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Buying

The housing market is not thought to be mature in the Republic of Cyprus; however, the buying procedure is based very closely on the UK property buying mechanism and is thought to be one of the most sophisticated in the world. There is a technical restriction on foreigners buying property in Cyprus, but this is considered as a formality and should not present any problem provided that you are a bone fide buyer.

There are a number of new property developments being produced on a regular basis in Cyprus and often the developer will act also as an estate agent. This will save you estate agents fees, however, the service can be less professional than an estate agent so you may wish to employ the services of an estate agent. Many agents offering property for sale in Cyprus will have offices in both Cyprus and the country of your residence so it should not be difficult to find a reputable estate agent (see "Estate agent checklist" in our advice section to help with your search).

Once you have found a property that you wish to purchase it is normal in Cyprus for you to sign a preliminary contract to reserve the property and this will entail paying a fee of approximately €1,500. It is advised that you employ the services of a legal counsel at this time in order to check he details of the contract and the ensuing sale.

Upon signing the preliminary contact, the main contract will be drawn up and this will include details of the property titles, price, description of the property, etc. If you are buying a resale property it is advisable to request a survey on the property.

Should the survey be acceptable your lawyer will then check the property details to ensure that there are no existing debt for example. If this check does not uncover any problems, the buyer will sign the main contract and a deposit of 20-30% of the total purchase price will be payable if the property is off plan. If it is a resale property, the deposit will usually be approximately 10%.

Now that the main contract has been executed, the buyer’s lawyer will arrange for it to be registered at the Cypriot district land registry. The land registry will then transfer the freehold of the property into the buyers name and issue the title deeds. Also during this time, an application will need to be made to the Council of Ministers requesting permission for a non-Cypriot to purchase immovable property in Cyprus. The fee is usually no more than €300 and the permission can take 12 months to be granted. However, it is possible to take possession of the property and live in it while permission is pending. It is accepted that permission is a formality when one considers that if your application fails, you can try again or will be granted a 17 year timeframe in which to re-sell the property. Moreover no UK citizen has ever been declined permission.

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