How to buy a property in Northern Cyprus

Как купить недвижимость на Северном Кипре

The southern part of Cyprus is called the Republic of Cyprus, and the northern part is called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (abbreviated TRNC). In this article we will talk about Northern Cyprus, property taxes, how to buy this property and whether it is worth investing here at all.

The pros and cons of Northern Cyprus 

You can talk about the advantages of living here for a long time:

  • Real estate is cheaper here than in most European countries.
  • It is not difficult to obtain a residence permit (residence permit) after buying a property.
  • Fairly low taxes: stamp tax — 0.5% of the value of the property, tax for the transfer of ownership for foreigners — 6% upon registration of the contract of sale and 6% upon receipt of the document on ownership; value added tax – 5%, capital gains tax 2.8–4.7%, annual tax — 1.25 Turkish lira for each square meter of covered area.
  • The locals are used to living slowly. You can take a break from the rhythm of the big city.
  • The warm Mediterranean climate. 
  • Summer lasts about eight months.
  • There are 320-340 sunny days a year. 
  • Cheap fruits, greens, vegetables.
  • Many of the island’s residents speak English and Russian.
  • The contingent. The newcomers are ordinary or rich tourists, or investors, because there is no social program for accepting refugees in Northern Cyprus. 
  • Northern Cyprus is a secular state.
  • There are many historical attractions.
  • Good ecology: there are no large industrial plants.
  • Trade is well developed.
  • There are many banks.
  • Developed transport infrastructure: air transportation, buses, minibuses, sea transportation.

Of course, there are also disadvantages:

  • A residence permit alone is not enough to officially get a job. But this is not the main thing for you if you are an investor and/or plan only to relax on the island, and not to work. 
  • The territory is small, so there are few jobs. It is better to work remotely.
  • As the demand for housing is growing, prices for secondary real estate are higher than in Eastern European countries.
  • Some administrative issues may be resolved more slowly, simply because the locals are not used to rushing. 
  • There may be bureaucratic delays in determining the owner of the land.
  • The service in Turkish banks is more expensive than in the banks of Northern Cyprus. It’s better to know about it in advance.
  • In winter, indoor heaters are needed.
  • Some people like to see snow in winter and the bright changes of the seasons. This is not the case in Northern Cyprus.
  • For representatives of the green society, it may be important that garbage sorting is not everywhere.
  • Soups are rarely cooked in cafes. If you are a joiner, you will have to cook yourself.
  • There are a lot of cats and dogs on the streets. But maybe you like being around animals.
  • There may not be a sidewalk in the suburbs.
  • It is allowed to drive after several glasses of wine — the main thing is that the alcohol in the blood does not exceed 0.22 ppm. Therefore, be careful on the roads.
  • Left—hand traffic is a legacy of British colonization.

Как купить недвижимость на Северном Кипре

The international legal status of Northern Cyprus

The TRNC is not recognized by the international community, so investors may doubt the legality of buying real estate in Northern Cyprus. Whether to purchase real estate in these places is up to you. We will only dispel some myths to make it easier for you to make a choice.

After the 1974 military conflict, it was decided to relocate the Greek Cypriots to the south, and the Turkish Cypriots moved to the north. At the same time, the Greek Cypriot received ownership of similar land in the south or monetary compensation. This issue is overseen by the Real Estate Commission of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, to which the cases of Greek Cypriot claims to the northern lands have been transferred. The European Court of Human Rights announced this decision on March 5, 2010. 

Let’s say you purchase land to build a house. First, the state must approve the development. After that, the former owner loses his rights to this land. 

Prior to the purchase and sale transaction, information about the owner of the land is taken from the state land registry. If this owner turns out to be a Greek Cypriot, whose place of residence has become southern Cyprus, he is paid monetary compensation or given land in the south of the island. That is, the former owner cannot demand that you return the land to him, since the state has already compensated him for everything. 

To avoid excitement, check the land documents with the help of a lawyer. There are usually no problems with buying real estate, but difficulties may arise during registration and receipt of documents. On top of everything else, it can take a long time.

Since June 2023, efforts have been made to reduce the time required to provide property owners with ownership documents. More specifically, simplification of procedures is gradually being introduced both in the Department of Land and Surveying, and in Department of Urban Planning and Housing. 

According to Interior Minister Konstantinos Ioannou, in the winter of 2024 it became possible to reduce the time for reviewing and issuing ownership documents to three months. Previously, this whole process could take from a year to three years.

