Buyers By Nationality &
26 November 2017
The bail in has disappointed many
foreign investors, who having lost their “cash” do
not want to know Cyprus. But as time passes and
memories of this fades, it seems that interest is
coming back (this is shown from the increasing
foreign deposits by foreigners).
If one is to look back and examine the foreign nationals who
buy real estate (mainly holiday homes) in Cyprus we can
deduce a certain pattern of demand.
Since the 1960’s the main foreign market source was the
British, with their main initial interest being Kyrenia and
after the invasion the interest moved to Limassol and Pafos
In the 1970’s interest appeared from Lebanon (due to their
civil war) and the gulf countries. This lasted up to the
1990’s when “riots” (of a kind) took place in Limassol, with
the Arab nationals (not the Lebanese) leaving Cyprus for
other destinations. The Pieris Developing Co (who discovered
the Gulf states market) is notable and the Co’s downfall was
another cause for the abandonment of Cyprus from this market
During this same period 1980 - 1990 the British market came
back in force with their main interest initially being
directed towards Limassol and then Pafos - Interest included
also the Paralimni / Protaras area and the areas around the
Bases in Limassol (Akrotiri, Kolossi and the Souni Zanadjia,
Ayios Nicolaos area)
After the 1990’s the Russian (and the Russian speaking
countries) started to appear with a huge initial interest (Yelsin
era), but then it slowed down differentiating down their
budgets. The preferential area of this market source was/is
Limassol where a vibrant community has been set up (and one
thing brings another).
In the 2000 era, we have had (and still have) the Chinese
and the far east market whose main interest was/is for Pafos
be it that it is expanding in other towns (see recent
developments regarding Chinese restrictions (with an unknown
the end result).
The Cyprus real
estate attraction regarding foreign buyers is due to:
The passports/visas best scheme in relation to our
The rather low cost of living, clean air and weather
conditions. Short term increasing rentals and improving
facilities/infrastructure (golf, marinas etc) in
Security plays a most important role, as is the lack of
racism and discrimination.
The friendly nature of (most) of the locals, as well as
the wide use of the English language, makes foreigners
feel “at home” both for
them and their families.
The taxation attractions, including the more recent
abolition of the property tax is a huge plus.
Most important is also the creation of foreign speaking
primary/secondary schools and local universities which
on most occasions are connected with U.K. quality
universities with lower fees than that of U.K., but
still ending up with a U.K. degree. The creation of
medical schools is another major attraction, as is the
recent legal battle with the E.U. (Greece etc) which
ended up with the recognition of local university status
attracting students and investors from abroad.
The bail in has disappointed many foreign investors, who
having lost their “cash” do
not want to know Cyprus. But as time passes and memories
of this fades, it seems that interest is coming back
(this is shown from the increasing foreign deposits by
The property market situation with the lowering of
prices, has provided another attraction (save the high
end properties) and for the resales the British owners /
resales are offering good opportunities (as well as from
locals) whereas the recent start of housing loans is
another plus. Cyprus remains however a country isolated
in terms of air connection, whereas the Cyprus political
problem, although not a major issue, is there, at the
back of everybody’s minds.
What is strange (to an extent) is that Nicosia is out of
the demand cycles regarding foreign buyers. Other than
embassies and some foreign firms, Nicosia is the
relation|” of the other towns. Regrettably there are no
statistics on the number of buyers by nationality and by
District, but based on our own experience, it seems that
demand is mainly forthcoming from the following
nationalities (not in order of volume of buyers) with
the following preference.
Russian speaking in general:
Limassol (80%) - Larnaca (10%) - Paphos (5%) - Famagusta
region (5%) •
Paphos: (90%) - Limassol (5%) and Famagusta (5%)
Paphos (85%) - Limassol (5%) - Larnaca (10%)
Lebanese / Israelis:
Mainly investors and for the major towns.
Seeking income producing investments (very difficult
Greeks from Greece
Nothing to speak of.
Main interest is to let with short term periods due to
the new taxation system in Greece.
International tour operators
An increasing interest by international tour operators
which follows the high increase in the tourist numbers
and prospects. Debatable how long will this last (it
depends on the Egypt/Turkey/Arab countries tourist
International investors - Real Estate
Not serious interest so far due to their expectation for
high returns, as opposed to the results on ground. The
banks attempt to sell off large chunks of real estate
and the recent Bank of Cyprus property fund will show
their interest in real estate.
In ending our experience we wish to add that foreign
interest is created mainly by private developing firms and
it is notable with a certain developer who on its own
attracted the Chinese for Paphos, whereas a Larnaca
developer who is now active in the same country, is
attracting high end interest from there.