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Law changes encourage overseas investment

With the aim of attracting investment into Cyprus from countries outside the EU, citizens of those countries may now acquire more than one dwelling providing that certain criteria and conditions are met.

CYPRUS has been reaching out to third countries (those from outside the European Union) with some notable success and the government has amended the law to further encourage investment in property.

The amendments, announced by the Interior Ministry last month, enable an individual or a couple from a third country to purchase up to two units in the same development.

The two units must be adjoining and, if they are houses or apartments, they may be consolidated into a single unit. (This could include a pair of adjoining town houses or a pair of apartments sharing a party wall or having a common ceiling/floor).

The units may be two residential units units (apartments or houses) or a residential unit and a store with an area of 100 square meters, or a home office with an area of 250 square meters.

Cyprus has had some success in attracting more visitors from China. Property developers from the island took more than 30 booths at the International Property Expo held at the China World Trade Centre in Beijing last September.

According to a report in the China Daily, the Cypriot embassy in Beijing had received more than 1,500 visa applications by November last year, while only 350 visas were issued during the whole of 2011.

Wei Kefei, a director at the Beijing International Property Expo, said moving abroad, securing a sound education and diversifying asset portfolios are the top three reasons why Chinese are purchasing international properties.

Readers' comments

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  • Costas Apacket says:

    Confucius say: ‘Don’t touch it with a barge-pole’

  • andyp says:

    Exactly Denton although I think you are as you say being generous. The population of China is approx 1.4 billion. Add to those numbers the “desired” one child and all you get is a huge waste of time and money.

    Why?

    So the title deed problem is not resolved as in my opinion the developers and banks with their “artful ways” have quite simply pushed Cyprus over the bailout edge.

    We will find out in a few weeks when Pimco figures released.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    AndyP is right. Let’s be generous and estimate that of the 1,500 visas applied for in China all were granted. Let’s also be generous and assume that of the 1,500 they were all independent individuals and not family groups of, say, 2 adults. So, that’s 1,500 potential individual buyers. Let’s also be absurdly optimistic and assume that 2/3 of the 1,500 actually buy a property in Cyprus.

    Hmmm. So,that’s 1,000 properties sold, a drop in the ocean compared with the number of ‘new’ properties for sale. My guess is that the actual number sold is more like 10-20% of that or 100-200. The Chinese property buyer in Cyprus is more of a curiosity than the saviour of the market.

  • Steve says:

    It’s a long long way from applying for a visa to buying a Cyprus property or two. I thought the major incentive for non-EU nationals to buy Cyprus property was the promise of a residence permit and maybe ultimately an EU passport if their financial status qualifies them. In fact, I read that Spain offers a better deal. I don’t see how permission to be burdened with two properties without title deeds does anything more to enhance the offer.

  • andyp says:

    “According to a report in the China Daily, the Cypriot embassy in Beijing had received more than 1,500 visa applications by November last year, while only 350 visas were issued during the whole of 2011.”

    The Chinese spring has arrived and the property industry is saved!

  • steve says:

    What is the use of all these changes if you are never going to own the property. These third countries need to be made aware of the title deed fiasco and the crooked banks / lawyers / developers before they fall into the same trap as the rest of us. Keep the awareness campaigns going to keep the rest of the world safe.

  • Mike says:

    Is it not suspicious that the Interior Ministry is able to amend laws in double quick time in order to grab more money from unsuspecting buyers without giving them legal title to what they are paying for and burdening them with all the associated risks but seemingly incapable of amending those same laws to offer buyers title to what they have paid for.

    One would be forgiven for thinking that the interests of the powerful developer and legal lobbies are placed above those of the consumer. Caveat Emptor!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Great, we can now buy two properties that we won’t legally own for years due to them having no Title Deeds avalable to be registered in our names at the point of transfer / full payment.

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