Why buy property in Northern Cyprus? Cautions for Potential Buyers

There's a wide variety of property for sale in Northern Cyprus and many think that it's just a matter of time until the market erupts. Foreigners buying property in the North are still outnumbered by those buying in the South, but low prices and lack of development in the region have begun attracting investment. The potential for growth is massive and Cyprus' accession to the European Union on May 1st 2004 has further stimulated interest.

Cyprus Property

The rejection of the UN backed reunification plan by the Greek South and its acceptance by the Turkish North has also won the region international kudos. Direct flights to Northern Cyprus are now a very real possibility (as is the lifting of the international airline embargo) and a tourist boom looms on the horizon.

The traditional focus for home buyers has been Kyrenia and the surrounding coastal villages, but now people are beginning to look further a field. Much of the property for sale in Northern Cyprus is antiquated and it's easy to find an old world apartment oozing Ottoman charm or an isolated mountain hide away in need of restoration.

Many investors are interested in the possibility of using rental income to offset their mortgage payments. Of course this is a possibility, but nothing's written in stone. At present North Cyprus' fledgling tourist trade seems to favour all inclusive package visitors (rather than independent 'self caterers'), although how this will pan out in the future is anyone's guess.

The main factor currently taking the 'heat out of the market' is continued uncertainty over relations between the North and the South. Much of the property (and land) in the North belonged to Greek Cypriots prior to 1974 and it still isn't clear what will happen to it if the island is re united. The latest happenings have seen some of the disposed Greek Cypriot familites taking action in EU courts to take back the land they owned before they were evacuated. Some who have bought land in North Cyprus have had to go through devastating court transactions where they have been ordered off the property and made to repay rent for the time they have 'trespassed'. So it is important to be educated in the land ownership before going ahead and purchsing land. Most buyers are advised to stick to properties owned by Turkish Cypriots before 1974 (or opt for property given to refugees in compensation anything they lost in the South) as the chances are these won't be affected.