How can I buy property in North Cyprus?
The Mediterranean Sea is the world’s favorite vacation spot, but for some, a vacation is not enough, and they would rather settle down and make it a permanent vacation. For starters, housing costs in North Cyprus are significantly lower than everywhere else in the Mediterranean. When compared to Southern Cyprus or Spain, you can buy a property for half the price and in a pollution free zone.
North Cyprus is not only an ideal place to buy a second home, but it is also a great place to invest in real estate, which never goes down but always goes up. With the extra benefit of subletting to support your own holiday bills until you decide to settle down for good. North Cyprus is significantly healthier than most modern countries with much cheaper living costs, thanks to lower pollution and more organic farming.
Guide for buyers
Purchasing property in North Cyprus is a very simple process, but foreigners are highly advised to engage a properly certified and recommended lawyer, as with any purchase in unfamiliar terrain. Foreigners who want to buy property in North Cyprus are limited to one per person or married couple. Alternatively, up to one donum of land can be purchased (1,338sq meters or 14,400 sq.ft). When purchasing foreign or Turkish titles, this restriction does not apply. All purchases must first be approved by the government, which can take up to six months. Different types of titles are used to sell land and property:
Turkish Tile: This refers to property owned by Turks or Turkish Cypriots prior to the 1974 partition of Cyprus.
Foreign Title: Prior to 1974, this was owned by Europeans or other foreigners. Both of the above are well-known on a global scale.
Also known as “points land” or “eshdeger” in North Cyprus, this is land or property that the Turkish Cypriot administration gave them in exchange for land of equivalent size and value that they lost in the south after the 1974 war. Turkish Cypriot exiles were awarded points based on the value of their property in the south, which they may exchange for a Turkish Title Deed (Kesin Tasarruf Belgesi – Absolute Possession Document). These properties may be subject to compensation claims from former Greek Cypriot owners in the event of a future political agreement in Cyprus based on the United Nations’ Annan Plan.
If compensation is ordered, it is widely assumed that it will be based on pre-1974 values and will be low. For example, in Northern Cyprus, the vast majority of new development is taking place on land that was abandoned more than thirty years ago or was only used for grazing and the like. Property with a TRNC title deed can be deemed safe to buy.
TDM stands for “Turk Mali Degil,” which translates to “Not Turkish Title.” This includes land that the North Cyprus government gave to Turkish settlers and other critical employees after 1975. The land is largely owned by former Greek Cypriots and is located in the Karpaz peninsula. Due to lower pricing, the sale and exchange of this type of title is expanding, although it has a higher risk element than the titles described above.
Leasehold Title: This is government property that can be purchased on a 49-year leasehold basis. Buyers can apply for a lease directly or through a solicitor to the Minister of Tourism. Although there are a few old historic buildings available, these are primarily directed to tourism development enterprises.
The following actions can be taken to purchase freehold property in North Cyprus:
To begin, locate a property that meets your needs and come to an agreement on a price.
Under the supervision of an assigned lawyer, the vendor and the buyer draft a contract in which such details as the negotiated price, completion date, and any other applicable conditions are entered and signed by both parties. At this point, the buyer pays a 10% deposit. The buyer’s solicitor applies for a permit to purchase the property from the Council of Ministers; this permit may take six to nine months to process. Once the permit has been issued, the buyer must pay the balance due; this prompts the seller to sign the transfer of all rights to the property in the buyer’s name, and the transaction is officially completed.
Leasehold property in North Cyprus can be purchased in a similar fashion to that in the rest of the country; the only difference is that you or your lawyer must apply directly to the Tourism Ministry rather than the Interior Ministry.
When completing the application, a ten percent deposit is paid and retained in the name of the seller. Once permission has been granted, the buyer and seller can complete the transaction with mutual consent.
The costs of the aforementioned method are estimates and may vary, but the application and solicitor fees are estimated to be at 10% of the property value plus a 3% stamp duty imposed by the office of land registration.
The following is a breakdown of the costs associated with purchasing a home:
- In most circumstances, a deposit of 10-20% of the purchase price is required, followed by stage payments as the project progresses.
- The solicitor fee is about £1000 (subject to change according to current exchange rates).
- 3% stamp duty.
- For power and water connections, approximately £200 – £600 (subject to change according to current exchange rates).
- Council tax; 1% VAT; 5%.
- Yearly property tax is approximately £15 (but subject to change).
Water charges vary greatly based on the size and location of the property, as well as whether or not the pool and irrigation system are used extensively. However, a typical bi-monthly price would be around £10 (which is subject to change). Note: Electricity is paid on a monthly basis at an average of £25 in the summer and £50 in the winter (subject to change according to current exchange rates).
Some frequently asked questions about real estate in North Cyprus
How cheap is real estate in North Cyprus?
Real estate in North Cyprus is relatively cheap compared to other countries. For example, a three-bedroom villa property can cost you around £300,000.
Why should I get a real estate lawyer in North Cyprus?
When purchasing property in another country, you will be charged a variety of registration fees, taxes, and stamp duties. Getting a property is a pleasant process, but it is also a time-consuming one that necessitates extensive documentation and a thorough understanding of the real estate government’s mandatory standards. This is why hiring a North Cyprus property lawyer to assist you with the property purchase is highly suggested.
What is considered premium real estate in North Cyprus?
Where can you buy real estate in North Cyprus for city living?
Real estate in the following cities in North Cyprus is recommended for city living: Nicosia, Girne, Famagusta, and İskele.
How do I obtain a North Cyprus resident permit through the acquisition of real estate?
You can read our previous blog post to find out more about the requirements and procedures for obtaining “North Cyprus visas and residency permits“.