Traveling to Euro after Brexit

If you are planning to travel to Europe after Brexit, UK passport holders may need to renew their passports earlier than planned. To check that you have sufficient time left on your passport, you may check it online    here

 

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Property demand and prices

From the Cyprus mail George CoucounisPermanent iNVEST Program

Investing in real estate in Cyprus is worthwhile for foreign and local investors for all types of property. The reduction in the prices due to the economic crisis, the decrease of deposit and loan interest rates, the interest of foreigners in obtaining Cyprus citizenship and residency, the increase in tourism, government incentives and the exchange of properties for the repayment of debts constitute some of the main factors which have gradually created and increased property demand. At the same time, other sectors have benefitted, such as services, construction and trade, while job openings have been created, unemployment reduced and money brought to the market. There is also an increase in the demand for housing, which increases rents. Investment funds and asset management companies are present, they purchase from the banks mortgaged properties relating to non-performing loans. This growth in real estate demand causes increase in property prices.

Last year was one of the best in recent years regarding property sales and investments, focusing on the tourist industry, selected investments for the acquisition of a Cyprus passport, the sale of used houses and apartments in urban and nearby areas. There was also interest in the purchase of properties in primary locations for large investments and in plots. The question whether the new year will be better in view of the expected increase in demand and the variety of properties for sale, including agricultural and mortgaged properties, is connected with the factors above which remain strong and will keep the demand at a high level, pushing prices upwards. The development encourages depositors to invest part of their money in real estate since their deposits are not paying any interest. Moreover, the possibility to secure low-interest loans attracts more purchasers to invest in real estate.

The change of attitude by investing prudently in real estate through own funds rather than through loans creates a healthy and controlled property market adding value to properties and avoiding the financial bubble of the past. Everyone who is interested in investing in real estate is aware that the market is safe and that the problems of the past with the absence of title deeds or the long delay in their issue have been significantly dealt with. The relevant legislative reforms assisted in the issue of separate title deeds for a large number of properties and in overcoming the obstacles in the resale of properties without a title deed, giving the purchasers the opportunity to liquidate their investment without being dependant on the lack or the difficulties in the issue of title deeds. However, a potential purchaser before proceeding with the purchase of an immovable property should establish its legal and physical status, any obligations or encumbrances burdening it and the tax obligations of the vendor and of the property.

The strengthening of the real estate market is also connected with the execution of major development projects in various areas, such as the marinas, shopping malls, mixed developments, multi-storey buildings, the use of new technologies and design innovations, which promote the development of Cyprus, attract new investors and increase the competitiveness of the country. The success of the recovery of the real estate and the boost of its credibility require professionalism and attention by both the private and public sector to avoid mistakes of the past. The objective should be long-term development and the real estate sector constitutes one of its pillars together with low tax rates, the high quality of services and the quality of life that Cyprus offers.

The British High Commission has revised its living in Cyprus guide for British expatriates

The British High Commission has revised its living in Cyprus guide for British expatriates. Official information British people movingBritish High Commission to and living in Cyprus need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

EU exit: what you need to know

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Cyprus while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate Brexit, you should:

For information 

Sales up again during March 2018

Cyprus is showing continued growth in property sales during 2018

During March a total of 768 contracts or the sale of residential and commercial properties and land (building plots and fields) were deposited at Land Registry offices across Cyprus, compared with the 626 deposited in March 2017. The figures show a continuing improvement in the economic conditions, coupled with government measures (such as the citizenship by investment scheme) – and although banks remained burdened with very high levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) they are now in a better position to grant loans to those buying property. Of the 768 contracts deposited, 431 (49%) were for properties purchased by Cypriots, while the remaining 337 (51%) were for properties purchased by non-Cypriots.

 

PANCYPRIAN TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED CONTRACT OF SALES FOR THE YEARS 2017-2018
MONTH JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH TOTAL
TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED  CONTRACT OF SALES 2017 423 456 626 1505
         
TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED CONTRACT OF SALES 2018 695 666 768 2129
         
         
MONTH JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH TOTAL
PERCENTAGE OF DECREASE / INCREASE : 64% 46% 23% 41%

 

THE NUMBER of property sales contracts deposited at Land Registry offices across the Republic of Cyprus during March 2018 rose 23 per cent compared to March 2017 according to official figures published by the Department of Lands and Surveys.

Latest figures on the number of registered contracts of sale

The Department of Land and Surveys Have released the latest figures on the number of registered contracts of sale for the years 2017 – 2018

The trend is very positive showing major growth over last year.

