Category Archives: News & Blog

A 360-Summary of the Cyprus Real Estate Market

In terms of sales and investment in real estate in Cyprus, last year was one of the best since the financial meltdown of 2013. Especially property that is in one way or another associated with tourism witnessed a very welcome revival in parallel with the record-breaking number of tourist arrivals. Also boosting the market was the interest in large plots of land in prime locations, suitable for investments in major projects.

Foreign and Locals Invest in Cyprus Property

Both foreign and local investors demonstrated increased interest in investing in real estate in Cyprus, which was driven by a combination of factors that led to very promising opportunities. The key factor was, of course, the reduced prices due to the financial crisis which practically paralyzed the market. At the same time, interest rates on bank deposits were – and still are – negligible, while interest on loans is also relatively low, making investments in real estate a very sensible option, especially for local buyers. The exchange of real estate for repayment of debt further increased the supply and held prices at low levels.

There is little doubt, however, that foreign investors still account for the bulk of transactions. That demand is driven by various government incentives including the Cyprus Investment Program and the Residency by Investment program, which allow non-EU investors to apply for Cyprus citizenship or permanent residency respectively.

Overall Benefits of Cyprus Real Estate Sector

The overall regeneration of the market thanks to renewed confidence among both local and foreign prospective buyers has benefited not only the construction and development industry but various other services and suppliers that feed the sector. In particular, the larger investment projects have attracted ‘fresh money’ and created new jobs that have noticeably reduced the rate of unemployment. Projects of this large scale include marinas, shopping centers, mixed developments, multi-story ultra-lux apartment buildings with the use of new technologies and design innovations, which have attracted serious international buyers and have increased the country’s competitiveness and upgraded its profile. The combination of all the above has also raised rents, which have reached unprecedented highs in the most desirable locations.

It is important to mention that investing with caution in real estate through equity instead of loans has created a healthier and controlled property market by giving more value to properties and avoiding the mistakes of the past which led to unhealthy levels of debt in the country.

Indeed, the successful recovery of the property market must now be protected by both the private industry and the public sector at all costs to avoid a relapse. The goal should be reasonable and long-term economic growth, with the real estate industry serving as one of the key pillars, along with low tax rates, high quality of services and the quality of life that Cyprus is known to offer.

Date published: June 6, 2019

Ayia Napa for All Seasons

Ayia Napa, the small seafront resort on the southern coast of Cyprus, has triggered several taglines. From ‘the paradise of the Mediterranean’ to the ‘sun-worshippers Mecca’, it is seen by different people in different ways. That is because its beauty and appeal varies according to the season and according to the visitor’s expectations.

Ayia Napa in the summer

Located in the District of Ammochostos (Famagusta), a short drive away from the enchanting nature of Cape Greco, Ayia Napa has many distinct features by itself. To begin with, the beaches of Ayia Napa rank among the most beautiful, long-stretched sandy beaches on the island. This is the area with the highest concentration of EU blue flag beaches in Cyprus. Apart from the sugary sands, the colour of the sea at Ayia Napa is a mesmerizing, glittering turquoise-sapphire-azure blue. The sand and the sea combined with the long dry sunny period of the year that often starts as early as April and can last till the end of October, make Ayia Napa one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in the region. Thousands of tourists come here to enjoy swimming, water sports and sunbathing during the day, followed by evenings spent in pubs, cafés and traditional taverns, before enjoying the nightlife that lasts till the early morning hours.

The Winter Period in Ayia Napa

During the winter months, Ayia Napa shifts into a slower, quieter gear. The beaches still attract strollers, while cyclists are drawn to the coastal cycling paths and hikers seek the beauty of the area’s nature trails that wind their way through the rich endemic flora. It’s a very different destination, as the natural beauty of lush greenery replaces the magnetic attraction of the sandy beaches, and the mild winter temperatures are ideal for outdoor sports and leisure activities.

