CYPRUS: THE PROPERTY PURCHASE PROCESS
Cyprus: The Property Purchase Process
CHOICE OF PROPERTY
We strongly recommend that the buyer chooses the property first, but not to pay any money until we meet with a lawyer. You can search for property on www.bestcyprusproperties.com
We will introduce the buyer to English speaking local lawyers, who will listen to all your worries and questions and will give the real picture, which is perhaps not always what the buyer wants to hear, but at least it is reality. If there are no legal or other problems with the chosen property, the buyer may wish to appoint the lawyer to handle the transaction.
To reserve the property you are expected to put a deposit of € 2,000, however this may vary according to the size and the value of the property and often the amount of the deposit is decided between the vendor and the buyer.
When the chosen lawyer is ready and happy with all the paperwork, the buyer will be expected to pay 30% of the value of the property (in some cases this can be as low as 20%, but it is usually 30%). This should occur between 1-4 weeks after signing the Contract.
1] holding deposit € 2,000
2] 30% down payment (using your own funds) and the balance coming either from individual funds or a bank loan (the buyer is advised to bring any recent bank statements and income statements as well as any other documents that will support the loan application). In many cases, the bank may approve that the deposit is 20%, depending on the buyer’s individual circumstances.
“INTEREST ONLY” LOANS
Interest only loans, are also available, but local banks are being very selective these days.
The length of the loan may be up to 40 years, but this depends mainly on the buyer's age.
Lawyers in Cyprus charge between €1,000 - 2,000 depending on the value of the property. This will be negotiated and agreed between the buyer and the lawyer - we only make the introductions.
WHEN THERE ARE NO TITLE DEEDS
When separate title deeds are not ready, there is a certain procedure that makes the whole transaction safe. We strongly advise buyers to follow this procedure, which we will explain it to you while you are in Cyprus. It is best to avoid any short cuts that you may be advised by others to follow. The transaction will still be safe, but there will be steps to follow in order to keep it that way.
The purchaser will be liable to pay the following transfer fees for the property acquired, when this is registered in their name at the District Lands Office. The fees are charged on the property’s market value at the date of purchase (i.e. the date given on the last valid contract submitted to the Land Registry Office).
Value of Property Transfer Fee Rate % on property value
Up to €85,430 3.0%
€85,431 - €170,860 5.0%
Over €170,861 8.0%
Transfer fee of a property valued at €175,000 [provided such property is in one name] will be:
3% for the first €85,430 = € 2, 562.90
5% for €85,431 - €170,860 = € 4, 271.45
8% for €4,140 = € 331.20
Total Transfer Fee € 11, 434.10
Should the property be in joint names the transfer fee will be:
3% for the first €85,430 x 2 = €170,860 = € 5,125.80
5% for €4.140 = € 207.00
Total Transfer Fee € 5,332.80
However, if the property is purchased in 2 (or more) people, this tax drops considerably.
(NB: An easier way to work out the transfer fee for a property purchased in joint names is to divide the total property value by two, use the formula for one name then multiply the result by two). Remember that this amount is calculated on the net amount of the property (excluding VAT). This means that for a house which is priced at € 2,000,000, taxes are calculated on € 1,739,000 and not on € 2,000,000.
Under the Cyprus 'Immovable Property Tax' laws 1980-2004 all property owners, regardless of whether they're resident in Cyprus or not, are liable to pay an annual tax based on the total value of all the immovable property registered in their name.
Cyprus' property tax is calculated on the market value of the property as at 1st January 1980 and is paid annually to the Inland Revenue Department.It applies to the immovable property owned by the taxpayer on 1st January each year.
Individual owners are exempt from this tax if the 1980 value of their property is less than €12,500.
Calculating your Immovable Property Tax liability:
Every registered owner whose immovable property value exceeds €120,000 is required to submit a Declaration of Immovable Property (IR 301 and IR 302) and pay the respective tax every year before 30 September.
In September 2013, the government revised the tax bands as follows:
Market Value of Property (1/1/1980) Annual Property Tax Accumulated Tax [Max]
up to € 12,500 0% €0
€ 12,501 to € 40,000 0.60% * €240
€ 40,001 to € 120,000 0.80% €880
€ 120,001 to € 170,000 0.90% €1,130
€ 170,001 to € 300,000 1.10% €2,760
€ 300,001 to € 500,000 1.30% €5,360
€ 500,001 to € 800,000 1.50% €9,860
€ 800,001 to € 3,000,000 1.70% €47,260
More than € 3,000,000 1.90%
*Those owning property whose total 1980 value exceeds €12,500 will pay tax on their total 1980 value.
In 2014 all Market Value of Property will change to reflect 2013 prices and not 1980 prices as now shown.
Local Authority Taxes & Rates
A rough guide could be approximately € 85 - € 260 per year depending on the size of your property. This tax is for refuse collection, street lighting, sewerage, etc.
The basic utilities, electricity, water and telephone are payable individually in accordance with the consumption and based on a meter reading.
Please search for properties on www.bestcyprusproperties.com