Northern Cyprus: an affordable property in a good climate

Northern Cyprus: an affordable property in a good climate

Northern Cyprus is a completely unique world of eternal summer and holidays, that differs a lot from the southern part of the island or neighboring Turkey. Real estate in the North is 2-3 times cheaper; a residence permit can be obtained by anyone wishing to stay there and climate is the same as in the South. But one problem still exists: the republic's independence is recognized by only one country. Nigar Muradova, Manager of Medview Homes told the about the benefits and risks of buying property in Northern Cyprus.

- The question about differences between Northern and South Cyprus might be the first to be asked by your clients. What will happen with property owners in the future, taking into account that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is recognized by only one country in the world, namely Turkey? Are any problems expected?

- All the buyers pay attention to the North and South Cyprus issue. We have been living on the divided island for almost forty years and Cyprus has been the EU member for ten years and we haven’t faced any problems till now. The referendum on unification of Cyprus took place in 2004 and it was supported by 65% ​​of northerners and only by 25% of southerners, but we do not despair: the Cyprus issue will be resolved sooner or later, as the parties are moving towards signing a security and even cooperation contract.

This cooperation may be associated with gas production and its transit: Turkey is ready to lend a branch from Cyprus to deliver gas to the world markets, but only if South Cyprus would be more friendly and would recognize the rights of all the Cypriots, not only of the Greeks to natural resources.

Northern Cyprus: an affordable property in a good climate | Photo 1 | ee24
TRNC flag

Property in Northern Cyprus is 2-3 times cheaper

- What is the fundamental difference between the North and the South from the real estate buyer’s point of view?

- Property prices in Cyprus are really mad, if we talk about the Greek part of the island. We have a much more affordable housing. Cyprus offers a more European and varnished lifestyle and TRNC captivates with its beauty and original nature. Everyone likes the friendliness of our people, local cuisine, culture and customs. Here are held two or three festival per month - one in honor of an orange tree, another in honor of olive: with handicrafts exhibitions, concerts and dancing children - all is very nice and in a home like atmosphere.

- What is the difference in prices?

 - Property prices in Northern Cyprus start from £30,000 (less than €40,000) and in the Republic of Cyprus housing costs twice as much. Villa in Northern Cyprus may be purchased from £100,000 (€125,000) and in the South that money is enough only for apartments. Our square meter costs starting from £350 (€450) and their price is more than £1,000 (€1,250).

Northern Cyprus: an affordable property in a good climate | Photo 2 | ee24
Nicosia that is the capital city of Northern Cyprus

Russian island of Cyprus

- Usually they say that Cyprus is almost the Russian island. It is true that the Russians surpass Turkey and the UK in number of transactions?

- The Russians actually prevail in real estate market in Northern Cyprus and they are not only from Moscow, but also from the Volga region and Siberia. There are many Ukrainians, Belarusians, Kazakhs and Turkmens. But the residents of Turkey and Britain are also active in housing purchase. The island is quite international with small distances, almost everyone has private car that is either bought or rented. The Russians and the English may quietly live in the same village, and yet none of our customers has said that he does not want to coexist with the Russians or the British. In both parts of the island 20-30% of the population speaks Russian and moreover almost everyone knows English.

 - Will Cyprus become more Russian-speaking now, taking the recent events into account?

- Financial problems in Russia and Ukrainian crisis may significantly affect the market, but I’m not sure that negative events affect people's choices. If a person has decided to move, he will try to do it. Most people come to Cyprus for the first time as tourists, and if they feel good here, they purchase the property without any problem, asking realtors for help and looking for offers they can afford.

Northern Cyprus: an affordable property in a good climate | Photo 3 | ee24
Countryside road in Northen Cyprus

It’s all for foreign clients: residence permit, installment and inexpensive upkeep

- The Republic of Cyprus offers residence permit to buyers of real estate starting from €300,000. How can Northern Cyprus respond?

- A residence permit in Northern Cyprus may be obtained with any real estate purchase, suitable for living. One has to settle down, to live for a while, for example for a month, and then visit the authorities to express the desire to stay and bring the documents. Your bank account should have about $10,000-15,000 to guarantee that you are not leaving but really want to stay in Northern Cyprus and maybe even open a business here.

- Tell me, please, about a home purchase procedure. Is the mortgages available and how much are realtor’s, lawyer’s and notary’s services?  

- It’s much more profitable to buy a property from the developer in Cyprus, as bank’s interest rates are too high. When working directly with the developer it’s enough to make an initial contribution of £1,500, but in this case the monthly payments will be quite large. There are also more traditional options. In this case, when we purchase an apartment in Cyprus for £29,950 and get a loan for 5 years, price will be as follows: an initial payment of 20%, and further £578 of monthly payment.

In the purchase are involved two lawyers - from the realtor’s and the buyer’s side, who make an agreement in English (we also translate it into the Russian so that customers could read it in native language). The agreement is signed after deposit payment for object reservation. Tax on the property purchase in Northern Cyprus is 5%, and another £500 are paid for the water connection and £500 for the electricity.

Further monthly payments would range from £50 up to £100, these are complex services, that include the cleaning of the common areas, swimming pools for adults and children, concierge services and etc. Electricity and water are paid in accordance with the meter. In Kyrenia that is an area on the northern coast - utilities are usually cheaper than in Bogaz - a big village on the east coast, where almost all of buildings belong to us.

Northern Cyprus: an affordable property in a good climate | Photo 4 | ee24

Non-Berlin wall

- I would like to know how easily one may move along the Island?

- It’s easy to visit the southern part, having a visa of Cyprus. The transition is performed in our common Nicosia capital (Lefkosha in Turkish), and it will take you literally 10-15 minutes, including walking, to move to another part. The direct entry from other countries to Northern Cyprus, bypassing the South, is available only via Turkey: from Istanbul by ferry or by planes of Turkish Airlines, Pegasus and Atlas Jet airlines.

Interview: Alexander Fetyukov,