The buying process

The process of buying a property in Cyprus

CHOSING A PROPERTY

Once you have the property you want to purchase we recommend that no money changes hands until you have met with a lawyer.

LAWYER

We will introduce you to English speaking local lawyers if you do not already have a lawyer. The lawyer will be able to answer all your questions and once they have checked out the property will give the real picture including any problems which they might find. This is not always what the buyer wants to hear and in fact the lawyer may even recommend that you do not buy your chosen property but at least it is reality. If there are no legal or other problems with the chosen property you will be required to pay a reservation fee to take the property off the market.

 

RESERVATION FEE

If you are buying an off plan property from a developer you are expected to put a deposit of € 2,000 to reserve the property, however this may vary according to the size and the value of the property and often the amount of the deposit is decided between the vendor and the buyer.

THE CONTRACT

When your lawyer is ready and happy with all the paperwork, you will be expected to pay 30% of the value of the property (in some cases this can be as low as 20%, but it is usually 30%). This is usually within 4 weeks of signing the Contract.

In the case of a resale property the amount payable as a holding deposit while contracts are drawn up and the completion date for the transaction is discussed and agreed between both parties. Holding desposits for resale properties are usually (but not always) 10%.

 

LOANS

Minimum 30% down payment (using your own funds) and the balance coming from a bank loan (you are advised to bring any recent bank statements and income statements as well as any other documents that will support the loan application). You must be aware however that banks are very selective these days and it is not always easy to get a loan.

The length of the loan may be up to 40 years, but this depends mainly on the buyer's age.

 

LAWYER’S FEES

Lawyers in Cyprus charge between €1,000 - 2,000 depending on the value of the property. This will be negotiated and agreed between the buyer and the lawyer - we only make the introductions.

WHEN THERE ARE NO TITLE DEEDS

When separate title deeds are not ready, there is a certain procedure that makes the whole transaction safe. We strongly advise buyers to follow this procedure, which we will explain it to you while you are in Cyprus. It is best to avoid any short cuts that you may be advised by others to follow. The transaction will still be safe, but there will be steps to follow in order to keep it that way.

TRANSFER FEES

When title deeds are available you will be liable to pay the following transfer fees for the property 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).

Value of Property Transfer Fee Rate % on property value

Up to €85,430 3.0%

€85,431 - €170,860 5.0%

Over €170,861 8.0%

For example:

Transfer fee of a property valued at €175,000 [provided such property is in one name] will be:

3% for the first €85,430 = € 2, 562.90

5% for €85,431 - €170,860 = € 4, 271.45

8% for €4,140 = € 331.20

Total Transfer Fee € 7166.00

Should the property be in joint names the transfer fee will be:

3% for the first €85,430 x 2 = €170,860 = € 5,125.80

5% for €4.140 = € 207.00

Total Transfer Fee € 5,332.80

However, if the property is purchased in 2 (or more) people, this tax drops considerably.

(NB: An easier way to work out the transfer fee for a property purchased in joint names is to divide the total property value by two, use the formula for one name then multiply the result by two). Remember that this amount is calculated on the net amount of the property (excluding VAT). This means that for a house which is priced at € 2,000,000, taxes are calculated on € 1,739,000 and not on € 2,000,000.

ANNUAL TAX

The annual Cyprus immovable property tax is imposed on the market value of the property as at 1st January 1980 and applies to the immovable property owned by the taxpayer on 1st January each year.

Market Value of Property (1/1/1980) Annual Property Tax

up to € 170.860,14 0.0%

 € 170.860,14 to € 427.150,36 0.25%

 € 427.150,37 to € 854.300,72 0.35%

 over € 854.300,73 0.40%

Example: On a property valued €300,000.00 the annual property tax is approximately €300 per year.

Local Authority Taxes & Rates

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 a meter reading.

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