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About Buying

Step-by-Step House Purchasing Process

Buying a property abroad is always a big decision but once you have decided to buy, the process in Cyprus is very simple indeed.

The Big Decision

Believe it or not, buying a property in Cyprus is a very simple and straightforward procedure, helped by the fact that Cyprus Law is based largely on English Law. Once you find the house of your dreams you can then turn your dream into a reality.

a If your dream house is a new home, the developer would normally request a deposit in the region of CY£1,000 – 2,000, which reserves the property and fixes its price. In contrast to the UK, in Cyprus this process is binding and benefits the purchaser by preventing the vendor from changing anything during the building process. A written agreement is then drafted between the vendor and the purchaser, normally based on a standard contract, which will then be scrutinised by a solicitor for the purchaser prior to signing. Following a period of thirty days, the developer will normally seek a sum of money equivalent to 30% of the property value. The remaining balance of the payments is made in stages relevant to the progress of the building work. The key stages are the framework of the building, the plastering work and the completion of the property and at each stage, a certificate will be issued to validate the work and request the next payment.
A typical house or apartment will take between nine and twelve months to complete before the property can be delivered and you can then start living the dream.

The Written Agreement

The written agreement made between the vendor and the purchaser creates a sales contract, which binds both parties to perform according to their respective obligations. The contract commits the parties to a legal relationship of rights and duties. This contract is then deposited in the Land Registry office within 2 months to log the purchase of the property and safeguard the rights of the purchaser during the building stages and until approval is granted by the Council of Ministers. This contract is very straightforward and written in English, or the language of the purchaser if Cypriot or Greek. Appointing a solicitor Before signing any contract of this nature, it is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in order to protect your rights. This solicitor will perform a number of duties on your behalf, including application to the Council of Ministers for you, as an Alien in Cyprus, to purchase a property. This is normally granted automatically and no British citizen has ever been refused permission. Other duties will include the land searches and payment of the stamp duty for the property purchase and normally you can expect to pay between CY£800 – 1,000 in professional fees. The stamp duty payable is CY£1.50 per thousand up to the value of CY£100,000 and above this amount it is CY£2.00 per thousand. This duty should be paid within 30 days of signing the contract. The solicitor will also provide you with a quotation of his fees and costs prior to commencing work on your behalf and unlike the UK, the quote will include any telephone costs and miscellaneous charges, so there is no “shock” when the bill needs to be paid at the end of the process.

Property Transfer Tax

When you receive the title deeds for your property, which may be 3 – 5 years after completion, you will be required to pay a “once only” tax for the transfer of the property. The Land Registry Office will inform you or your solicitor when the title deeds become available and you can receive them on payment of this tax. The table below shows the rates at which this tax is levied but also shows that of the property is purchased in joint names, this tax is effectively halved.Upon transfer of the property and registration in the purchaser’s name, the District Land Registry Office will charge transfer fees. These are based on the market value of the property at the time of purchase and are calculated as follows:

Value Rate
Up to €85.430,07 3%
85.431,07 – 170.860,14


Over 170.860,15 8%

Example 1

Purchase price of property, in one name: €200.000

€85.430,07at 3% = €5.562,90

€85.430,07 at 5% = 4.271,50
€29 139,86 at 8% = 2.331,19
total fees payable
(5.58% of the purchase price)

For properties owned by a couple or by two individuals, each buyer pays transfer fees on 50% of the property value for each, bringing financial benefit on any property with a value exceeding €85.430,07.

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