This is also a great time to explore the surroundings of the resort, an area dotted with smaller villages known as the ‘Kokkinochoria’ – the fertile red soil villages known also as the area that produces large crops of the delicious, world-famous Cyprus potatoes. Tour the district, meet the local farmers, visit miniature churches and chapels, and in general experience rural life and the hospitality of the local communities.

An Overview

It happens all the time: The first visit to Ayia Napa is usually during the summer, but sooner or later holidaymakers discover the ‘other face of Ayia Napa’ – the tranquility and serenity of the winter months – and often come for extended winter stays. And finally, many realize that the real beauty of Ayia Napa is in its changing seasonal character, which makes it a very special destination any time of the year.

Date published: February 14, 2019

Connect to SkyPrime Group on Social Media

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Here at SkyPrime Group we highly value our contact with clients, believing communication is key to an excellent service. Due to this we have taken steps to keep clients informed on the latest news and developments on all aspects of the SkyPrime Group.

We are proud and delighted to inform all clients, associates and friends of our website and social media channels:

 

Contact, like and follow us!

Date published: December 11, 2018

Cyprus Taxation Attracts International Businesses

sea buildings cyprus

Cyprus has one of the most attractive tax jurisdictions in the world, offering a unique and favourable tax system. With a privileged location to the EMA market (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Cyprus has become the world’s bridge between the East, West, North and South, this fact is not a secret in the world of international business.

A recent KPMG survey of more than 400 tax professionals across Europe confirmed that Cyprus is rated as having the most attractive tax regime, scoring 90%. A major factor in this result is due to Cyprus being a member of the EU – ensuring free movement of goods, services, capital and citizens being able to conduct business with no legal restrictions.

However, the reasons continue with the following:

  • Corporate Income Tax rate of 12.5% and standard VAT rate of 19%.
  • Double Tax Treaties network with 64 countries.

    Tax exemption from:

    • Divided income received.
    • Profits of foreign branches of Cypriot companies.
    • Profits from the disposal of securities.
    • No tax on capital profits from the sale of property outside of Cyprus.
    • Profits from the use of intellectual property rights (80% exempt).
    • No withholding tax on:

      • Dividends paid to non-resident shareholders.
      • Interest and most royalties paid from Cyprus.
  • Cyprus practices internationally agreed tax standards.
  • Cyprus tax legislation is stable and straightforward.
  • Relations between businesses and tax authorities are strong ensuring efficient taxation.

Cyprus not only offers a favourable tax system but what many business owners have recognised as a favourable work-life balance. A surplus of blue flag beaches, restaurants, bars and entertainment, Cyprus is a well-rounded option for international business owners. Due to Cyprus attracting many nationalities a variety of employees with varying skills and languages are abundant on the island thus meeting the unique needs of any business. A rise in international business has been noted in the following industries:

Energy Industry Grown in the Past 10 Years

Cyprus hydrocarbons discoveries have gained the attention of many global international energy giants such as ENI, Kogas, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Total. Cyprus has also been improving corporation with Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan and Italy, becoming a convenient regional energy hub in the Mediterranean. New opportunities are arising in a range of energy investments paving the way for international business. Including gas, liberalisation of the electricity market, renewables and the EuroAsia Interconnector project to connect Cyprus, Israel and Greece via submarine electricity cable and a related one to connect Egypt.

Banking Sector

The banking sector has seen new comers such as Swedish Ancoria Bank with an initial capital of €50 million. Acquisitions and mergers are also increasing with strategic new investment entering the sector from the sale of the majority stake of the Cyprus subsidiary of Greece’s largest lender Piraeus Bank, to Lebanese Holding M. Sehnaoui SAL. This sale has injected €40 million into the bank, now named AstroBank. The sector is seeing more activity, providing opportunities for new players to enter the market and providing investment opportunities that can be tapped into by international banks.

