Cyprus Property News

Cyprus attracts Chinese property investment

Cyprus attracts Chinese property investment
Chinese nationals are buying up property in Cyprus to acquire permanent residence and European travel, it is claimed.

Official figures show that in the third quarter last year, more than 600 Cypriot homes were sold to Chinese buyers, reports the Guardian news website.

To obtain permanent residence, investors from outside Europe must buy a home worth at least ?300,000 (£260,000) and prove they do not have a criminal record. They also have to deposit ?30,000 into a local Cypriot account for at least three years and be in good financial standing.
Having permanent residence is a huge attraction for Chinese because it offers them visa-free travel throughout Europe.

Lisha Tang, a young client of a Beijing property firm, explains, "A house in Cyprus means travelling freely in Europe, which is great for young people.”

For those with children, securing permanent residency in a European Union country means they can secure school places and visit them whenever they want. The 2012 Hurun report says 85% of China's 1.4 million dollar millionaires plan to educate their children overseas.
A massive 90% of the homes bought by Chinese in the third quarter were in the town of Pafos. But when the Guardian tried to interview property owners, few were in town and others did not want to talk.

Cypriot developers have been trying to attract Chinese property investors and were the most prominent foreign exhibitors at last year's Beijing international property autumn expo, with 32 stands.

Pafos mayor, Savvas Vergas, says, "It's a very quiet place with very little crime, and it's different from Chinese cities because its character has been kept intact. There are nice green areas and mountains nearby.

"The Chinese also believe Pafos has a good future. Over the next ten years there are plans for a new marina, a new port and a network of new roads around the city. In 2017, it will be the cultural capital of Europe. They believe it's a good investment."

Thanks to the Chinese investors, Pafos has seen property rise 15% in 2012, the first time they have increased for some years and Mr Vergas hopes values will rise even further this year.