Types of real estate in Northern Cyprus

The types of real estate here are the same as in most countries:

  • From the developer. This is primary housing (new buildings), which is rented or sold only for finishing, that is, after cosmetic repairs (unlike rough finishing: concrete walls, floors without screed). 
  • Secondary real estate.
  • Commercial real estate (used in commercial activities, not for living: offices, shops, etc.).
  • Investment property (designed to receive investments in real estate in Northern Cyprus. It can be residential and not residential).

If you structure real estate objects by form, then these are: apartments, inexpensive studio apartments, penthouses, detached villas, villas in a residential complex, townhouses, land plots.

What will happen next to the real estate market in Northern Cyprus? Expert opinion

Features of real estate in Northern Cyprus

As mentioned earlier, the property is ready for rent or purchase after finishing. On the one hand, it’s more expensive this way. On the other hand, it is convenient: there is no construction dust and debris. If you wish, you can discuss finishing options with the developer before it starts. 

Since there are few cold days, there is no need for expensive central heating. In winter, of course, you will have to keep warm, but air conditioners and conventional heaters cope with this. It may be expensive, but in any case it is cheaper than installing and maintaining a central heating system.

Of the important disadvantages— lack of ventilation. New buildings in Northern Cyprus have it, but most of the housing does not. Therefore, it is necessary to ventilate the premises so that excess moisture does not lead to mold growth. And when it’s hot, you don’t want to open the windows.

Showers are installed in sanitary units. Baths are very rare.

English sockets are installed, but adapters for them are sold in local stores.

Solar panels are used all year round. Hot water is supplied from the boiler. During the day, it heats up from the sun, and in bad weather, the boiler needs to be turned on.

Как купить недвижимость на Северном Кипре

Property taxes 

Real estate is subject to taxes, some of which can be avoided if you understand the nuances. Some taxes are paid once a year, others are paid once all the time, and some taxes exist only in certain regions. In addition, some changes were made in February last year, so the issue of taxation will have to be studied.

So, the annual tax must be paid once a year, and its value depends on the size of the covered area of the property. 1.25 Turkish lira (1.25TL) of tax is paid per 1 sq.m.

On February 10, 2023, a new tax appeared — a municipal fee, which is paid in one region — Iskele (northeast of Famagusta district). The payment is a one-time payment. It is paid for when buying a property.

The percentage of tax for the transfer of real estate from one owner to another has also increased. Now it is 6% of the value of the property (previously it was 3%).

There is a new tax that concerns foreign buyers. This is a tax on the registration of the contract, equal to 6% of the value of the property specified in the contract. This tax is paid regardless of whether it is the first purchase of real estate or the second.

Stamp tax 

Stamp duty is a type of state duty that is paid for the registration of a contract for the sale of real estate in the land registry. The amount of this tax is 0.5% of the value of the property. The tax must be paid within 21 days from the date of signing the purchase and sale agreement. This tax is a one-time tax and its rate is unchanged. When buying a property in Northern Cyprus by the sea worth £120,000, it will cost you £600.

Transformer collection

You cannot buy a property in Northern Cyprus without paying the transformer fee, because this is a tax on the connection of utilities, without which the use of housing is impossible. The amount of the transformer fee varies from £1,500 to £3,000 and in general it is paid 3 months before receiving the keys from the developer.

Capital Gains Tax (Capital Gain Tax)

When buying a property in Northern Cyprus, you are spared from paying capital gains tax, because your purchase, although it may become an investment, in fact refers to an expense item. This tax is paid by the seller of the property. Capital gains tax is a one-time tax. His bid depends on who the seller is: whether he acts as a private person or a professional seller.

Individuals may not pay this tax if the area of the land plot or house does not exceed 1 denyum (about 1000 sq. m). If the area of the property is larger, a fee of 2.8% is charged for the remaining part of the land. Interestingly, tax rates can change if there are carob or olive trees.

A professional seller must pay 4.7% of the value of the property. 

VAT on the purchase of real estate

Value added tax (VAT or VAT) is equal to 5% of the value of the property. It is usually paid three months before receiving the keys, but other options are possible. This tax is a one-time tax and it is lower than in some countries, where its value can reach up to 20%. Perhaps this fact negates the lack of international legal recognition of Northern Cyprus. In any case, the political situation may change for the better, and construction in Northern Cyprus continues and you have time to think about whether you want to buy a property here.

Как купить недвижимость на Северном Кипре

Obtaining the title of ownership

The title ([head] in Turkish) is the main document that confirms the ownership of real estate and the land itself. Since there is some confusion about who owns the land in Northern Cyprus and with the status of the Northernmost Cyprus, several titles are used for simplicity. These titles are conditional, but they make it clear what happened to the land before you. 