Continual Strong Growth in the Shipping Industry

The shipping industry is one of Cyprus most successful export services. The island is considered one of the top global hubs for ship owning and ship management services and is home to some of the world’s biggest names in shipping. Cyprus is also the largest third-party ship management centre in Europe and the largest crew management centre in the world. Natural gas finds within Cyprus and cooperation with neighbouring countries to exploit it are also increasing expectations for the island’s already flourishing shipping sector.

Real Estate Increase from the Scheme for Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception

With room for big and small international business to take advantage of the favourable tax system, work-life balance and economy, businesses have also attracted international workers from around the globe. Those who come to Cyprus have the opportunity to partake in the scheme for naturalization of investors in Cyprus by exception. Essentially this allows individuals who invest a certain amount of money in property to become a citizen of Cyprus – an EU Country.

This increase has raised the demand for property that real estate developers strive to meet. As Luxury new projects continue to be built all over the island providing homes for many local and international workers. The demand has also been noticed by international companies who also develop real estate projects on the island.

Cyprus is truly a diverse island not only drawing international business with a favourable tax system but providing the bonus of a dynamic workforce, great location and ideal lifestyle that all contribute to the flourishing economy.

 

Date published: December 4, 2018

What Kind of Education can you Expect in Cyprus?

girl book library

In Cyprus, education is for everyone, and it is compulsory for children from the age of 5 to 15. The different stages of the local education system are pre-school kindergarten, primary school, lower and higher secondary schools, and higher education at tertiary colleges and universities. Residents, as well as expatriates, enjoy access to all stages at both public and private institutions.

It is worth noting that the Cyprus Government stresses the importance of ensuring that all children, local or foreign, can continue their education while in Cyprus. The language of instruction at public schools is Greek, while private schools vary. You’ll find many private schools teaching in English and a few who offer instruction in either German, French or Russian to accommodate expatriate communities.

Private and Public Education in Cyprus

While private school teachers are used to having a mix of nationalities in every class, even public-school teachers receive special training to help them communicate and effectively teach pupils with different needs or from different language backgrounds.

All public schools are free, with fees payable only at tertiary level for post-graduate studies. Fees at private schools are reasonable for the most part but are still cheaper than private education in other European countries. Naturally, and due to the high demand, admission to the local universities is competitive and entrance exams are strict. It is widely recognized that the University of Cyprus has a very high standard, with only the best students gaining admission to the most desirable subjects. However, foreign university applicants generally prefer one of the many private colleges and universities where the language of instruction is English.

Overseas Students Studying in Cyprus

Apart from the fact that Cyprus universities offer internationally recognized bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, with credits that are transferable to other EU countries and also the US and Canada, there is more to studying in Cyprus than the academic challenges and achievements. Students in Cyprus enjoy the freedom of activity and expression in a safe environment that is known to have a very low crime rate. Not only is there the warm Mediterranean climate but also the multicultural environment helps students adjust to their new setting and make friends with many other nationals. If necessary, they can also find part-time student jobs. The result is a well-rounded student life that combines education with work and time for recreation.

Ultimately, spending a few years in Cyprus as an overseas student will help young adults develop a sense of independence and maturity while broadening their horizons in many ways that go beyond books, lectures, and seminars. It is an experience that brings students face to face with people and opportunities way beyond our small island.

Many SkyPrime clients that take part in the Cyprus Investment Program or the Cyprus Permanent Residency Program come to Cyprus with families that require a high standard of education. Due to the variety that Cyprus has to offer, with both private and public schools, also universities and colleges in many languages, Cyprus can guarantee an excellent education.

Date published: September 21, 2018

How Cyprus is Becoming the Epicentre for Investors and a Business Hub in the Eastern Mediterranean

sun sea palm trees cyprus

Positioned at the crossroads of three continents with a strategic position as the gateway of Europe, Asia and Africa. This location has given Cyprus a unique advantage to become a successful business hub in today’s society. With the backing from international investors and investment schemes the Island of Cyprus is developing at a rapid rate.

