus

When you come to view an apartment, don't be surprised if there is something standing around everywhere. Many apartments are not nicely prepared, nor are they thoroughly cleaned beforehand. Use daylight for the inspection. Look in all corners and be on the lookout for damp spots or saltpeter leaks (efflorescence from moisture in the walls). Check the water pressure, the functionality of the toilet and also the electrical appliances in the kitchen. Take your time, don't be rushed through the apartment. Feel free to take a video (is usually quite normal and does not pose a problem).

Rental apartments are in most cases fully furnished, so you should also keep an eye on the functionality of the furniture. Apartments and houses are often heated only by the air conditioners located in almost every room. They cool in the summer and warm in the winter. However, air conditioning also means that electricity consumption will be higher at the most intense weather periods. If the property is equipped with a fireplace or heating, this would already be reason enough to include it in the short list.

Rental price is a matter of negotiation

If you like a property, you are welcome to use your negotiating skills. Some tenants will lower the price if you pay a few months in advance. If you discover small defects, this can help you push down the rent. The neighborhood is another point that can affect the amount of rent. It costs nothing to try, you can only win.

Rent or buy real estate in Cyprus through an agency.

If you approach an agency with the search for a property, you should do some homework in advance. You should answer questions like:

  • What city do you want to live in?
  • What type of property are you looking for? An apartment, an apartment, a townhouse, a duplex or a detached house?
  • What style do you prefer?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • With or without pool?
  • Sea view?
  • Mountain view?
  • Possible property size?
  • When do you want to buy or rent?
  • Is a mortgage required with a Cypriot bank?
  • Fiber optics desired?

Tip: Never buy a property without a good lawyer. Even if the seller is nice, use the assistance of a professional! A lawyer checks the properties, he looks if there are still registered land charges or if there are other liabilities. A property should always have a Title Deed of the private owner.

Financing a property in Cyprus

In order to finance a property in Cyprus, you should have the necessary funds in advance. Of course, you will also need to prove where the money is coming from in Cyprus. An important point that you should clarify in advance! As a foreigner, it is almost impossible to finance a property through a Cypriot bank.

If you are able to prove conclusively the origin of the money, clarify all further steps with your lawyer. The lawyer will also step in if you still need to organize your move and cannot be on site. In order to be able to carry out all necessary activities with offices and authorities on your behalf, the lawyer needs a power of attorney from you. By paying an initial reservation fee, you ensure that the property is reserved in your name. The amount of the reservation payment is approximately 5% of the purchase price.

All contracts and further information will be sent to you by e-mail. Once the transfer is done, you transfer the purchase price and then receive the key of your property. Depending on the processing time, you can expect 2 months from the purchase of the property to the handover.

What are the costs and taxes when buying a property in Cyprus?

You do not have to worry about the broker's commission, this is paid by the seller. For the lawyer you can plan about 1% of the purchase price or at least 500 euros. Ask beforehand what their conditions are!

Since Cyprus joined the EU, you have to add a standard VAT rate of 19% to the purchase price when buying a new property. However, it is important to ask here, because in some cases a reduced VAT rate of only 5% is payable.

In order to benefit from the reduced tax rate, you must meet conditions such as:

  • You must permanently reside in the property for the next 10 years.
  • The reduced tax rate can only be granted once.
  • The buyer must be a natural person and not a legal entity. Also, you must have reached the age of 18.
  • The newly acquired property may only be used for personal use. Renting is excluded here.

Also, the reduced tax rate of 5% is limited to a living space size of 200 m². If your property is larger, the 5% applies to the first 200 m² and 19% VAT is charged for the remaining number. Only if you are paying VAT on a new property, there will still be no additional fees to register in your name. If the property is not new, you will have to pay a transfer fee.

What ongoing costs and fees you have to expect when you buy a property in Cyprus

Unlike in Germany, you do not have to pay property tax in Cyprus. This was abolished on 01 January 2017. Depending on the municipality, you pay a fee for sewerage, garbage collection, street lighting and so on, which ranges from 85 euros to 500 euros per year, depending on the property and the plot.

luxurious house in cyprus

What are the fees for registering the property in your name?

If you have purchased a newly built property, 19% VAT will be added to the purchase price. In this case, you do not have to pay anything for the registration in the land register.

