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Living in Cyprus: The Pros and Cons

The appeal of Cyprus’s Mediterranean life cannot be underestimated. A relaxing island lifestyle, stunning coastal views, endless sunshine, and vibrant culture make living in Cyprus highly appealing. The statistics speak for themselves as Cyprus receives the third highest number of migrants from Europe. 

If you’re considering moving to Cyprus, we’ve put together an informative guide on the pros and cons of living there to help you make your decision. Keep reading to know more.

Advantages of Living in Cyprus 

Living in Cyprus comes with a host of benefits, being an English-speaking country with a high number of European expats.

Aerial view of Kyrenia Bay in Kyrenia, North Cyprus.

Attractive Property Prices 

Real estate prices in Cyprus are highly affordable compared to Western Europe. In addition to low monthly rents for modern city apartments, property prices are also highly attractive to expats looking to put down roots. On average, properties in Cyprus are sold at £ 1,400 (€1,600) per square metre. Average housing prices for the top cities in Cyprus include Limassol at £ 2,000 (€ 2,300), Nicosia at £ 1,500 (€ 1,750), Larnaca at £ 1,150 (€ 1,350), and Paphos at £ 1,700 (€ 2,000).

Low Cost of Living 

The cost of living in Cyprus is approximately 10% cheaper compared to the EU. Living expenses are low, but at the same time, quality of life is high owing to Cyprus being one of the safest countries in the world. Cyprus’s affordable cost of living is part of the reason why the country’s relaxed island lifestyle appeals to expats as it contributes to a positive work-life balance.

Tax Benefits 

Residents of Cyprus are entitled to tax benefits. The standard income tax here is 12.5%, which is the lowest in Europe. Additionally, property owners can benefit from tax reduction for personal use properties: VAT can be decreased to 5% from 19%. A yearly municipal fee ranging from £ 50 (€ 60) to £ 130 (€ 150) is all property owners have to pay as there is no annual property tax.

Premium Healthcare 

High-quality healthcare is one of the top reasons why Cyprus is sought-after by expats. IVF, dentistry, orthopaedics, and cardiology are among the most popular healthcare branches for foreigners. In 2023, Cyprus’s healthcare system ranked 29th globally, surpassing the United Kingdom, Canada, Greece, and Portugal.

High Economic Growth

Cyprus’s economy has been growing rapidly with tourism alone accounting for more than 80% of that growth. Following a decline in GDP growth during the 2020 pandemic, the country’s economy bounced back quickly with a GDP growth rate of 5.5% in 2021. Cyprus’s low levels of taxation have allowed several international companies to prosper.

Ease of Obtaining Residence Permit 

For expats looking to move to Cyprus, the process of obtaining a residence permit is swift and efficient. The first step involves getting an Alien’s Registration Certificate, which takes around 2 weeks. Following that, expats can get a resident ID in 3-8 weeks. Investors can obtain permanent residency in 3 to 6 months allowing for a quick and easy transition.

Disadvantages of Living in Cyprus

Cyprus may be one of the most attractive destinations for expats looking to move abroad. If you’re one of them, you should consider the disadvantages of living in Cyprus before deciding to put down roots here.

Aerial view of Molos Promenade Park in Limassol, Cyprus.

Political Divide

The Greek-Turkish divide is a pivotal part of Cyprus’s history and has resulted in political instability. Put simply, the island is divided in two by the Green Line: the north for Turkish Cypriots, and the south for Greek Cypriots. In recent years, the situation has been stable, but it is something to be aware of for those moving here.

Rising Electricity Prices 

Electricity rates are quite high in Cyprus, rising by 75% in 2022 alone. This is primarily due to high energy usage both in private and public spaces. Owing to the hot weather of the island, air conditioners are required during the summer, in addition to heaters and boilers in the winter.

Natural Hazards 

The occurrence of natural disasters such as earthquakes, flash floods, and wildfires is quite high in Cyprus.  Each year, the Geological Survey of Cyprus records about 500 tremors, although no major earthquakes have occurred in recent years.

Slow Pace of Life 

Cyprus’s island lifestyle is highly sought after by expats looking for a slow pace of life. But it also means that when you need something to get done, it could take a while. Whether you need to organise documents at a government agency or are waiting for the neighbourhood roadworks to be completed, be prepared to wait longer than you’re used to at home.

Difficulty of Getting Around 

When it comes to accessibility, Cyprus isn’t the easiest to get around. Despite being an island, you’ll need a car. Road infrastructure is lacking, to say the least, and traffic jams are frequent. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of living in Cyprus. If you’re looking for alternate means of travel, there are buses, but they’re not always reliable.

Council homes in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Low Urban Development

For all its appeal, Cyprus is still, primarily, a rural country. With the exception of a few port towns having medieval architecture, the buildings, for the most part, reflect a developing world. Likewise, there are cultural events in Limassol. But elsewhere, expats might find a lack of entertainment opportunities. 

Living in Cyprus can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The country’s island lifestyle, strong economy and healthcare system are some of the biggest pros it has to offer. At the same time, however, there are also certain disadvantages of living in Cyprus which you need to consider before deciding whether this Mediterranean country is right for you.

If you’ve decided that Cyprus is your destination, then our international moving guide has everything you need to know to plan your move. Whether you’re relocating for work or personal reasons, our accredited international moving services are tailored to your needs. Choose Gerson Relocation today!

(* All prices are approx. as of February 2024)

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