Is moving to Cyprus a good idea?
So the legend says…
She was born in the waters of Cyprus—Venus, the Goddess of Love… Later immortalized in the painting by Botticelli…
“Love” has been part of the lexicon of Cyprus since ancient times…
The Mediterranean island has been fought over by men wanting to possess her charms since before history began… The Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Knights Templar, the Crusaders, the British, have all possessed her at some point.
Today, the island is still split between two lovers: the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, who each lay a claim.
Nicosia, the capital, is the only divided capital city in the world.
Go there and it’s not hard to see why Cyprus has been fought over with such envy. (More on that in a moment…)
Like so many others, I’ve fallen for Cyprus.
Here are five reasons this Mediterranean island should be on your offshore radar…
1. Life In Paradise
First and foremost, it’s a beautiful place—a place you simply want to spend time in.
Azure waters, golden beaches, ancient ruins, even a ski resort. You’ll believe paradise is real.
Temperatures range into the 80sºF… It’s a subtropical climate with long summers and brief, mild winters.
Cyprus actually has more sunny days than Portugal’s famed Algarve.
Plus, English is widely spoken, thanks to the fact that this was a British territory until 1960.
2. Double Your Options
Second, on this relatively small island (the third-largest in the Mediterranean), you have not one, but two choices when it comes to residency and investment…
The Greek Cypriot side of the island, the Republic of Cyprus, is a member of the European Union, and boasts one of Europe’s remaining Golden Visa programs—with access to the 27-member EU and the Schengen Zone…
On the northern part of the island lies Northern Cyprus, which offers a quieter lifestyle and better price points (and no less beauty)…
Crossing from one part of Cyprus to the other is easy—you just show your passport.
Although the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots occasionally say bad things about each other (they both would like control of the whole island; that’s the lure of Venus again)… Cyprus is entirely peaceful.
The status quo—a divided island—actually gives you double the opportunity as an investor or expat, as I’ve been saying…
3. “The Last Great Beach Bargains”
I’ve been banging the drum about property in Northern Cyprus for some time.
The Northern Cyprus real estate market is one that I haven’t seen in years. You can buy almost anything and expect to make money, whether it’s through rental yields, appreciation, or both.
I recently bought a condo there, and I’m bullish on the opportunity we have.
It’s one of the world’s last great beach bargains—beach property for under US$100k, with the potential for as much as a 10% net rental yield…
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4. Banking And Business
A reader wrote to me recently with a query I think it’s important to address.
“C.S.” wrote: “Wasn’t it Cyprus that confiscated all deposits over 100,000 euros from private depositors?”
During the post-2008 crisis, Cyprus made headlines around the world with its controversial bank “bail-in,” where close to 50% of all bank deposits over 100,000 euros were simply seized by the government. Not good.
But it’s important to say, no deposits up to the amount of 100,000 euros were impacted, and the 2008 crisis had devastating effects on wealth all over the globe.
It was the collapse of U.S. financial institutions that kicked off that horrible chapter… Anyone who had their retirement accounts decimated back then knows that their money wasn’t necessarily safer in the U.S.…
(The solution, as always, is what I continually recommend: diversify—don’t keep all your assets in one bank, or one country.)
Depositors and investors have returned to Cyprus en masse in the past decade.
And, it’s fair to ask: Is moving to Cyprus a good decision?
The fundamentals that put this island in the top tier for global diversification still exist…
Cyprus remains a business and banking hub…
The Republic of Cyprus has the lowest corporate tax rate in the EU, at 12.5%. (Matched by Ireland… but Ireland doesn’t have this weather.)
Eighty-four percent of the economy is services, mainly tourism and financial services.
The rich have returned and the marinas are full…
This last point is another important reason why…
5. Easy Access To Two Continents
Another aspect that makes Cyprus stand apart is its strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean, between the European continent and the Middle East.
There are two international airports, with short, cheap, direct flights to everywhere around the EU.
You’re also only a short hop from Middle Eastern hubs such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi…
For that reason, Cyprus is a popular base with Western executives who do business in both Europe and places like the UAE.
- Great lifestyle;
- Double the options for residency;
- Unbeatable property price points;
- A business and banking hub; and
- A strategic location straddling two continents…
Editor, Offshore Living Letter