Market News - Cyprus
After a challenging few years, Cyprus has begun putting its house in order to encourage international buyers back to the marketplace - and it has worked.
Cyprus Remains Strong
For despite memories of the country's banking crisis, the appeal of Cyprus remains strong, especially amongst British home hunters, and they have been returning to the market for some good deals, mainly around Paphos - the 2017 European City of Culture.
Deep-rooted cultural ties of the British with the island remain a big part of the pull - English is widely spoken, the legal system is the same and the comforting familiarity of driving on the same side of the road - coupled with 330 days of sunshine a year at the end of a four-hour flight. It's a small, user-friendly and hospitable island where around 70,000 British ex-pats reside, many of them around the hot spots of Paphos and Lanarca.
With the euro still hovering around an eight-year low against sterling, there's been an increase in UK property hunters keen to take "double" advantage of currency rates and low prices. Coastal properties fell around 20-35 per cent down after the global crisis - inland this figure is 40 to 50 per cent in the Paphos region - but they now seem to be stabilising.
Market confidence is helped by the feeling that Cyprus is beginning a new chapter after an era muddied by corruption issues. New legislation has been passed enabling banks to seize foreclosed properties and then sell them as assets. Agents report that more properties are being sold with full title deeds as this process has been speeded up.
The government has also reduced buying costs by 50 per cent to draw buyers - until 31 December 2016. Plus, any property purchased until that date will not be subject to Capital Gains Tax (levied at 20 per cent).
5. Kato Paphos
9. Aphrodite Hills (resort)
With the euro low against sterling, a €200,000 property in Cyprus is now £16,000 cheaper than a year ago for British buyers, and with property prices down 30 per cent in Paphos the interest is back, with the banking crisis behind them, Paphos remains a popular location for British second-home owners (on top of 15,000 permanent residents). “There is loads to do in winter around Paphos – which averages 7.5 hours a day of sunshine in February – such as amateur dramatics, weekly walking groups and art classes alongside golf, horse-riding and rugby (Paphos Tigers).” Current properties include a town house for around €149,000 (£108,500, a short walk from the sea; or a three-bedroom penthouse five minutes from Paphos Town for €190,000 (£138,000). “Just make sure you buy a property that comes with title deeds.
Alternatively Northern Cyprus offers great prospects for property investment with property starting at £40,000 for a studio apartment compared to the south with prices starting at £100,000 for the same size property.
On the other end on the property scale you can get a three bedroom property for around £100,000+ and with Cyprus property set to increase in value over the next 5 years it is one of the best holiday destinations in Europe.