Buying property in Cyprus as a foreigner: UK guide

Gert Svaiko

The allure of Cyprus’ mediterranean climate and golden beaches makes it an attractive second home for Brits - whether you’re looking for a place to spend long summer breaks, or retire to Cyprus.

Buying property in Cyprus does require careful planning to make sure it goes smoothly, and any potential pitfalls are avoided. Our complete guide to buying property in Cyprus is here to help. It covers everything you need to know about the property market, mortgages and fees, as well as the buying process itself.

We’ll even look at some of the most attractive locations on the island which you could be calling home, and we’ll also touch on the best ways to cover overseas property costs. We hope that this guide will prove a useful starting place when considering Cyprus for your dream property purchase.

And, if you want to manage your money easily in both Cyprus and the UK, check out the Wise account. Wise lets you send, spend, receive, convert and manage your money in multiple currencies – including British pounds and euros – always at the mid-market exchange rate. Wise takes the security of your money seriously – and offers secure, fast payments, along with specialist support.


Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

What’s the property market like in Cyprus?

Cyprus’ property market is split between two key areas - the urban centres of Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, and the coastal resort areas of Paphos and Famagusta, which see particular demand from expats looking to soak up the sun.

Up until 2020, the market was faring much better than it had in a long time, following 3 years of significant improvement.¹ However, the country’s economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had a knock-on effect on the property market.

And, according to Deloitte’s February 2021 - Cyprus Real Estate Market Report, in 2020 total contracts of sales were considerably lower at 7,968 compared to 10,366 in 2019, a reduction of 23%.²

More recently, in 2022, the demand for real estate in Cyprus was in an upward trend with buyers especially interested in land and luxury homes.³

Can foreigners buy a house in Cyprus?

In short - yes, foreigners are able to purchase property in Cyprus. What’s more, it’s easier to do so here when compared with many European countries.

EU citizens are able to purchase property in Cyprus with no restrictions. For UK nationals, it’s still possible, but the rules have changed slightly since the UK left the EU.

Buying property in Cyprus after Brexit

UK nationals may buy one property in Cyprus and are entitled to hold the freehold. The property can be either an apartment, house, villa on a building site or plot of land limited to no more than 4,014 sq. m.⁴

In some instances, the purchase of a second property (such as a holiday home) may be allowed. UK nationals looking to buy property in Cyprus also need to be aware that following Brexit, they can only stay for a total of 90 days in any 180-day period. If you wish to stay for longer, then you’ll need to apply for a visa.⁴

Importantly, the process to purchase is now different for post-Brexit buyers. When entering into a sale, you’ll need to apply to the Council of Ministers for permission to purchase a property and title deeds won’t be passed to you until permission is granted.⁵ While it’s a formality and highly unlikely your application will be refused, you’ll also need a clause included in the contract to outline what should happen if permission isn’t granted.

It’s not uncommon for the application to take several months to a year to finalise. You also won’t be permitted to rent or lease property, acquire a share in a property and unmarried couples can’t buy a property in joint names.

What’s the approximate cost of different properties in Cyprus?

The cost of properties varies a lot between locations on the island. For example, prime locations such as the nation’s capital Nicosia and the trendy wine-making region of Limassol are pricier than others. As with many places, it also makes a difference how close to the city centre you plan to live or retire in Cyprus.

To help you get a feel for how affordable property is in some of the most popular destinations, we’ve put together approximate prices per square metre in GBP, as below:

LocationPrice per sq.m - flat in city centrePrice per sq.m - flat outside city centre

And, if you’re arranging your property purchase in Cyprus while still in the UK, you’ll need a safe, reliable and preferably low-cost way to send over fees, deposits and other payments.

The Wise account could be a great solution, with transparent, low fees, and multiple layers of security, so you can safely transfer large amounts overseas.

Learn more about the Wise account

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Best places to buy property in Cyprus


There are attractive properties to be found in locations all over the island, so where you’ll want to buy will depend very much on what kind of lifestyle you want.

For example, do you crave city culture alongside a sea front? Perhaps Larnaca is the place for you. Or do you just want to be close to Cyprus’ best beaches? Famagusta might be more what you’re looking for.

Here is an overview of some of the more popular locations with British expats, so you can get a feel for life on the island:

  • Paphos - A very popular region with an established expat community. It has a lot to offer - an attractive harbour, a historical old town, and beaches too. It has a local international airport, which is convenient for frequent travel.
  • Famagusta - Located on the east coast, it lays claim to some of the best beaches in Cyprus, perfect for those who love sunbathing, swimming and watersports. Ayia Napa is also located here. Once famous for its clubs, it’s now a rejuvenated, family-orientated resort.
  • Limassol - On the southern coast, Limassol is Cyprus’ second largest city and the capital of Limassol district. The Limassol region is famed for being at the heart of the winemaking industry in Cyprus.
  • Larnaca - The oldest city in Cyprus is located on the west coast. It combines culture and beach-life, and having the best of both worlds makes it an attractive tourist spot. It’s also home to a major international airport, which makes getting there easy.
  • Nicosia - The capital city of Cyprus is located 50 kilometres from the coast and its historic centre, splendid Venetian walls, busy shops, museums and art galleries make for a thriving city. For those who love city life, Nicosia could be the right choice.

