Northern Cyprus Real Estate Market: What Do You Need to Know

The island of Cyprus is divided into two regions - Southern Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Both regions are independent of each other and were separated in 1974 after a peacekeeping operation carried out by the Turkish government. Despite the differences in culture, language and history, both regions have an excellent climate and beaches, which are considered among the best in the entire Mediterranean.

Today Northern Cyprus is one of the most sought after investment destinations. The region is annually chosen by millions of tourists (2.5 million guests visited the TRNC in 2019), students (there are about 15 international educational institutions whose diplomas are accepted abroad) and families. The standard of living in the TRNC is not lower than in Turkey, and zero crime, corruption and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables all year round attract more and more foreigners.

In this article, we will consider the main questions that are of interest to potential buyers of real estate in Northern Cyprus.

Buying property in Northern Cyprus - is it legal?

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a country so far recognized only by Turkey. Negotiations are currently underway between the Turkish and Greek sides and the international community for a single agreement on the status of the territories.

After the separation of the island into two states in 1974, part of the land, originally owned by the Greek Cypriots, was transferred to the Turkish population. In exchange, the former owners were given equivalent real estate in South Cyprus, previously owned by Turkish Cypriots. Thus, the Turkish population from the southern part moved to the north, and the Greek, respectively, to the south.

Disputes about who owns the land are still ongoing, but there is only one right answer - the territory of Northern Cyprus belongs to the TRNC and only to it. Those who are just thinking about buying real estate in Northern Cyprus are usually afraid that the property will be taken away by the previous owners and they will be forced to pay compensation. These rumors are also supported by the government of the Greek part of the island, as after the financial crisis in Southern Cyprus in 2013, investors turned their attention to Northern Cyprus. Claims that you can lose your home are completely unfounded - such actions are impossible. In the past, there were precedents for attempts by Greek Cypriots to claim property rights, but today such disputes are no longer considered (the relevant decision of 03/05/2010 is published on the official website of the European Human Rights Court). In case of any claims and demands from the Greek side, all compensations are paid by a separate commission established by the government. Thus, no damage is done to the property or funds of the buyers.

Property titles in Northern Cyprus

Title Deed/ Certificate of ownership (‘kochan’ in Turkish) in the TRNC is only one. For the internal work of real estate agencies, several subtypes are defined, but only one is officially valid and, therefore, relevant to sellers and buyers. After the registration of the ‘kochan’ in the Land Registry, the ownership of real estate is completely transferred to you.

Property titles in Northern Cyprus

How to choose a real estate agency in North Cyprus?

When choosing a real estate company, you should pay attention to its reliability, reputation and experience. A licensed agency works only with trusted developers. It is worth considering the previous projects of construction companies and customer reviews about them.

Why do you need a realtor?

The advantage of working with a reliable developer is that before starting construction, the company sends a request to the Land Registry of Northern Cyprus. The Land Registry determines the final status of the land. If the owners of the plot are Greeks, then the Land Commission pays them the due compensation. Once the status of the land is regulated, the developer is issued a construction permit. Companies that value their name do not start works without obtaining the necessary documents and conduct it absolutely legally.

Realtor Global is your reliable partner in the Northern Cyprus real estate market. We are the company with more than 10 years of experience, and our priorities are always quality, professionalism and the trust of our customers.

What kind of property can be bought in Northern Cyprus?

Until now, a foreigner could buy and legally own only one unit of real estate. In May of this year, an amendment was adopted to the existing law, according to which a foreigner can own four property objects.

According to the current legislation, a foreigner can buy:

  • Four apartments
  • Plot up to 1,338 square meters for building a house
  • House with a plot of up to 6,691 square meters (+ 3 apartments).

What kind of property can be bought in Northern Cyprus?

How much does it cost to register a property in Northern Cyprus?

When making a real estate transaction, the buyer pays:

  • VAT - 5% of the contract value of the property
  • Title transfer tax - 3% of the cadastral value of the object
  • Stamp duty - 0.5% of the contract value of the object
  • Lawyer fees - 1,500 British pounds.

Expenses after the completion of the transaction:

  • Registering a water meter for a new property – about £200 
  • Registering a water meter for secondary housing - about £100 
  • Registering an electricity meter for a new property - about £300 
  • Registering an electricity meter for secondary housing - about £100

The annual property tax is 1 Turkish Lira/square meter.

How to get a residence permit in Northern Cyprus?

Property owners in Northern Cyprus are eligible to obtain a residence permit. The primary document is issued for a period of 1 year, which can be extended up to three times. Then a residence permit is issued for a period of 2 years.

The main condition for a foreigner who wants to obtain a residence permit for real estate in Northern Cyprus is the presence of a document confirming the ownership of real estate (‘kochan’). Housing must be habitable. Also, to apply for a residence permit, it is enough to pay only a third of the purchase amount. Also, the applicant is required to provide a certificate of monthly income (at least 3 official minimum salaries). If the applicant purchased the property in installments, the amount of the monthly payment for the purchased object must be added to the income document.

How to obtain citizenship of Northern Cyprus through the purchase of real estate?

Buying real estate in the TRNC gives the right to obtain not only a residence permit, but also citizenship. If in Turkey citizenship is issued immediately under certain conditions, then in Northern Cyprus there is no such practice. Continuous residence in the region for 12 years on a residence permit / work visa is the base for obtaining TRNC citizenship.

How to obtain citizenship of Northern Cyprus through the purchase of real estate?

Is it a good time to invest in real estate in Northern Cyprus?

Plenty of excellent offers at yet affordable prices is the reason why you need to buy property in Northern Cyprus right now! The island offers opportunities for learning and comfortable permanent residence on the coast - isn't this what everyone dreams of?

Given the renewed negotiations on the unification of Turkish and Greek Cyprus into a federal state, it will unite the real estate markets and equalize prices. Thus, prices in the north of the island will become the same as in the south, many times higher. This is another factor why you should hurry with the decision to invest in property in Northern Cyprus.

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