Step by Step Guide on Buying a Property in Northern Cyprus
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus occupies the northern part of the island located in the Mediterranean Sea. Turkish Cyprus is a disputed state recognized by mainland Turkey. For other countries it is still just Cyprus. The Greek population lives in the southern part, the Turkish, respectively, in the northern part of the island.
Due to cultural differences, the island split in two in 1974. The Turkish government carried out a legitimate operation to separate the territories. To date, Turkish Cyprus has not yet been recognized by the world community, but is already receiving support from the European Union, Great Britain and the United States. Thanks to the cooperation of the government of the TRNC with Turkey and other countries, the previously imposed sanctions and economic embargo are gradually being removed.
Today, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a place that investors have just begun to discover. The real estate market here is about as untouched as the local nature (the golden sands and clear waters of the beaches have long attracted tourists from all over the world). Northern Cyprus offers not only the best places for recreation and education, but also high-quality comfortable real estate at competitive prices and with convenient payment terms.
Despite the fact that the purchase of property in Northern Cyprus by both Turkish and foreign citizens is completely legal, there are several nuances that should be taken into account.
The process of buying property in Northern Cyprus
Buying both commercial and residential property in Northern Cyprus is as easy as in Turkey, and the terms of the transaction can even be more profitable.
Before, a foreigner wishing to become a property owner in the TRNC was required to apply for permission to purchase property from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with the document of no criminal record enclosed. Also, the foreigner could acquire and register only one object.
On May 27, 2022, an amendment to the existing legislation on the purchase of real estate by foreigners came into force. The restriction on the purchase of objects located near military installations has been preserved. In accordance with the amendment published in the Official Gazette of the TRNC government, foreign citizens can now own 4 real estate units.
The changes include permission to purchase a plot of up to 1,338 square meters (with the subsequent right to build a house on it), a house with a plot of up to 6,691 square meters, or 4 apartments. When buying a house, a foreigner has the right to purchase up to 3 apartments (the total number of real estate units should not exceed 4).
What is the process of buying property in Northern Cyprus?
The purchase of real estate in the TRNC takes place in several stages. Despite its simplicity and transparency (you only need a passport), you should use the services of a licensed real estate agency. The real estate sector in the TRNC, as in Turkey, is strictly controlled by the state, and not everyone can become a real estate agent, as it requires special education and knowledge of the housing market. A professional will act in your interests and select a house or apartment of the highest quality at the most competitive price, discuss the optimal payment schedule (when buying project housing) or mortgage conditions (when it comes to ready to move/secondary housing).
The contract is drawn up with the participation of lawyers from both parties - the seller and the buyer. The services of a lawyer are necessary in order to comply with all legal formalities and make sure that the chosen property object does not have any legal charges, etc. The contract must be drawn up in two languages (English and Turkish), it contains detailed and accurate information about the seller, buyer and the selected property, payment terms and the presence of witnesses will also be required.
The next step is to pay the Stamp Duty. The stamp duty is 0.5% of the value of the property. It is also required to pay VAT, which is 5% of the property value.
After paying the fees, the registration of the contract of sale at the TRNC Land Registry follows. To register it and obtain a Title Deed (‘kochan’ in Turkish), you must pay a tax of 3% of the value of the property.
After registering the contract and receiving the Title Deed, the buyer becomes the full owner of the property. Now the owner can resell, mortgage or lease the real property.
Benefits of buying property in Northern Cyprus
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been attracting tourists for several decades with its mild Mediterranean climate, an abundance of sunny days and a high quality of service. The improvement of international relations has become a push for the development of the real estate market, the arrival of large construction companies and the growth of offers. Now the northern part of the island is one of the safest places in the world (the crime rate here does not exceed 1%). The island offers entertainment for every taste such as historical landmarks, casinos and nightclubs or golf.
This is perhaps one of the best places for family living: there is plenty of comfortable, safe and high-quality housing on the real estate market. Many of the new offers on the market are full-fledged residential complexes with a closed protected area, where there are swimming pools, parking lots and various social areas.
The lower price threshold for both project and ready to move in housing is about 60-70 thousand euros. Kyrenia is especially popular with investors: the city itself is already very densely built, so the most offers are secondary real estate. The suburbs of Kyrenia (Esentepe, Bahceli), Iskele and Famagusta offer properties under construction, mainly ultra-luxury residential complexes, "mini-cities" with their own beaches and even yacht clubs. Developers offer the most convenient payment terms with installments up to 60 months.
Residence permit in Northern Cyprus
When buying property on the island, you also get the opportunity to obtain a residence permit. It does not take much time and effort.
You will need:
- Your passport
- Title Deed
- Registration at the place of residence
- A photo
- Paid fees receipts
- Bank account details with sufficient funds for living (about 10 thousand euros per family) or proof of income
- Certificate of medical examination.
The residence permit is issued for a year with the possibility of subsequent renewal.
Well-established infrastructure, the presence of world-class educational and medical institutions, a high standard of living and low prices for food and real estate are the main reasons why you can and should invest in real estate in Northern Cyprus.