How to buy property in Cyprus as a foreigner - a step-by-step guide

The steps to purchase property are fairly similar to those in the UK, but with a few differences. We’ve outlined the key steps below:

  1. Arrange your mortgage - If you’re not a cash buyer, look into mortgages and loans first, to work out how much banks will be willing to lend you before you get started.
  2. Appoint a local lawyer - check that they’re independent from the developer/vendor and estate agent involved in the sale, to make sure your interests are looked after.
  3. Start your property search - websites such as Rightmove Overseas can be a great place to start.
  4. Once you’ve found a property, it’s important to visit in person to check that the condition matches your expectations.
  5. Make your offer - once you’re happy with the property you’ve found, make an offer through the estate agent.
  6. Apply in writing to the Council of Ministers for permission to purchase the property.⁵
  7. Sign the sale contract, which will also be signed by the vendor.
  8. Transfer the funds.
  9. Complete the sale - the property will be registered in your name once permissions have been granted and funds certified.

How to avoid big problems when buying a property in Cyprus?

There are some things to look out for during the property buying process and actions to take to help you avoid pitfalls.

  1. Frequently, developers will take out a mortgage on land or property, for which you’d become liable in the event they become bankrupt, and you’ve signed a contract to purchase it. Appoint an independent lawyer to check no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to purchase, which will ensure you don’t encounter difficulties at a later date. Ask your lawyer to obtain a Land Search Certificate from the Land Registry.⁹
  2. Be aware that buying property in the north of Cyprus comes with some risk. Ownership of property is often disputed in the north due to claims of ownership arising from people displaced in 1974. Purchasing such property could result in legal proceedings. Therefore, if you’re keen to buy in the north of the island, it’s a good idea to rent first and get to know the local market. A good lawyer should also help you obtain a property with the right type of indisputable deeds.⁹

How do I get a bank loan/mortgage in Cyprus?

If you need a mortgage to help you buy a property in Cyprus, there are many banks willing to finance your home purchase, f.e. Cypriot in Cyprus. By law, the minimum down payment is 20 percent of the value of the property. However, as a foreigner, the local banks can ask you to cover 40-50% as down payment. Also, you’ll most likely face higher interest rates of around 6 - 7.5% per year, opposed to around 3 - 5% that’s offered to locals.¹⁰

When you’re ready to apply, you should expect to have to prove you’re a low-risk borrower. Be prepared to show your passport as proof of ID. You’ll also need to provide proof of income in the form of recent payslips, personal bank statements or audited accounts if you’re self-employed. You’ll also need proof of any other savings including shares, bonds and pension funds, for instance. The lender will then need to obtain a property valuation report.¹⁰

Your mortgage application can be approved when the lender finds everything is in order with your finances and the property in question. Once approved, you’ll let your lender know the completion date for the funds to be released.

What kind of taxes and fees will I need to pay?

To budget accurately for your purchase, keep these additional fees in mind:¹¹

Fees and taxes in CyprusRate
Transfer fees3-8%
Stamp duty0.15% to 0.20% based on property’s price
Legal fee0.10-1%

The estate agent fees are handled by the vendor, so you shouldn’t normally need to pay these.

Now you’re equipped with the information you need to start looking for that perfect place in sunny Cyprus. So that the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible, make sure to seek out help from independent lawyers to help you carry out thorough checks on your property. Best of luck with your search!

And, if you’re looking for ways to manage your finances in multiple countries, check out the Wise account. You can send and hold money in 50 currencies, and spend in 175 countries around the world using the Wise card.

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. Global Property Guide - Property in Cyprus
  2. Cyprus Property Buyers - Cyprus real estate market report
  3. Immigrant Invest - Cyprus real estate growth
  4. Expatra - Buying a property in Cyprus
  5. Cyprus Property Buyers - Buying a property in Cyprus after Brexit
  6. Numbeo - Property investment in Limassol and Nicosia
  7. Numbeo - Property investment in Nicosia and Paphos
  8. Numbeo - Property investment in Famagusta
  9. - How to buy a property in Cyprus
  10. Dom Live - How to get a mortgage in Cyprus?
  11. Global Property Guide - Buying property in Cyprus - a guide

Sources last checked on date: 27-Mar-2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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