Chinese buyers have emerged recently as among the biggest buyers of properties for sale in Cyprus. According to the Chinese property portal Juwai.com, Cyprus figures prominently in most property searches made by wealthy Chinese looking for an overseas property.
What does this mean for you, if you’re looking to sell property in Cyprus fast in 2017? Well, it’s good news for sure; it’s likely that the Chinese interest in Cyprus would allow you to get a good price for your home in the island. You should definitely advertise your property on the top Chinese property portals and on popular Chinese social media sites such as WeChat.
What attracts Chinese buyers about Cyprus is not just that it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with stunning landscape, lovely beaches, great weather all through the year, no pollution, friendly people and a relaxed and laid back lifestyle.
They are also attracted by the fact that non-EU investors that buy properties in Cyprus worth at least 300,000 EUR can get a permanent residency here. This scheme is called the Golden Visa. It has been tried in Portugal, Spain and Greece, and it has led to a lot of interest in Cyprus.
The opportunity to get a permanent residence of a European Union member state is something many wealthy Chinese have latched on to. A permanent residency of Cyprus would give them the right to travel as they please across the European Union.
As a young Chinese looking to buy a home in Cyprus online said, a house in Cyprus was an attractive option as that allowed them the freedom to travel as they wanted to, to any country in the European Union.
Not just from younger Chinese, there is a demand for Cyprus Golden Visas even from older Chinese nationals. For them, the incentive is to put their children in European schools – Cyprus has some of the very best international schools in Europe.
Also, there is this desire to be close to their children who are in universities across Europe. Living in Cyprus would allow them to do that. In fact, that seems to be a big motivation, as 85 percent of the millionaires in China intend to send their children to Europe for their higher education, as per the Hurun Report.
While the Golden Visa program has been subjected to a lot of criticism, it also has its share of supporters. François Godement, who heads the China programme for the European Council On Foreign Relations, explains why it’s a good thing: "I see intelligent and talented young Chinese whose presence in Europe might be to our benefit who run into problems when they try to stay. Yet there are immigrant businesspeople who don't seem to have any problems [in getting the necessary paperwork]."
However, he adds that it’s not as clear cut as it seems. "Where it really becomes a problem is where the country granting residence is part of Schengen [the agreement on freedom of movement of people]. That is quite problematic. That is going to raise eyebrows in Brussels and elsewhere. Cyprus is not in Schengen. But Portugal is, and so is Spain," Mr. Godement said.
But it is clear why Cyprus is so popular. It’s a quiet place with a very little crime rate, where people are very friendly towards foreigners. Cyprus has an open, inclusive and diverse culture and is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. That’s why the demand for holiday homes here remains strong.