Trading History

The island was once rich in supplies of copper and timber, which gave it economic as well as strategic value. The name, Cyprus, derives from the ancient Greek word for the precious copper deposits that were already being mined and traded as early as 2500 BC. As trade of copper developed it brought wealth and prosperity to the island.

Modern Trading History

As Cyprus moved on in times trading continued to be supported via shipping. Merchant shipping has long been of great importance to the island. A seafaring nation located along important trade routes, Cyprus has actively developed its shipping sector for decades. The international maritime industry began flocking to its shores in the early 1960s, when Cyprus introduced legislation providing ship managers and owners with a more tax-efficient business environment. This paved the way for the expansion of an industry that now contributes approximately €1 billion each year to the economy.

Increase in Russian Investors

Cyprus attracts many investors from overseas – notably though is the increase in Russian investors. Cyprus provides a favourable tax system with guaranteed sunny weather that draws many Russians to the island.

Cyprus Investment Program

New incentives came into action in Cyprus to promote investment. Previously referred to at the Cyprus Citizenship scheme the updated Cyprus Investment Program gives individuals the opportunity to invest in Cyprus and gain Citizenship to Cyprus – an EU Country.

Permanent Residency

This legislation enables non-EU nationals to obtain a Cyprus residence permit, with unlimited duration, within 60 days. The permit is valid for the entire family including dependent children over 18 years of age, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. The residency program offers many benefits such as living in a safe haven, studying in Cyprus, tax implications and the residency can also be used as a stepping stone to full citizenship which would allow for working in Cyprus.

Further Economic Expansion

As the economy continues to grow with a strong foundation of shipping with continued support via the Cyprus Investment Program and Permanent Residency Program, it has paved the way for exciting new projects such as the new casino in Limassol. City of Dreams casino is set to open in 2021 a temporary pop up casino has opened until the completion of City of Dreams. The temporary pop up casino has 593 employees, total floor area spanning 4,600 square metres, the gaming area takes up 1,300 square metres and includes 33 tables and 242 slot machines. The casino also has a restaurant and two bars, featuring a separate VIP gaming area.

Expansion in Building Projects

Cyprus has experienced an increase in building projects all over the island. Notable projects include a selection of skyscrapers in the area of Limassol made possible through investment in Limassol. Currently 30 skyscrapers are being built providing jobs for many locals and homes for professionals around the globe.

Conclusion

Cyprus has a strong history of providing a hub for business trade and investment and this shows no sign of changing, laying the foundation for further development in the future with an ever-expanding Cypriot economy. SkyPrime has cultivated a niche market aimed at providing beautiful Cyprus luxury homes with unobstructed sea views for high net worth individual who wish to buy property on the promising island of Cyprus.

Date published: September 6, 2018

Living in Cyprus – Guarantee of a Better Life

plant sea grass coffee table

Have you ever imagined moving to a sunny Mediterranean island? If so, you’re not alone. The vision of living in Cyprus, whether permanently or for a few months every year, is quite common. In fact, many have turned this vision into reality, taking advantage of the weather, the sea, and the island’s hospitality. You’ll find families who have invested in a holiday home for regular sunny breaks, retired couples who have made the island their home, and others who come every year to escape from the cold European winter months. Expatriates from East and West have developed a bond with this island that has put sunshine in their lives – literally and figuratively. Here are the main reasons why people enjoy a healthy and happy life in Cyprus.

Safe and Secure

In this day and age, safety – especially for children – has become a major issue around the world. Raising children has become more difficult than ever, and parents of young children are often rightfully anxious about where their children circulate and who their friends are. Both when you are at home and when you go away on holiday, safety is always a priority. In recent years, many popular tourist destinations have lost their appeal due to lack of safety; but Cyprus remains a safe place to visit, with one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Warm and Sunny

In Cyprus you will enjoy the Mediterranean climate at its best: Long warm summers and short mild winters. Of course, you get warm – even hot days in other European countries; but often you can never be sure that clouds won’t appear suddenly and spoil your outdoor plans. By contrast, the weather in Cyprus is very predictable. The rain-free season could easily last for seven months, and even when it rains during the cooler winter months, the showers don’t last for long, the sky clears up quickly and out comes the sun again.

