By chance we have found a website in the internet which referred to a Golf Housing in Cyprus. The brochure is impressive as is its whole set up and its composition. The project houses proposed large building plots of around 1.000-1.300 sq.mts. and depending on the type of houses are around 250 sq.mts. with a sales price range of €5.000/sq.m. The brochure referred to this:
- Anyone who buyers a house of €2 mil. will be automatically be eligible for a Cypriot passport subject to Governmental approval.
- A down payment is to be made to an escrow account held by a well known (one of the best) law firm in Cyprus and if the deal does not go through because of non approval, the down payment will be returned.
- The passport will cover the buyers and family members (we assume wife and children).
- A reply to the applicant will be given latest within 6 months and if not/or rejected money back.
- Etc etc
So far so good and it is lovely that we have an international name (Chinese in this case) to promote Cyprus, based on which we will have definitely positive economic site benefits. The questions that we wish to raise are:
- Has the much published Chinese acquisition of the land at €250 mil. plus being concluded since our information (not necessarily published) is that this acquisition is still pending.
- Since when the €5 mil. investment for passport was reduced to €2.0 mil.?? This is a private deal or a general one (which should be) and if it is general, why this has not been announced for everybody to know – be it there is a clause somewhere in the Government’s decision that if a single purchase forms part of a €10 bil. project, then each individual participant may acquire a passport if he invests €2 mil. plus. Is this project going to cost €10 bill?
- The six month time limit is it a commitment by the Government for everybody or for this project alone (unacceptable if not for everybody) – Hope the Government keeps the date.
- Has the project got a planning permit or is it just one of another typical on paper of future project to be (we hope that they have the permit – we doubt if such a Co can publish otherwise).
- The project suggests a beach facility and a small marina, group management, including gardening etc giving detailed cost of running the property. A well thought out project with a good analysis making clear quite a few points.
- Let’s keep our fingers crossed dear readers and wish this foreign Co all the best and thank the Co for its trust in Cyprus. Just a note, Malta having learned what we are doing here regarding the passport route is considering to do better – be it that other European countries do a similar deal (not as good as ours) – see U.K., Bulgaria, Israel, Spain and even U.S.A. and Canada.
The €2.0 mil. direct investment limit (if it is correct) it is quite attractive in terms for passports. We seem not to be competitive with regard to house purchase for visa. Cyprus not forming part of the Schengen agreement, visa holders in Cyprus may not travel to other E.U. countries, unless the host country allows to do so. So a foreign visa holder in Spain can move to the U.K., but a Cypriot visa holder may not go as of right to the U.K.
We have written in this column before about the Chinese interest for Cyprus and the scam that they (the Chinese) came against from some unscrupulous developers (mainly in Pafos) and for the purpose we wrote several letters to the Cyprus Chinese Ambassador.
We love our country which is multi cultural since various nationals can add to Cyprus a better cosmopolitan living. In a recent seminar that I (A. Loizou) participated I have started my speech by saying “dear colleagues you may be seeing one of the last original Cypriot”. I explained that after the Swedish tourist influx of the years 1980’s, we came to have blond young boys/girls, following this in the years of the Yugoslavian civil war, we came up with a new generation of tall and well built children. After this we have the Russian community with rather round faces, on the large size and heavy drinkers (the lovely looking girls apart). We are now ending with Chinese (why not) shorter and yellow (excuse the expression) skin. And all these the British market apart with mix marriages which started 40 years ago in addition.
A multi cultural country at the end and all the best for Cyprus – it will become a better country at the end (London is an example in hand) be it losing much of Cyprus original character.
Mr Antonis Loizou FRICS, the Managing Partner of Antonis Loizou & Associates – Chartered Surveyors, a Cyprus Real Estate service provider with offices in all towns and resorts. The company website offers more than 5000 Cyprus properties for rent and sale online.
Mr Loizou has practiced in the UK and Cyprus for over 30 years, has a long track record of providing advice on complex real estate projects, writes regularly in the financial press, and is involved in the highest levels of the Cypriot government influencing policy.