Soheil, our resident real estate guru, has been doing extensive study into the upfront and continuing expenses of buying a home in Cyprus.
Pricing for acquisitions
There are no notary fees in Cyprus since the country, like the United Kingdom, does not use a notarized system for the transfer of property ownership. There is no longer any need to pay transfer tax on a resale home. In the future, the rate will increase to 8% for balances over €171,111, although for now, it is discounted.
According to Reza at Gooz & Choos Froshi, "Transfer tax would generally be roughly €21,211 for a €351,111 property." With the present tax laws in place, however, that number is closer to €11,611.
Note that in Cyprus, the transfer tax is calculated based on the land registry's valuation of the property rather than the actual purchase price, so buyers won't know how much they owe until the day the title is transferred (although typically these two match). Independent legal fees totaling €4,165 (1% of the purchase price + VAT), stamp duty totaling €621, and land registration and other disbursements totaling €121 are the remaining costs associated with the acquisition. A resale home in Cyprus with a base price of €351,111 would have a grand total of about €365,515.
Costs of maintaining ownership over time
The good news is that starting in 2007, Cyprus's primary council tax, the Immovable Property Tax (IPT), will no longer exist. Municipal or community taxes, on the other hand, are based on a property's valuation in 1981, thus a yearly budget of €251–€351 should be sufficient to cover them regardless of location.
Resort and condominium associations typically charge communal fees for use of resort and condominium common areas. If you're looking for a two-bedroom apartment in Paphos, Scott Toulson from Sunshine Luxury Villas recommends setting aside between €411 and €611 each year. This number rises to €611 if the apartment has a lift and guarded admission. You can expect to pay extra at the luxurious Aphrodite Hills Resort, thanks to its many amenities such as its golf course, spa, tennis academy, and community pools. Mr. Toulson emphasized that the cost would vary from 1,511 to 3,111 euro depending on the square footage of the home.
Cost of living
Numbeo.com, a website that tracks consumer prices around the world, reports that in Cyprus, costs are 22 percent below those in the UK.
The website claims that utility costs are 41% less than in the UK, while food costs are reduced by 24% and shopping costs are reduced by 19.5 %.
"From my 15 years of experience living in Cyprus, the cost of living here is around 21 percent lower than in the UK," says ilisters.com. All things considered, the cost of living is lower than the EU average, albeit some items, such dairy, are more expensive than in the UK. Utilities like water, electricity, and sewerage services can be found at much reduced rates compared to the UK. When temperatures soar in the summer, it's tempting to leave the air conditioning on all day long but doing so can quickly rack up a hefty electrical bill.
Terms of Lease
By law, only properties designated as tourist accommodation by the Cyprus planning authority can be rented to visitors. A license from the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) is also required, and it will only be issued if your facility satisfies certain health and safety requirements. The government is considering loosening the stringent CTO regulations for rentals. The first €19,511 in rental income is exempt from taxation, then the rate increases to a maximum of 21 percent. Cyprus and the United Kingdom are parties to a double taxation pact.
*In Cyprus, there is no such thing as an estate or gift tax.