Healthy and Happy

Good health care is not only necessary when you get sick. To a large extent, health care is about prevention. In either case, you will have access to competent and experienced medical practitioners and specialists in all areas, most of whom have qualified in the UK, US, and Greece. All are fluent in English, so you will have no difficulty discussing your condition or any necessary treatment. It is also worth noting that Cyprus has a long-term low rate of epidemics and infectious diseases.

These are some of the many factors that make Cyprus an appealing destination for individuals and families, this fact is reflected in the success of the Cyprus Investment Program. Alongside the above stated benefits of living in Cyprus, those who partake in the program are able to invest in Cyprus by buying a property in Cyprus and gain citizenship of a country that is a member of the European Union.

Find out more about Cyprus and you will understand the full meaning of ‘quality of life’. Whenever you’re ready, contact the SkyPrime Group and we’ll lead you to a dream home with or without a private garden and pool, near the beach or in a cosmopolitan center, with all the features of the life you want for yourself and your family.

Date published: August 24, 2018

5 Tips for Successful House Hunting in Cyprus

sea view blue cyprus

Buying a house is an important milestone in many people’s lives. This is because it usually involves a significant investment, also because your personal property is in many ways a direct reflection of your lifestyle and personality. To make sure your house hunting effort in Cyprus is both enjoyable and productive, here are 5 basic tips to help you find a home that will serve you well.

  1. For own use or rental?

In the broadest terms, most buyers are looking for a property that will serve one of two purposes: either for the buyer’s own use – whether for permanent residence or regular holidays, or as an investment that will yield rental income. Your approach should be different in each case. When looking for a home for yourself, your criteria should reflect your personal preferences – from location and immediate surroundings, to interior layout and finishing materials. Although the same criteria applys when choosing a property for rental purposes, it pays to find a property that will have broader appeal, rather than matching your individual style.

  1. Set your priorities

If you’re looking for a home or second home for yourself, be prepared to accept the fact that it is very difficult to find the 100% perfect property. The ideal design may be in a less favourable location, or the ultimate property may be over budget. To avoid experiencing regular dilemmas every time you go to view a property, it pays to list all your wants and needs, but also to group them in two categories: ‘requirements’, which are absolute must-haves, and ‘wishes’ that will help you choose between two or more properties that satisfy the fundamental requirements – usually the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, approximate location and nearby amenities, and budget. With a list of this kind in hand, you will be in a better to position to shortlist your favourites before making a final decision.

  1. VAT matters

VAT rates vary from country to country and are not negligible. In Cyprus, the current rate of VAT on property is 19%. However, VAT can be avoided or reduced in many cases. When buying a new-build home, you can claim most of the VAT (currently 14%) back if you are buying a property with a covered area that does not exceed 200 square meters. Also, bear in mind that resale properties are completely VAT exempt. As these incentives are periodically reviewed, make sure to consult a reliable source or agent for up-to-date information.

  1. Keeping track

For practical reasons, especially if you are not residing in Cyprus already, the property search often takes place in spurts and over several weeks or months. By keeping track of every property you view and recording particular features, special advantages/disadvantage or other details, you can avoid missing an opportunity or forgetting an important aspect that could eventually help you make the right decision in favour of one or the other home.

  1. Consult a reliable agent

Naturally, you can drive around the island and look out for new construction projects or signs on houses that are on the market. That, however, will make the search process very slow, and will also limit the options, as many of the best properties are sold off-plan, while resale properties are often not even advertised. By consulting an experienced local real estate agent who is an active player in the market as well as in the local society, you can minimize the search period and make your house hunting experience more efficient by viewing only properties that match the requirements you share with the estate agent. The result is an exciting and hassle-free house hunting experience combined with insider information and advice that can be extremely valuable.

