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Abroad investors propelling Cyprus' property market

High Net Worth Investors Propelling Cyprus’ Property Market

13.06.19

Cyprus’ property market is at an 11-year high, following a rush of applications to the country’s “Golden Visa” citizenship programme. The picturesque island has long been popular with overseas purchasers, who are drawn to its sunny climate, relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, rich history and budget friendly real estate. Leptos Estates, the leading Cypriot developer, has recently shifted its focus to meet the demand from a mix of high net worth investors, promoting a number of luxury homes and resorts; including Armonia Beach Villas, a stunning collection of villas located between the bustling harbour of Paphos and the blue flag sandy beach of Coral Bay.

The flurry of interest from these, overseas investors has been boosted by the government’s “Golden Visa Programme”. In return for a property purchase of €300,000, buyers can gain residency, and for €2 million, non-EU citizens qualify for a Cyprus citizenship, allowing them to travel, work and live freely within the EU and Schengen zone.

The scheme has been incredibly popular, attracting an estimated €4 billion worth of investment since 2013 and contributing a 20% increase in foreign buying activity, compared to this time last year. Foreign purchasers also made up 44.6% of all property sales in Cyprus between January – May 2019. Of these properties, 71% were purchased by non-EU nationals and the remaining 29% of these purchased by EU nationals.

On top of this, the country’s tax system continues to entice international purchasers. The corporation tax rate for all companies is just 12.5%. The estate duty has been abolished since January 2000. The first €19,500 of earned annual income is tax-free, whilst foreign pensions above €3,420 are taxed at 5%, both reasons why more foreigners purchased homes than Cypriots in 2018. Cyprus has also invested heavily in its infrastructure and efforts to create a cosmopolitan lifestyle destination in line with top global hotspots, including a new DP World cruise terminal, the construction of Europe’s largest casino resort, private jet and yachting services, golf courses and new designer retail offerings.

Cyprus’ strategic location between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, (Cyprus is only a four hour flight from the UK or Russia, three from Dubai and only an hour from neighbouring Egypt, Jordan, Israel or Lebanon), has cemented it as a “centre of excellence” for international business. Traditional sectors, such as shipping, tourism, banking, financial and professional services, have been the key driving forces behind the island’s economy for years, while new sectors, such as energy, investment funds, development, education and wellness tourism, offer a new and existing perspective that will drive the economy forward. Such services helped deliver GDP growth of 3.9% in 2018.

To accompany the island’s new amenities, property developers are focusing on prime new-build developments. Limassol Marina was the first luxury project to attract super-yacht owners, and the wider area has since become a hotspot for wealthy homeowners. More than a dozen new high-rise residential buildings are being constructed. Many of them offering a full range of residential, leisure, business and lifestyle amenities, including avant-garde apartments futuristic offices, landscaped gardens, health and fitness spas, restaurants and boutiques.

Paphos however, remains the No.1 location for property hunters in Cyprus. Best known as the birthplace of the Goddess Aphrodite, Paphos remains a popular tourist destination and is one of the most beautiful regions in the Mediterranean; home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as numerous historic landmarks.

Pantelis Leptos, Deputy President of Leptos Group of Companies, comments; “Paphos remains the most popular location for EU and non-EU buyers and entrepreneurs, contributing to 40.6% of all sales between January and May 2019. Paphos was followed by Limassol with 29.5% of all sales, Larnaca with 15.3%, Farmagusta with 7.4% and Nicosia with just 7.2%. Prime residential developments (€1million plus), have seen the greatest surge in value over the past year, increasing by 27% on average, compared to properties below this bracket, which have seen an average growth of approximately 6% on the previous year.”

Armonia Beach Villas one of Paphos’ most desirable developments. Located on spacious grounds facing directly onto the sea, villas are surrounded by landscaped gardens with a large private swimming pool at the front. Built to the highest standards, villas also feature , outdoor BBQ areas, and ample parking. Designed to look sleek and modern, the properties also respect the building character of the island, with white exterior finishes and large verandas with masses of outdoor living areas.

Pantelis Leptos, continues; “Most overseas purchasers want new developments that offer a “lock up and leave” option, providing peace of mind when they are out of the country. Developments that offer concierge, security and housekeeping services will ensure their property is safe and well-maintained and ready for them when they arrive. Such prime developments are also seeing the strongest capital growth, making them even more attractive in the long term.”

“Cyprus’ Golden Visa Programme continues to drive interest from non-EU applicants, in particular those from the Far East, Middle East, India, Russia and South Africa. We often find buyers coming to us directly, because we offer a totally comprehensive range of services, removing the stress for our clients. From land acquisition, design and build, furnishing, property management, landscaping, to legal and financial advice, we ensure our clients are skilfully guided through the process, whether they want an elegant beachfront apartment, coastal villa or rural home”.

Prices at Armonia Beach Villas start from €2,196,000. For more information, please contact Leptos Estates on 0044 7874093174 email : info@LeptosEstates.com or visit www.leptosestates.com

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