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Buying Property in Cyprus

When buying property in Cyprus, everyone has heard of it being desirable to be able to get the funds out again. The island is an offshore business centre and attracts many foreign investors who use their assets here as part of their business.

The first requirement is that one can afford the fair market value of the Cyprus real estate property ( There are no special provisions for Cyprus residents – it is only foreigners who are subject to the usual restrictions on foreign exchange. This means that if you want to buy a villa in Paphos, then you need to show that you have the money equivalent of the purchase price available in euros or other convertible currency.

Assuming that one can afford the full cost of the property, there are three ways by which one can get this money into Cyprus:

The first option is to bring your own funds with you when buying. Real estate agents normally require around ten percent of the total purchase price as an agency fee. The remaining ninety percent has to be deposited before signing unconditional sale agreements and paying out another five percent deposit on completion day. Only then can you get the sale agreement signed. This is where it gets difficult, as banks will rarely let anyone bring their own euros into Cyprus – unless they are willing to open an account with them first. If one has not already done so in another eurozone country, opening an account in a different financial centre than the one where you normally live helps immensely. Banks seem to be far more cooperative if they know that there are other banks available which could provide access to your money if needed.

Not having assets or debts at home makes it impossible for most people to open accounts in any jurisdiction until they have made enough profit with their investment (and sometimes after several years of paying taxes due on this income)

The second option is using someone else’s bank account to transfer the money. This involves opening a power of attorney with an account holder in another jurisdiction which authorises you to withdraw or transfer funds held by that person into your own offshore account – then move them on to Cyprus as if they were your own funds. The advantages are clear – one can use this method even without having, or being able, to open an actual bank account yourself. There are several options available for transferring large sums of money from other jurisdictions. One option is TransferWise , where the sender takes care of all technicalities and paperwork needed. Also consider using platforms like CurrencyFair.

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The third option is finding someone who has already brought their own funds into Cyprus and uses them as legal collateral for a loan. The advantage of this method is that the transfer costs are zero, so one does not need to open an account in advance. The borrower can be someone who has transferred their own funds into Cyprus without having opened an account yet (or whose bank account was closed because they were unable to supply any acceptable means of identification or stay in Cyprus for more than ninety days). They would only need to keep their funds available at all times and provide you with written authorisation to access them as collateral against your loan.

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