January sales are up from 423 in 2017 to 695 in 2018 a growth of 64%

February sales are up from 456 in 2017 to 666 in 2018 a growth of 46%

Total contracts this year are up from 879 in 2017 to 1361 in 2018 a growth of 55%

Contracts of Sale 2017-2018-6

 

 

Aliathon Bowling Club

Maispa Developers are proud of the fact we have been sponsoring the Aliathon Bowling Club, and that for the last 15 years and that the Maispa trophy is awarded annually to deserving players .index.2

Unemployment Cyprus keeps dropping.

REGISTERED UNEMPLOYED CYPRUS : FEBRUARY 2018 The unemployed persons, registered at the District Labour Offices on the last day of February 2018, reached 34.204 persons. Based on the seasonally adjusted data that show the trend of unemployment, the number of registered unemployed for February 2018 decreased to 28.560 persons in comparison to 29.412 in the previous month.

 

For  a more detailed report and Graphdownload click in Pdf

Making it safer and clear

Making it safer and clear

In future the names of legal and auditing companies that arrange citizenship for foreign investors will be made known to the interior committee.

However, MP Pavlos Mylonas has added a further request that the committee should make it clear if anyone involved in politics owns such companies.

The subject of granting citizenships was brought up by Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis, who said that more than 1,600 people have been naturalized since 2011 under the plan to attract investors, but that there is a lack of transparency.

“From January to date alone, there have been 36 naturalizations, from different countries”, Perdikis said, expressing concern that the plans are not approved by parliament, information is not shared with MPs, some of the documents are not filed with the House, while at the same time the public is only informed about certain statistics.

“The bill we have submitted aims to fully inform the House, but also to make public what is permitted. We believe that transparency is the best tool to credit the democratic legitimacy of an administrative practice,” he said.

Perdikis added that information about people who have been granted citizenship will be discussed at the next meeting, which the commissioner for personal data will attend as some elements regarding the investors’ names may be confidential.

“The intention of the committee is to discuss and conclude the debate, given that Cyprus has been accused of trading in naturalization. We must, therefore, take effective steps to fortify and protect this instrument of attracting investment, shielding democracy with transparent procedures,” he said.

Cyprus has in the past been accused of dodgy deals regarding citizenships. Last September an article in the Guardian newspaper slammed the Cypriot government for granting citizenship to billionaire Russian oligarchs and members of the Ukrainian elite. It referred to the scheme as ‘golden visas’.

The finance ministry and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency have dismissed claims that Cypriot passports are for sale and said the programed is simply an investment scheme.

Officials have also pointed out that the level of investment required to acquire citizenship is far higher than other European countries offering similar schemes. In Malta, €350,000 must be spent on a residence, and it need only be held for five years. In Cyprus, at least €500,000 of an applicant’s overall investment must be spent on a permanent residence.

 

House prices up

House prices up 0.4% in Q3, CBC says

ON FEBRUARY 13, 2018 ECONOMYFEATURED

By Stelios Orphanides  Cyprus Business Mail

House prices continued their quarterly recovery for the fifth consecutive quarter in July to September and rose by 0.4 per cent compared with April to June, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.

Compared with the third quarter of 2016, house prices rose in July to September by 1.4 per cent, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. The increase was mainly on a 3.7 per cent annual increase of flat prices against a 0.7 per cent rise in house prices.

“Annual increases were recorded in the majority of the main and secondary indicators, and the highest were recorded in the Nicosia and Limassol districts,” the central bank said.

House and flat prices rose in the third quarter by a quarterly 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively, the bank supervisor said. House prices recovered for a third consecutive quarter while those for apartments rose for the fifth quarter in a row.

The residential property price index recovered to 74.3, the highest since the second quarter of 2015. Home prices peaked in the third quarter of 2008 and fell to 73.2 in the second quarter of 2016, the lowest point since its introduction 12 years ago.

“The real estate sector’s prospects are favourable,” the central bank said. “Building permits and demand for housing loans are recording an increase while construction activity continues to recover. However, non-performing loans remain a challenge and an important obstacle towards full recovery while the impact of the imposition of value added tax (VAT) on plots is still undetermined”.

“Still, expected growth in the economy in general is believed to support the sector,” it added.

Compared with April to June, house prices rose in the second quarter in all districts except Paphos where they dropped by 0.8 per cent, the bank supervisor said. Home prices rose by 0.4 per cent in Nicosia, 0.6 per cent in Limassol, 1 per cent in Larnaca and 1.1 per cent in Famagusta.

Compared with the third quarter of 2016, home prices rose in July to September by 2.6 per cent in Limassol, 1.3 per cent in Nicosia and 1.6 per cent in Famagusta, the central bank said. They fell in Larnaca and Paphos by 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.