Why buy property in Cyprus?
In addition to world-class beaches, golf courses and vineyards, Cyprus boasts a rich European culture. The country is steeped in history, with monasteries, museums, antiquities and Roman ruins serving as fascinating reminders of the past.
Cyprus provides varied and contrasting experiences, from traditional villages to cosmopolitan cities. It offers both a fast-paced city experience and a relaxing lifestyle. Despite a rise in property prices on the back of high demand, houses in Cyprus are still cheaper than more established markets such as Spain and France.
These factors have combined to make the country especially attractive to retirees, many of whom rent or buy properties there to spend the winter months in.
What's Cyprus's property market like?
Prior to the global recession, demand for property in Cyprus was rapidly growing, but as the crisis took grip, demand dropped. Property prices and sales are still dropping but this is slowing down and local agents are claiming that the market is ripe for property investors.
Maria McLaren, spokesperson for Pafilia Property, said: "Everything is geared up for anybody who wants to go to Cyprus and live there very happily. If you buy something near a village then you become a part of the local community."
Buyers from the UK will also be able to take advantage of the strengthening of sterling by four per cent over the past year, making exchange rates more favourable.
Popular areas in Cyprus in which to invest
Paphos town is one of the fastest growing in Cyprus, with modern conveniences and traditional charm side by side. The district tends to be expensive but has many golf courses as well as coastal and rural locations from which the buyer can choose.
Larnaca is said to be an up-and-coming district and its cheap prices reflect this. Although it has not been a favourite in the past, major regenerations are scheduled which looks likely to change the market for the better.
South Famagusta is a thriving tourist destination, popular for watersports, beaches and nightlife.
The property-buying process in Cyprus
Once the buyer has found the right property, they make an offer to the vendor via their estate agent. The terms and agreements should then be decided and the buyer pays a holding deposit of around one per cent.
The buyer should hire an independent solicitor to perform all the necessary checks, after which the contract is signed and the final balance is due upon closure of the contract.