Cyprus property market now exclusively for ultra-rich expats buying into citizenship

Published:  20 Jun at 6 PM
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Official monthly reports show Cyprus real estate is booming.

The housing market in Cyprus would seem to be enjoying a spurt in the right direction after a drop in sales earlier this year. Cyprus has been a favourite British expat destination for several decades, with its long-established foreign community living, working and retiring on the historic Mediterranean island. This year, it seems to be more popular than ever, with property sales across the entire region up by 60 per cent on last year’s figures.

Of all the purchase contracts lodged, 41 per cent represented property purchase by foreign clients, many of whom are expected to be seeking permanent residency. The recent increase in house purchases is believed by some to be part of the rush to get Cypriot passports before the rules changed in mid-May, but this doesn’t account for strong sales throughout 2019. Some 19 per cent of the total sales were of high-end residential property in Famagusta, Nicosia and Larnaca, suggesting the government’s golden visa scheme was being used by purchasers.

Statistics revealing the nationalities of foreign purchasers suggest substantially increased interest from Middle Eastern, Russian, Asian and Chinese buyers looking to get Cypriot citizenship as well as a a luxury home from home, with British expat buyers now being priced out of the market in many areas. New developments of luxury condos are springing up in Limassol, along with high-spec villas including sea views, all aimed at the golden visa market. In addition, a recent survey placed Cyprus as the third best world country for expats form the USA. It would seem the moral aspect of selling citizenships formerly regarded as birthrights isn’t a concern for those wealthy enough to buy into a new country.
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