Cyprus’ property market is at an 11-year high, following a rush of applications to the country’s ‘Golden Visa’ citizenship programme, according to Cypriot developer Leptos Estates.
The agent has recently shifted its focus to meet the demand from a mix of high net worth investors, promoting a number of luxury homes and resorts; including Armonia Beach Villas, a collection of villas located between the harbour of Paphos and the blue flag sandy beach of Coral Bay.
According to the estate agent, the flurry of interest from overseas buyers has been boosted by the government’s ‘Golden Visa Programme’. Buyers can gain residency, work and live freely within the EU and Schengen zone in return for a property purchase of €300,000.
The scheme has attracted an estimated €4 billion worth of investment since 2013 and contributed a 20% increase in foreign buying activity, compared to this time last year. Foreign purchasers also made up 44.6% of all property sales in Cyprus between January and May 2019. Of these properties, 71% were purchased by non-EU nationals.
The country’s tax system also continues to entice international buyers; the corporation tax rate for all companies is just 12.5%. The first €19,500 of earned annual income is tax-free, while foreign pensions above €3,420 are taxed at 5% - both reasons why more foreigners purchased homes than Cypriots in 2018.
What’s more, Cyprus has also invested heavily in its infrastructure to create a cosmopolitan destination in line with top global hotspots, including a new DP World cruise terminal, the construction of Europe’s largest casino resort, private jet and yachting services, golf courses and new designer retail offerings.
The country’s strategic location between Europe, Africa and the Middle East has also cemented it as a ‘centre of excellence’ for international business. Traditional sectors – such as shipping, tourism, banking, financial and professional services – have been the key driving forces behind the island’s economy for years.
However, new sectors such as energy, investment, funds, development, education and wellness tourism offer a new and existing perspective that is likely to drive the economy forward. Such services helped deliver GDP growth of 3.9% in 2018.
“Paphos remains the most popular location for EU and non-EU buyers and entrepreneurs, contributing 40.6% of all sales between January and May 2019,” Pantelis Leptos, deputy president of Leptos Group of Companies, commented.
“Paphos was followed by Limassol with 29.5% of all sales, Larnaca with 15.3%, Farmagusta with 7.4% and Nicosia with just 7.2%. Prime residential developments (€1 million plus), have seen the greatest surge in value over the past year, increasing by 27% on average, compared to properties below this bracket, which have seen an average growth of approximately 6% on the previous year.”
Armonia Beach Villas is one of Paphos’ most desirable developments. Located on spacious grounds facing the sea, villas are surrounded by landscaped gardens with a large private swimming pool at the front.
The villas are built to the highest standards, featuring outdoor BBQ areas and ample parking. Designed to look sleek and modern, the properties also respect the building character of the island, with white exterior finishes and large verandas with plenty of outdoor living areas.
Leptos continued: “Most overseas purchasers want new developments that offer a “lock up and leave” option, providing peace of mind when they are out of the country. Developments that offer concierge, security and housekeeping services will ensure their property is safe and well-maintained and ready for them when they arrive. Such prime developments are also seeing the strongest capital growth, making them even more attractive in the long term.”
“Cyprus’ Golden Visa Programme continues to drive interest from non-EU applicants, in particular those from the Far East, Middle East, India, Russia and South Africa,” he added. “We often find buyers coming to us directly, because we offer a totally comprehensive range of services, removing the stress for our clients.”
“From land acquisition, design and build, furnishing, property management, landscaping, to legal and financial advice, we ensure our clients are skilfully guided through the process, whether they want an elegant beachfront apartment, coastal villa or rural home.”