CYPRUS STRENGTHENS CBI LEGISLATION TO ENSURE CORRECT ADMINISTRATION OF TITLE DEEDS, SUGGESTING ENHANCED INVESTMENT SECURITY AND MORE EFFICIENT GRANT OF CITIZENSHIPS
CYPRUS OFFERS 50% REDUCTION ON PROPERTY TITLE DEEDS TRANSFER TAX AND ZERO % ON CAPITAL GAIN TAX ON FUTURE PROPERTY SALES
Cyprus has a reason to celebrate. The Cyprian Citizenship by Investment program is topping charts as the most sought after program in 2015. Cyprus is also reaping the benefits of the proceeds from its citizenship by investment program. Bringing in over EUR 2 billion in the last two years Cyprus continues attracting a wealthy international clientele to its real estate market. The investment fast tracks citizenship for life in Cyprus in under 4 months, an incentive, which is hard to turn down considering that the Cypriot passport offers enhanced visa free travel to 160+ countries. Additionally, by default of Cyprus’ EU membership, the passport brings the right to live, work, study and settle in any other EU Member States including the UK visa free.
Despite its near collapse of a property market few years ago, Cyprus has made a very positive recovery and achieved a 20% increase in property sales since a citizenship program was introduced in 2013. As a result of this type of direct investment it also secured and increased its tourism industry by almost 14%, decreased its unemployment rate by 10% and reinstated its rank of top 10 relocation destination in the world since the international agencies rated and upgraded Cyprus 8 times in recent years confirming its sustainable economic status.
These economic benefits, together with the improvement of the citizenship legislation by the Government of Cyprus, resonate well with high net worth clientele and it is no surprise that wealthy Chinese nationals form the highest number of international investors in Cyprus, as reported by China’s largest property portal The Juwaui.com Purchasing Intent Index. Despite some internal administrative complications concerning the execution of title deeds to investors within the citizenship by investment program, the interest in the program by Chinese investors rose by 351% in the last years.
The Cypriot Council of Ministers has approved new legislation under which title deeds will be issued to buyers directly meaning that the buyer’s investment will be protected even more if, for example, the developer (being the owner of the property on record prior to title deed issuance) has defaulted on a loan where the relevant property is held as a collateral by the banking institutions financing the Government approved real estate projects. The effect of this new law will also mean implementing measures to simplify and fast track issuance of licensing permits for investment projects and ensuring faster grant of residence permits to foreign investors.
Confident in its approach to attracting foreign investment in to the country via the citizenship program, the Government also unveiled a number of new incentives benefiting buyers, sellers and the real estate market. Recently the Government announced a 50% discount on property title deeds transfer tax on properties bought from now until the end of 2016, and also confirmed zero % capital gains tax, securing a saving of 20%, to all investors who buy in this time frame and wish to sell in the future.