Buyers Guide to Property for Sale Southern Cyprus

6th February 2020
Buyers Guide to Property for Sale Southern Cyprus
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In this guide, we will be providing you with a buyer's guide to property for sale in southern Cyprus. Here you will be able to see why you should buy luxury property for sale in Southern Cyprus...

Why Buy a Luxury Property for Sale in Southern Cyprus

Southern Cyprus

Well known for its glorious beaches, Southern Cyprus is a beautiful country as well as the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Located South of Turkey, the official languages here are Greek and Turkish, with many residents speaking English too. 

Offering a lifestyle like no other, the relaxed pace of life in Southern Cyprus is majorly affected by the surrounding landscape. With beautiful blue skies and a phenomenal tropical climate 11 out of 12 months a year, Southern Cyprus caters for this holiday feel by providing an abundance of outdoor activities!

There are plenty of activities for those of all ages in Southern Cyprus. Providing a lot of beach-related activities, golfing and lush nature creating breath-taking views for hikes, you will never get bored in this picturesque country!

Southern Cyprus offers great job opportunities as well as education. For those that speak English, there are many educational facilities that teach English. 

Property for Sale in Southern Cyprus

Southern Cyprus has a great property market, which has evolved into a luxurious location over the years. There are many high net worth buyers from the UK, Europe, Russia and China acquiring villas for sale with the help of Unique Living. 

Property purchases range from villas on golf courses to beachfront homes for sale in Paphos. Its connecting villages, premier residences in Limassol and Limassol Marina, a man-made island off the coast of the town, stretch across 9 miles of the coastline in the heart of Cyprus.

Unique Living started selling properties in Southern Cyprus back in 2002 and has developed its associations with the market over the last 18 years. Helping clients buy some of the most prestigious villas and apartments here in partnership with our local team, we pride ourselves in building relationships with our clients by always prioritising their needs. 

The property we have to offer here at Unique Living includes apartments, villas, chalets and plots. Starting from around 600,000 ranging up to around 15,000,000, the luxurious properties we have to offer are suitable for those with a flexible budget. 

Here are just a couple of the stunning properties for sale in Southern Cyprus, Unique Living have to offer:

3 bedroom apartment for sale in Limassol, Cyprus

This stunning and spacious 3 bedroom apartment provides breath-taking views as well as great amenities. Fitted wardrobes, a walk-in closet, double glazing, granite worktops and a breakfast bar are just some of the fantastic features of this property. 

7 bedroom villa for sale in Limassol, Cyprus

This property was designed by interior architects and is located in Amathounta, one of the most sought-after areas of Limassol. Offering unobstructed sea views, a swimming pool, a roof terrace and a 24-hour security system, this charming villa is a dream property for all!

Take a look at the full list of properties we have available in Cyprus:

Limassol properties for sale

Paphos properties for sale

Golden Visa

One of the major incentives to buy in Southern Cyprus is the Cypriot government’s  “Golden Visa” scheme. In short, Cyprus property buyers can obtain residency in return for purchasing a property for sale in Southern Cyprus in excess of €300,000.

For a €2M spend and an obligation not to sell for three years, non-EU citizens qualify for an EU passport. This has proven to be very popular in recent times, as the programme has attracted around €4 Billion worth of investment since 2013.

Experience, expertise and understanding of the Cypriot residential property market is everything and Unique Living’s team have over 20 years of knowledge.

Financial Planning When Buying Property for Sale in Limassol and Paphos

The first thing we would recommend you do is to sit down and review your numbers, ideally before you start looking at properties. It may be that you can afford to spend more than you had thought with some thorough financial planning. Lifestyle planning is another important part of the purchase process. At Unique Living, we feel that understanding your family dynamic is a key part of this process.

Finding a Lawyer in Southern Cyprus

Once you have found your perfect property for sale in Southern Cyprus, you must carry out your due diligence. We highly recommend that you find a local lawyer to represent you in concluding your purchase. Unique Living will introduce you to English speaking, local lawyers who will answer any questions you may have. It is important you find a lawyer with knowledge of the local market, as local laws can vary from region to region. The same applies to whether you are looking to acquire a residential villa for sale in Limassol or Paphos.

The Process of Buying a Property in Limassol and Paphos

Once your offer has been accepted, you may be asked to sign a reservation agreement that will demonstrate your intention to buy a property in Southern Cyprus. A smallholding deposit, usually around €2,000, is required. It is not unusual for this to be paid directly to the vendor. This amount could vary according to the size and value of the property but should be decided between you and the vendor with the assistance of your lawyer if needed. We recommend putting your offer in writing and keeping a record of any emails and correspondences at the start of the process between yourself, the seller and their representatives.

At this point, the property should now be removed from the market while your lawyer carries out some basic due diligence and the bank carries out its own valuation if you require a mortgage. We always recommend you insist on this and ensure the agent gets other affiliates to remove from the portals and other places the property is being marketed.

Your lawyer will verify the property’s status. For example, whether it has title deeds, building and planning permits, mortgages etc, it is of key importance before you take the process further. We would also recommend that if the property has no title deeds to walk away from the purchase or insist is provided before taking any further steps. All the properties advertised on the Unique Living website have title deeds or title deeds pending.

Providing this paperwork has been provided, you would then conduct a structural survey to ensure that the property is free from structural defects and complies with planning laws. A survey is not a legal necessity but it is good insurance against any issues that may materialise later.

