Cyprus has always been popular with Brits and other foreign nationals looking to buy a second home abroad. However, the property market in Cyprus sank in 2012 and 2013 because of a fall in its economy. This drove away many overseas investors who had shown interest in the country.
Cyprus had other serious problems as well. If you have real estate for sale in Cyprus, you are probably well aware of how difficult it used to be for foreign nationals to register their property in Cyprus. In fact, getting title deeds for a newly bought property took 5 to 6 years, because of the bureaucratic red tape and poorly formulated laws.
Sure, you were never at risk of losing your property; however, dealing with Cyprus’ Land Registry Office is a real pain in the neck as it controls all the title deeds in Cyprus. There used to be a huge backlog in the Land Registry Office, because of which home-owners were forced to wait for several years before they could receive their title deeds.
This may not have been a problem for those who were not really interesting in selling their Cyprus property and expected to be in Cyprus for 6 or more years. It was a problem for those who wanted to move out of Cyprus or sell property quickly, because they wanted to move back to the UK (or wherever) or simply needed the money real fast, for whatever reason, such as a medical emergency, for example.
It is obviously very difficult to sell a property without title deeds, as any prospective property buyers will want the title deeds to be handed over before making the payment for the house. For this reason, selling property quickly in Cyprus was very difficult.
But now, selling a property in Cyprus should get a lot easier with new changes in the law. Brand new regulations have been introduced by the government because of which the waiting period for the title deeds to be handed over is likely to get much shorter than in the past.
The transfer tax - which is the same as Stamp Duty in the UK, has been reduced by 50% on all property transactions. The transfer tax on the resale of properties has been fixed at 3 to 8 percent, depending on the value of the property, which is pretty reasonable.
All properties that were purchased before 2016 will not be subjected to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on their sale - which is terrific news for those looking to sell property in Cyprus. This can make a huge difference as in the past the Capital Gains Tax was levied at 20 percent of the gain the property’s value, which ate away at the seller’s profit margin.
Other positive changes include abolishing immovable property tax - which is similar to the Council Tax in the US and eliminating inheritance tax, which is levied when a property is passed from parent to child. All of these are excellent changes which make selling property so much easier.
Elaine Ferguson of Overseasguidescompany.com says, “These changes will be welcomed by both buyers and sellers of property in Cyprus. It makes the property cheaper for British buyers, which should stimulate sales and help vendors to find a buyer more quickly. And on one level, having lower completion costs makes Cyprus more attractive than other second home destinations.”
The best part is that the title deeds are passed directly to the buyers immediately after they have paid for their properties - no more waiting! This is excellent news for the Cyprus property market as it solves the title deeds problem which made things so difficult for buyers in the past and simplifies property transactions by a considerable extent.