If you use a lawyer (which is highly recommended), his services will cost you around €1700, depending on the value of the property and the complexity of the sale. Services include the search with the Lands Office, checking of planning and building permits, checks that the land is suitable for building (if relevant), drawing up of contracts, stamping and registering the contracts, and applying for permission to purchase from the Council of Ministers.
The Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK, Tel. 22-877 644), with which any surveyor you use should be a registered can give you a guide to charges as well as a list of surveyors registered with them. Average charges are around €500, but this naturally depends on the value of your property and the complexity of the report you require.
Stamp duty is levied on property purchase contracts at the rates shown below and is at 0.15 per cent is payable within 30 days of signing a contract.
Up to a property value of €170,860 the stamp duty tax rate is 0,5% and everything exceeding this sum is due ti a tax rate of 0,2%.
Application to the Council of Ministers
The transfer of property to a non-Cypriot requires permission from the Council of Ministers except EU-citizens permanently living in Cyprus. This is done by taking all the relevant paperwork to your nearest District Administration Office; these are as follows:
Famagusta – 22United Nations Street, 6304 Larnaca (Tel. 24-801 002, )
Nicosia – 2 Alkeos Street, Engomi, 1458 Nicosia (Tel. 22-804 122, );
Larnaca – 19–21 Constantinos Paleologos Street, PO Box 140103, 6301 Larnaca (Tel. 24-801 818, );
Limassol – Gregoris Afxentiou Square (Anexartisias), PO Box 56062, 304 Limassol (Tel. 25-806 400, );
Paphos – 5 Nikodemos Mylonas Street, 8100 Paphos (Tel. 26-801 101, ).
Your lawyer can make the application on your behalf, and this service is often included in the standard charge for legal fees, so you would save nothing by doing it yourself. Check with your lawyer.
Note that the ‘application’ is very much a formality, especially since Cyprus joined the European Union, and any bona fide application is usually approved automatically.
If you have a mortgage, you must pay a registration fee of 1 per cent of the amount borrowed.
Value Added Tax
Since 1st May 2004, when the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU, value added tax (VAT) has been payable on all new properties, except those where the application for planning permission was submitted to the Planning Department before 1st May 2004. The good news is that first-time buyers pay VAT at only 5 per cent. All other buyers pay the standard rate of 15 per cent. VAT regulations haven’t been finalised since the country’s EU accession, so always check with your lawyer before committing yourself.
Selling Agent’s Fee
This is paid by the vendor in Cyprus and is normally a minimum of 3 per cent, although most agents charge 5 per cent.
A property transfer fee is payable when your lawyer goes to the Lands Office to transfer and register the property in your name, which can be a long time after purchase. The fee depends on the value of the property and whether it’s purchased in one or more than one name.
For the first €85,430 of a property’s value, you pay 3 per cent of the purchase price; between €85,431 and €170,860, the rate is 5 per cent; and over €170,861 the rate is 8 per cent.
If a property is purchased in a single name, the purchaser pays the whole fee.
In practice this means, if you are purchasing a property for €130,000 the fees payable are €4792 (up to €85,430 3% are payable --> €2563 and for the remaining €44,570 5% are payable --> €2229, making the total fees €4792).
If the property is purchased in joint names (e.g. husband and wife), the purchase value is divided between the two and each is assessed separately. This means that both parties save taxes as these are calculated on a lower price, namely on respectively 50% of the actual price.
Immovable Property Tax
Immovable Property Tax (IPT) is an annual tax payable by all property owners in Cyprus, irrespective of their residence status. If you buy a property for which there’s no separate title deed (e.g. a house in a new development), you may have to pay IPT (to the developer, although you can usually reclaim it from the Inland Revenue when your title deed is issued.
The registered owner of the whole plot (the developer) must pay IPT and will charge you the relevant portion of what he has paid. However, provided the estimated value of your property on 1st January 1980 (sic) is below €170,860, which is almost always the case, you can reclaim the tax, as the first €170,860 of the value of a property are exempt. In case you’re buying a palace, the tax rates are shown below:
Property Value (€)
Tax Rate (%)
Cumulative Tax (€)
Up to 170,860
170,861 – 427,150
427,151 – 854,300
Make sure you obtain a receipt for any IPT paid, as you must produce this when reclaiming tax.