Further to satisfactory results from your due diligence, your lawyer will proceed to draft, negotiate contractual issues and sign the preliminary agreement. If a title deed is not available, an assignment will be drafted. This is a certain procedure that ensures the whole transaction is safe. If a title deed is available, a contract of sale will be drafted.

Once the contract is complete, the buyer will be expected to pay 30% of the value of the property using your own funds. This is non-refundable and should occur between 1 – 4 weeks after signing the contract. The balance comes from either individual funds or a bank loan and is usually a matter of weeks later, up to three months. If you need a mortgage and have not already applied for one, provide your bank with documentation to support your application.

Obtaining a Mortgage in Southern Cyprus

Even if you have sufficient capital to buy property in Cyprus outright, you may wish to consider using a mortgage to fund the purchase for various reasons. From a Fiscal point of view, you may be eligible for tax allowances or you may earn a higher rate of return on capital invested than you would pay to service a loan. From a security point of view, a bank will carry out its own due diligence and only lend against a property that meets its criteria.

Mortgages in Cyprus are widely available and the terms are similar to those in the UK. A deposit needs to be at least 30% and the loan is usually repayable over 15 years depending on your age. All mortgage applications will require a property valuation before the loan is approved. Interest-only loans are also available but local banks are very selective and the length of the loan may be up to 40 years but this depends largely on the buyer’s age. Your earnings are of key importance in obtaining a loan. For example, the banks will not consider rental income as a form of income for certain clients.

Residential Property Purchase Taxes in Cyprus

As a general rule, residential buyers in Cyprus should set aside an extra 10% on top of the agreed sale price to pay for taxes arising from the sale. Tax VAT (IVA) for a new-build property is payable at the standard rate of 19%, this should be included in the sale price. Stamp Duty is between 0.15% and 0.20%.

Other costs include bank charges, including mortgage valuation fees which you will pay for even if the loan is not approved, Surveyor fees, Land Registry fees, a transfer fee is payable at the point at which the deeds are transferred. It’s charged on a sliding scale of 3% to 8% of the purchase price depending on the value of the property. Note that fees will be lower if buying in joint names as the purchase value is divided between the two parties. 

Legal Fees: These will vary according to the value of the property. Fees usually start at 0.7%, but it is worth paying a little extra for a good local lawyer.

Transfer Fees When Buying a Residential Property For Sale in Cyprus

The purchaser will be liable to pay the following transfer fees for the property acquired when this is registered in your name at the District Lands Office.

The fees are charged on the property’s market value at the date of purchase (i.e. the date given on the last valid contract submitted to the Land Registry Office). The value of Property Transfer Fee Rate percentage on property values up to €85,430 at 3.0%, €85,431 – €170,860 at 5.0% and over €170,861 at 8.0%.

For example, transfer fee of a property valued at €175,000 [in one name] will be: 3% for the first €85,430 equals 2,562.90 €, 5% for €85,431-€170,860 equals 4,271.45 €, 8% for €4,140 equals 331.20 € – Total Transfer Fee equals11,434 €.

Should the property be in joint names the transfer fee will be: 3% for 1st €85,430 x 2 equals €170,860 equals 5,125.80 €, 5% for €4.140 equals 207 € – Total Transfer Fee equals 5,332.80 €. Please note that if the property is purchased by more than two people the tax drops considerably.

Structural Surveys on Residential Property For Sale in Cyprus

We recommend you have a survey carried out on any property you are thinking of buying to ensure there are no hidden defects. We offer a choice of surveys, carried out by qualified British Chartered Surveyors and based on the internationally recognised Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Home Survey standard.

Currency Transfers to Buy a Property For Sale in Southern Cyprus

Currency prices fluctuate all the time so it is a good idea to fix your rate via a specialist foreign exchange company. You can lose or save thousands of Euros depending on the currency provider you use. In most situations, a specialist FSA regulated currency broker can offer you a much better exchange rate than your high street bank.

Cost of Owning a Property For Sale in Limassol and Paphos

Once you own a property in Cyprus, it is important to understand the associated expenses. These include electricity, water, municipality taxes, sewerage, board fees, refuse collection, immovable property tax (IPT) and common expenses (not always applicable). Under Cyprus’s ‘Immovable Property Tax’ laws 1980 – 2004, all property owners are liable to pay an annual tax based on the total value of all the immovable property registered in their name. This goes for whether they are residents of Cyprus or not. This property tax is calculated on the market value of their property as of January 1st 1980 and is paid to the Inland Revenue Department.

Local Residential Property Taxes and Rates in Southern Cyprus

A rough guide could be approximately € 85 – € 260 per year depending on the size of your property. This tax is for refuse collection, street lighting, sewerage, etc. The basic utilities, electricity, water and telephone are payable individually in accordance with the consumption and based on meter readings.

Unique Living

At Unique Living, we act as international property finders. We also provide our expertise at an international and local level when it comes to buying a luxury property.  If you want to buy a residential property in Souther Cyprus, we would be delighted to help you fulfil your family's lifestyle objectives. 

Whether you are looking to sell or buy a property in Southern Cyprus, our friendly and professional team would be delighted to help you fulfil your family's lifestyle objectives. We would love to meet in order to advise you on how to buy a property for sale in Limassol or Paphos. If you have any further enquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us, here!