Why buy property in Cyprus?
This article was published on Sunday 24 April, 2016.
Admittedly, Cyprus has a large appeal as a tourist and holiday resort, not only with the British market, but also with visitors from Russia, other European and Scandinavian countries, as well as for tourists from neighboring Israel and even Greece.
Especially for tourists from the UK however, Cyprus is a particularly attractive destination due to the fact that it was also a former colony and it has thus adopted many of the UK’s customs, as well as legal and other procedures.
Besides its attraction for tourists, Cyprus also presents a convincing argument as a real estate destination as well, mainly due to the varied advantages that it has over its competitors in this field, among which are the following:
- Besides Greek, the overwhelming majority of the population speaks very good English, while a significant 15% of the population also speak additional languages, such as German and Russian
- Cyprus is the EU’s second safest country and the eighth most secure in the entire world and although thefts appear to be on the rise, serious crime is very limited.
- For those looking for a business destination, Cyprus offers the lowest corporate tax rate in the EU, and has signed double taxation avoidance agreements with many key commercial partners, such as the UK, Russia and Egypt. Moreover, perks such as special tax incentives for the foreign managers of offshore companies are an additional attraction.
- Citizens of non-EU states can apply for and obtain a permanent residency visa if they buy a home worth over €300,000. Non-EU residents can also acquire a Cypriot passport with an investment of €5 million and a €500,000 house purchase. Such visas and passports also cover family members, whereas in the case of group investments (i.e. a number of buyers getting together or operating through a developer), the investment amount is reduced to €2.5 million per person. This scheme compares favourably with similar schemes in other European countries, and comes with a one- to two-month response period from application date.
- There are two international airports (Larnaca and Paphos) offering ease of access to all cities via a highway network and with a short travel time to the main urban centres.
- Distances are comparatively short, with travel between coast and mountains taking about an hour, while the abundant sunshine of more than 300 per year is a strong advantage. In fact, with the Troodos mountain range offering facilities for skiers, it is possible in Cyprus to go for skiing in the morning and hit in the beach in the afternoon. Moreover, the island’s attractive countryside combines history with natural beauty, while it also boasts a large number of blue flag beaches.
- Many infrastructure projects have been recently completed or are under way, such as the Limassol Marina and the marinas in Ayia Napa, Paphos and Protaras.
- Visitors and residents can enjoy an array of sports facilities, including five international golf courses and various sporting clubs of all kinds.
- Driving is on the left, which may be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what a driver is accustomed to.