Title PRE-74 It means that the land plot belonged to a foreigner or Turkish Cypriot until 1974. There can be no disputable issues here.

Most lands have an exchange title: until 1974, a Greek Cypriot owned a land plot in Northern Cyprus, who received an equivalent land plot in the southern part of the island. That is, you can buy this plot and the government of Northern Cyprus guarantees you that the former owner will not demand back his possessions.

The Leashold title says that the lands belong to Northern Cyprus, and you cannot buy them, but you can rent them for 49 years. There are few such lands.

There are also land plots with disputed points that have the title TMD. There is no point in delving into it: just don’t buy them.

The process of obtaining a title is long and you cannot speed it up. First, the developer buys a plot of land, completing the necessary documents and obtaining a title. Then a real estate object is being built, for example, an apartment complex. Next, the facility is built, put into operation, and the state commission issues a permit so that the developer can divide the title of the complex into titles for each individual apartment. 

The registration of the title costs about £500, and the transfer of the title to your name (or ownership rights) — 6% of the value of the property or 12% if you are a foreigner (the changes came into force on 02/01/2023). During the Covid era, the TRNC government temporarily reduced this percentage. If you decide to sell the purchased property, you will be able to enter your name into the purchase agreement only if you have a title to the property.

Mortgages and installments

If you do not have the entire amount on hand for the purchase of real estate, you can contact the bank. The first payment varies between 10-50% of the total cost, more often 30-50%. The interest on the loan does not begin to be paid immediately, but after the commissioning of the facility. You can repay the loan ahead of time without penalty payments.

You can arrange an installment plan from the developer. You sign a contract, pay 30% of the cost and pay the rest of the amount without interest for a period of one to five years. Choose which option is right for you.

Property insurance in Northern Cyprus

As everywhere, having insurance removes unnecessary worries. Especially if you do not plan to live in the purchased housing. You can choose which unpleasant situations you want to protect your property from. And here it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of Northern Cyprus. It is unlikely that you will be flooded by rains, but fires from drought are quite possible. But do not forget that Cyprus is an island, that is, it is surrounded by water. Lots of water. 

You can also insure a real estate purchase and sale transaction against unscrupulous realtors and lawyers, as all over the world they primarily try to deceive foreign buyers who are not aware of all the subtleties of local laws.

Maintenance of real estate in Northern Cyprus

The amount of utility bills depends on the season and the number of residents. According to a survey of people who recently moved to Northern Cyprus, the payment for a 1+1 apartment can stay at $50 per month if you live together and use electricity and water wisely.

In order not to have to increase maintenance costs by paying for repairs after accidents, remember about insurance in Northern Cyprus.

In addition, keep in mind the additional and, unfortunately, mandatory expenses — the payment of property taxes. As mentioned earlier, this is an annual tax and one-time taxes that are paid when buying/selling a property: municipal fee, stamp duty, transformer fee, capital gains tax, VAT, transfer of ownership tax. As legislation changes, new taxes may apply over time, which you can find out about at the tax office.

Как купить недвижимость на Северном Кипре

How to get a residence permit and citizenship of Northern Cyprus for the purchase of real estate

You can get a residence permit (hereinafter — residence permit) for a year after the purchase of the property. Every three years, the residence permit will have to be extended, and later you can provide only documents with ownership rights. This is where the issued and paid title of Northern Cyprus comes in handy. 

A residence permit allows you to use medical services, stay in the territory of Northern Cyprus, without worrying about a visa. You can immigrate and eventually obtain citizenship. 

The procedure for buying a property in Northern Cyprus

The authorities of Northern Cyprus are trying to do everything to ensure that more and more foreign investments arrive. Therefore, there is even an opportunity to buy real estate online. Of course, there is a risk that you will buy something completely different from what you saw in the pictures, but if you do not have time to come to Northern Cyprus, you can trust the professionals. Of course, it will be safer to use the services of those developers, real estate agents, lawyers with whom your friends or acquaintances have successfully cooperated.

So, first you draw up a deposit agreement, prescribe the terms of the transaction, and pay the deposit by sending money to the customer’s checking account. It is important. There is always a chance that the customer will run away with your money, but it is much lower than if you paid some third parties-intermediaries. 

Next, you pay the entire amount in full and sign the purchase and sale agreement. If you want, you can come to the island yourself, or issue a power of attorney to a lawyer who will sign the contract instead of you. Also, by proxy, a third person can sign the act of delivery and acceptance of the object.

When buying offline, you can choose a property on the spot or remotely via the Internet. Then, in any case, you take a so-called study tour. If you like real estate, you start discussing the terms of the transaction, make a deposit, after which this object is withdrawn from sale. 

