A report by the Guardian newspaper in February 2005 suggested that around 6,000 British citizens have invested in northern Cyprus, buying off plan and even via the internet. If you’re considering buying property in this part of Cyprus, it’s important to know a little about the island’s recent history and the current political climate and essential to know their implications for property ownership (see The Cyprus Problem below).
You cannot afford to ignore the political situation in northern Cyprus, as it may affect your rights to legal property ownership.
If you do decide to buy a property in northern Cyprus, the remainder of this section looks at the most popular areas for homebuyers (including average prices), an overview of the buying process, and various practical considerations, such as the language and currency, how to get there and how to get around once you’re there.
The Cyprus Problem
Cyprus is effectively two countries: the Republic of Cyprus and what’s known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The Republic of Cyprus is what the majority of people mean when they refer to Cyprus. It’s administered by a Greek Cypriot government, is internationally recognised and encompasses the southern two-thirds of the island. The TRNC, recognised internationally only by Turkey, is administered by a Turkish Cypriot government and covers the remaining northern third of the island.
The Republic of Cyprus, joined the European Union on 1st May 2004, but the TRNC did not. Cyprus is a divided island and its capital, Nicosia, is the last divided city in Europe. This section explains the effects this division may have on homebuyers and examines the practicalities and the potential problems associated with buying property in the TRNC, which is referred to in this guide as northern Cyprus.
Although Turkish is the official language in northern Cyprus, English is widely used and understood. Many hotels employ German-, French- and Arabic-speaking staff. However, in more remote areas, few Turkish Cypriots speak English.
This article is an extract from Buying a Home in Cyprus from Survival Books.