If VAT is due on the purchase of the property, you will have to pay for the registration in the land register. Currently Cyprus grants a discount of 50%.

The fee for the land registration:

Market ValueFee in %Fee in €
Up to 85.430 €              3 %2.563 €
85.431 €  - 170.860 €              5 %4.271 €
170.861 € +              8 %

If you intend to register the property in two names, the calculation amount is halved.

Case study 1: Property costs 300,000 euros and only one owner is registered:

One ownerFee  in %Fee in €
Up to 85.430 €                3 %     2.563 €
85.431 €  - 170.860 €                5 %  4.271 €
170.861 € - 300.000 €                8 %10.331 €
Calculated fee17.165 €
To be paid fee (50%)  8.582 €

Case study 2: Property costs 300,000 euros and two owners are registered:

2 ownersFee in %Fee € 1. ownerFee € 2. owner. 
85.430 €                3 %2.563 €    2.563 €
85431 € - 150.000 €                5 % 3.228 €    3.228 €
Fee per owner5.791 €    5.791 €
Calculated fee (Total)                                11.582 €
To be paid fee (50%) (Total)    5.791 € 

What taxes or fees will I have to pay after signing the purchase contract?

No later than 30 days after you have signed the purchase contract, you must pay the so-called "Stamp Duty".

The "Stamp Duty" is calculated as follows:

Buying priceFee in %Fee in  €
Up to 170.816,14 €                0.15 %256,30 €
      170.816,15 € +                0.20 %

If the purchase price is €300,000, the following fees are payable:

Buying priceFee in %Fee in €
Up to 170.816,14 €              0.15 %256,30 €
170.816,15 € - 300.000 €              0.20 %258,28 €
Total fee514,58 €

Construction in Cyprus

Basically, in Cyprus, building plots are divided into zones / categories. Among the classifications there are:

  • Agriculture
  • Industrial
  • Tourist
  • Residential

Buy only if there is a land title deed from the owner. There are also regulations regarding the height of the property to be built, which we will explain below:

  • Away from cities, you can either build in 2 floors or only one level is allowed, as in the case of a bungalow. Within a city you can usually build 3 floors.
  • Maximum height: The maximum height varies. If you are only allowed to build one story, the maximum height is 5 meters. If you build two stories, we are already at 8.30 meters or 10 meters. 

The distance between the house and the border must not be less than 3 meters, so houses in residential areas are 6 meters apart.

Addresses that could help you:

Bazaraki: Here you enter what and where you want to buy or rent and / or what furniture or cars you are looking for.

Facebook Marketplace: Buy or sell on Facebook Marketplace

Cyprus life: Predominantly for the area around Larnaka and Oroklini

Limassol Immobilien: Buy, rent or invest

Exclusive residential and rental properties Limassol: https://www.imperioproperties.com/

Fox Agency

Langzeitmiete im Gebiet Paphos: Houses and apartments in different price ranges.

What are the fees for registering the property in your name?

If you have purchased a newly built property, 19% VAT will be added to the purchase price. In this case, you do not have to pay anything for the entry in the land register. 

If VAT is due on the purchase of the property, you will have to pay for the registration in the land register. Currently Cyprus grants a discount of 50%.

Fee for land registration:

Market valueFee in %Fee in €
Up to 85.430 €              3 %2.563 €
85.431 €  - 170.860 €              5 %4.271 €
170.861 € +              8 %

If you intend to register the property in two names, the calculation amount is halved. 

Case study 1: Property costs 300,000 euros and only one owner is registered:

One ownerFee  in %Fee in €
Bis 85.430 €                3 %     2.563 €
85.431 €  - 170.860 €                5 %  4.271 €
170.861 € - 300.000 €                8 %10.331 €
Calculated fee17.165 €
To be paid fee (50%)  8.582 €

Case study 2: Property costs 300,000 euros and two owners are registered:

2 OwnersFee in %Fee € 1. ownerFee € 2. owner 
85.430 €                3 %2.563 €    2.563 €
85431 € - 150.000 €                5 % 3.228 €    3.228 €
Fee per owner5.791 €    5.791 €
Calculated fee (Total)                                                  11.582 €
To be paid fee (50%) (Total)    5.791 € 
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