After that, you hire a lawyer. This step is optional, because the TRNC government controls the real estate sector, but it is highly desirable. The lawyer will check the title of the property and the legality of the transaction, competently draw up a purchase and sale agreement, help with paperwork or do everything himself. 

The contract is registered in the Land Registry within 21 days after signing the contract. The entire amount, stamp duty and other taxes are paid. Next, you wait for the acceptance of the object with the transfer of keys. 

If mistakes were made during construction or cosmetic repairs, you have the right to demand that the developer eliminate them for free. Only after that you accept the keys and sign the acceptance certificate with the developer.

“Don’t be fooled — there have been no cheap apartments in Cyprus for a long time.” An expert on all the nuances of buying a property in Northern Cyprus

Attractive areas of Northern Cyprus for the purchase of real estate

Although Nicosia is the capital of Northern Cyprus, the most attractive cities to live in are Famagusta and Kyrenia. Why is that? Both of these cities are large and located on the seashore. Nicosia has no access to the sea.

Famagusta is home to the Eastern Mediterranean University, which has about 23,000 students. The purchase of residential real estate here means a guaranteed possibility of long-term rental, because students need to live somewhere. Moreover, the rental period is at least one year. This is convenient, since you do not need to look for tenants every month. 

Kyrenia is just conveniently located on a hill, so there are always those who want to settle in an apartment with a sea view. Since this place is popular among tenants, the rental cost is high here.

The value of real estate is constantly growing, because there is a demand for it. This confirms the liquidity of housing. The only object that experts do not recommend buying as an investment is a studio apartment. There are already a lot of them. And apartments 1+1, 2+1 are much smaller, which is valuable. In a residential complex under construction, the prices of apartments with an area of 50-70 square meters range from $90,000 to $150,000. The villa has the best characteristics and will cost you $220,000-430,000. 

Secondary housing is more expensive than new buildings. Ready-made apartments with an area of 80-100 sq.m. will be sold for $160,000 – $190,000.

Prices for the purchase and rental of housing in different cities of Northern Cyprus


  Rent (€ per month) Purchase (€ per 1 sq.m)

In downtown

1 sp. 636

2 350

3 sp. 519

Outside the center

1 sp. 1219



3 sp. 979


  Rent (€ per month) Purchase (€ per 1 sq.m)

In downtown

1 sp. 500





3 sp. 700

Outside the center

1 sp. 600
3 sp. 700


  Rent (€ per month) Purchase (€ per 1 sq.m)

In downtown

1 sp. 587


3 sp. 1020

Outside the center

1 sp. 470


3 sp. 812

(a suburb of Nicosia)

  Rent (€ per month) Purchase (€ per 1 sq.m)

In downtown

1 sp. 350

3 sp. 700

Outside the center

1 sp. 300

3 sp. 600


  Rent (€ per month) Purchase (€ per 1 sq.m)

In downtown

1 sp. 500


3 sp. 1600

Outside the center

1 sp. 450


3 sp. 1200


  Rent (€ per month) Purchase (€ per 1 sq.m)

In downtown

1 sp. 400



3 sp. 800

Outside the center

1 sp. 300
3 sp. 700

Sources: , , .

In addition to monitoring prices on the real estate market and studying the details of how to get a residence permit when buying a property in Northern Cyprus, find out if life itself is expensive there. How much are the products that you can’t do without? How expensive is gasoline and how much do they pay for public transport? According to surveys, an average of $700 is spent on food and other necessary things if you live together and do not suffer from gluttony. In Northern Cyprus, vegetables and fruits are cheap, the weather is sunny, which means you will have enough energy and you will not want to overeat.

Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum required is identity documents (ID card, passport or passport), and, of course, money or cryptocurrency.

During passport control, a 90-day visa is placed in your passport. If necessary, you will have to travel to Turkey and renew your visa there.

You can get a residence permit and the opportunity to stay in the TRNC for a year.

First, you must apply for a residence permit for a year. Then it needs to be extended (for 3 years). In general, citizenship can be granted if you have been legally and continuously residing in Northern Cyprus for 12 years, leaving the island for no more than 45 days a year. It is better to clarify the specifics of your case with the migration service. Perhaps you are married to a citizen of the TRNC — this will make it easier to obtain citizenship. Or you are officially employed — then you will need to live at least 7 years on the island.


Как купить недвижимость на Северном Кипре

Anastasia Romashkina Author

I write articles on various topics for a foreign audience. For example, articles about real estate, emigration, and so on.


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