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Will multiple dwelling law reinvigorate Cypriot property?

Amendments to the law governing the number of dwellings a non-European Union (EU) resident can own is hoped to give a much needed boost to Cypriot property .  With real estate prices in the country continuing to fall, the government is hoping to attract a new market of foreign investors with their latest move.  Under the changes, overseas buyers can invest in more than one property, as long as they meet certain criteria and conditions.

These include the purchase of licensed land or land that has not been divided into plots, with an area of up to 4,000 metres, for the erection of residential dwellings. Non-EU residents will also be permitted to buy two units in the same development, as long as the units are adjacent (horizontally or vertically) and involve houses or apartments that are possible to consolidate into one unit. Units may account for one or two apartments or houses, residential unit, a store with an area of 100 square metres, or a home office with an area of 250 metres, according to the Ministry of Interior.

These amendments will put Cyprus in direct competition with Spain for overseas investors, with the rival nation offering residency permits to foreign buyers who invest in property over €160,000 (£129,797). For both countries, Russia and China will be the prime markets and reports have shown that the latter is becoming particularly active.  Housing in China is increasing in price, causing many affluent and middle-class families to search elsewhere for their ideal home, China Daily recounted.

Cyprus will be hoping that it can capitalise on this, especially with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors property price index showing that prices and rents are continuing to fall. According to the figures, houses and flats posting a penultimate quarter decline of 1.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. The largest decrease was recorded in Larnaca, with a 2.1 per cent fall for houses and 4.6 per cent for rents.
Article by +Steve Binge on behalf of