Which Foreign Nationalities have Invested in Cyprus Properties & Why?
There are a number of demand patterns when looking at the nationalities of those who have bought property in Cyprus for secondary or holiday homes. The Cyprus real estate market has been a largely UK foreign market since the 60’s, interestingly then the main area of popularity was Kyrenia now on the Northern side of the island, which since the divide has moved significantly to Paphos as an area. Nowadays, Paphos is colloquially known as “Little England” due to the community of UK expats who now live there.
Due to the civil war in Lebanon throughout the 70’s, a large number of Lebanese expats also purchased property all over the island, with a steady stream of interest from other surrounding Gulf countries, due to the islands close proximity to the Arabic continent which continued until the late 90’s.
During this same time frame, the UK market was not slowing. Additionally to Paphos, Limassol also became a hub for foreign property investment. As a result of the UK British Forces still occupying land and bases, an expat community grew in Episkopi, Famagusta and Paralimni regions which have remained until today’s market figures.
After the early 90’s is when the Russian and CIS countries started to hugely influence the Limassol property market and the surrounding areas where a vibrant community has been established. Also known light-heartedly as “Little Russia” today.
Into the late 2000’s saw the Chinese and Asian market whose main interest still to this day lies in Paphos (however recently expanding to Larnaca), mainly for development and buy-to-let projects rather than to settle and live like the UK, Gulf and Russian communities.
What is interesting is that the islands capital of Nicosia has always been a somewhat unpopular choice for foreign investment. Nicosia is known as a business hub containing embassies and some foreign firms, however due to the internal location of the city (with no surrounding coastline), and its notoriously unrelenting heats in summer could be the reason for the lack of popularity.
So, why has Cyprus attracted such a history of foreign investment?
- The Cyprus Passport by Investment Scheme is simpler and more favourable than its European rivals.
- The low cost of living, clean air & amenable weather year-round conditions.
- Cyprus is constantly being recognised for its low crime rate and is always topping the safest country lists.
- The wide use of English on the island and the friendly locals.
- Low tax rates: Capital Gains Tax, pensions, including the recent abolition of the property tax, a huge plus.
- The Low cost of real estate in general.
- The establishment of foreign speaking schools and local universities which are sometimes linked to high ranking UK universities with lower fees.
- The island has been continuously improving its infrastructure and consortium’s such as golf courses and marinas are of course creating some appeal.
For more information on the benefits of Cyprus as a jurisdiction, click here.