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Cyprus has proved to be over the years, a most popular holiday and retirement place in the Mediterranean.  The main reasons why Cyprus has attained such popularity with foreigners are the following:
*  Practically nil crime rate (6% οf that of the U.K.’s and 14% of Spain’s) and that that there is, is located in 2-3 touristic spots.
*  The European  system that  Cyprus has in  its every day  business, makes most foreigners feel at home.
*  The excellent communication system and the ability to communicate with the rest of the world at a touch of a button is an added plus.
*  The taxation system with its numerous attractions (lowest in Europe) to foreigners who invest and/or make their home in Cyprus, has made the island one of the most popular "tax heavens" in Europe.
*  The easy communication with the locals (practically 85% of the population speaks English) and the warm hospitality of the Cypriot people are additional advantages.
*  The relatively low cost of living, as compared to its standard (the 3rd highest standard of living among Mediterranean countries) is another attraction.
*  The strong and stable exchange value of the Cyprus pound offers an advantage to the long-term investor, whereas joining the Euro in 2008 is a plus.
*  The simple and most efficient land registration system that Cyprus has and the security of title that if offers, as well as the protection of ownership, constitute great advantages.  The holder of a property title in Cyprus is protected and secured by the Government and the Cypriot Courts.
*  The low cost of acquiring property is competitive to other countries such as France, Spain  and Portugal, whereas the Capital Gains cost of living adjustments and reliefs, reduces the 20% gains tax to minimal levels in case of a resale.

*  The acquisition of property provides the right to seek a residence permit and after 5 years a citizenship.
*  The acquisition of real estate gives any foreigners the right to become a permanent resident (unlike most European countries).
These advantages are plusses not found in other countries, which are also favorable for the European holiday home market such as Spain, Portugal etc.
A foreign purchaser can acquire a plot of land (up to an extent of 4000 sq.mts.) on which he can build a home for retirement and/or for holiday purposes, or he can buy a ready home.  The acquired property, however, cannot be placed into a business (although letting is allowed), save after a government permit, but international companies can acquire offices and premises of an unlimited extent, provided it is used for their own business purposes.
It is important to note that E.U. citizens and their companies have no restrictions and are treated as locals.
Considering the level of foreign demand, the island of Cyprus can said to be, a yet, as an undiscovered retirement-holiday home place for the Europeans.

Prices range as follows:
Paphos      2 bed detached villas CY£160.000  - 2 bed apart. CY£110.000
Limassol    2 bed detached villas CY£150.000  - 2 bed apart. CY£95.000
Larnaca     2 bed detached villas  CY£120.000  - 2 bed apart. CY£85.000
Paralimni   2 bed detached villas  CY£150.000  - 2 bed apart. CY£80.000
Nicosia     2 bed detached villas  CY£150.000  - 2 bed apart. CY£100.000

These prices do not reflect beach properties and are referred to new buildings.

The market will also benefit from the development of golf courses (three completed and another 13 are at the planning stage) and the development of three new marinas (to be completed within the next three years) and the pending development of 1-2 top quality casinos.
The island is therefore, moving towards an upmarket direction, providing an extra attraction to investors.
Seaside areas in Cyprus are priced approximately 30% lower than competitive seaside areas in Spain and Portugal and there is, therefore, room for considerable gains in the future.  Where should one acquire a property in Cyprus will depend very much on one's personal taste and requirements.  Limassol has the advantage of the seaside, the cosmopolitan night life, proximity to the mountains, a strong foreign community and the availability of numerous foreign speaking schools.  Nicosia, the Capital, offers a more organized way of living, a quieter environment, many cultural events, more disciplined residents, few tourists and more choice of quality schools.  Larnaca, other than its proximity to the airport, does not offer many advantages compared with other towns, but it has much lower priced property and it is also a town with miles of unspoiled beaches.  Paphos offers beauty, charm and serenity, has a slow-life activity and provides both a seaside environment as well as an easy access to the mountain regions.  The region is rich with culture and with easy access to village life.  As a result, a high percentage of the retirement market, select Paphos, whereas for the younger purchaser Limassol appears to be the favorite, including the offshore-business community.


Company: Cyprus Properties - A. Loizou
Author: A.P. Loizou F.R.I.C.S., Chartered Surveyor
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