At SkyPrime Group we pride ourselves on understanding clients needs and tailoring our search to the clients requirements offering a variety of properties in Cyprus.

Happy house hunting!

 

 

Date published: July 23, 2018

Ayia Napa – Attracting Investors in the Hospitality and Real Estate Industry

sea buildings sky ayia napa

For a long time, Cyprus has been attracting many entrepreneurs from abroad who are interested in alternative investments. The demand for real estate is constantly increasing and many entrepreneurs recognise Cyprus as a different investment solution, particularly hotels in Cyprus due to the continuous growth of tourism.

In 2018 the demand for property has continued to increase as hotel investments have a return of approximately 12% of the cost/value. In addition, hotel titleholders seem rather eager to sell and lease back their businesses for a time span of at least a decade with an assured average income of 8-10%.

Furthermore, investors may be interested in completely different fields from restaurants and shops, to farmland with main interest from Israel, China, Russia, Australia and North and South America.

Another very important factor is the industry of gaming in Cyprus; one noteworthy project is the construction of a casino in Limassol which will further develop the Cypriot economy by providing jobs and generating more tourism.

Also, under construction is the new Ayia Napa Marina which has attracted the interest of Arab investors and is set to open in July 2019 with full completion of the marina in 2021. The marina will include a dining and entertainment area. Visitors can enjoy a variety of casual and fine dining restaurants, cafés and bars. The main attraction of the marina will be the Event Centre, a one of a kind architectural glass building designed for open air or indoor events.

The marina is set to change the face of Ayia Napa as it is set to attract tourists and locals from all over. Keen investors realise the potential for property investment in and around the area of Ayia Napa as it becomes the new hot spot of the Island.

SkyPrime Group have an experienced team that can assist with property investment, with a wide variety of luxury properties in Cyprus and seafront villas in Cyprus for sale. SkyPrime Group offer great opportunities to foreign investors who are interested in making sound and up-to-date investment in real estate.

Date published: July 16, 2018

Temporary Casino to Open in Limassol Cyprus

casino betting

It has now been confirmed that a temporary casino in Limassol is set to open its doors to the public on June 28 after receiving its licence.

Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony for the casino resort set to be built in Zakaki, Limassol, chairman and CEO of Melco Group Lawrence said that a temporary or ‘pop up’ casino would be ready for operation on 28th of June. 593 employees have already been hired for the temporary casino located on Roosevelt Avenue, three quarters of said employees are Cypriot.

The casino has a total floor area spanning 4,600 square metres, the gaming area takes up 1,300 square metres and includes 33 tables and 242 slot machines. The temporary casino also has a restaurant and two bars, featuring a separate VIP gaming area.

President of the integrated casino property Craig Ballantyne informed reporters the site has a capacity for about 1,200 people and is set to attract about 25,000 people per month.

The C2 Cyprus casino will be operational until 2021 when City of Dreams, which is under construction, is expected to open. “Even though C2 is a pop-up casino, this property will give new meaning to the term. We’ve invested close to €13 million in this facility to ensure that every one of our guests experiences the renowned standards and quality of service which Melco, one of the world’s largest integrated resort operators, is famous for” – Craig Ballantyne, property president of City of Dreams Mediterranean and Cyprus Casinos.

This is the first casino that Melco Group has opened outside of Asia. Four satellite casinos will also open in Nicosia, Larnaca, the Famagusta region and Paphos during 2018. Work has already begun for the casino in Nicosia, it will be located in the former C House Lounge Cafè in Engomi. A certain area of the building is set to be demolished so as to adjust the space for the construction of the casino.

Following the investment in Limassol and the opening of pop up casinos that will be replaced by permanent casinos, these developments are set to increase Cyprus economic growth  by drawing tourism and generating new jobs.

Date published: July 9, 2018