North Cyprus Property: To Buy or Rent?

North Cyprus has emerged as a popular destination for expatriates and investors in recent years, with its affordable cost of living, sunny Mediterranean climate, and cultural appeal. This increased foreign interest has stimulated the local real estate market, bringing more properties onto the buying and rental market. But for those considering relocating to North Cyprus, one key question looms: should I buy or rent property? 

This article explores the pros, cons, costs, and considerations around both options to help inform your decision. We’ll provide an overview of property in North Cyprus, analysis of ownership versus renting, and expert tips from realtors and lawyers in the field. With pristine beaches, mountain villages, and city life to choose from, region offers great lifestyle options if you select the right homes solution for your needs and budget.

Understanding North Cyprus

North Cyprus is a tapestry of stunning geography, from the sun-kissed shores of Long Beach to the serene mountain villages. The climate is a Mediterranean delight, fostering a lifestyle where evenings are spent watching sunsets with a sea view and days exploring ancient ruins. 

However, the political situation, stemming from the division of the island, has unique implications for ownership, especially for foreign buyers. This, coupled with an evolving economic landscape, influences everything from property prices to the availability of suitable properties. Cultural insights reveal a community where expats find warmth and inclusivity, making North Cyprus properties more than just a physical investment.

The Property Market in North Cyprus

Current market trends and historical context

The North Cyprus property boom commenced in the early 2000s once restrictions on foreign buyers relaxed. With sunny weather, laidback lifestyle, and lower cost of living than elsewhere in the Med, expatriates and investors from Britain, Turkey, Middle East and Russia flocked to grab holiday homes or buy-to-let properties. Values and construction soared for over a decade. 

However the 2008 global financial crisis did decrease foreign investment. Recently a slight recovery is evident aligning with the Republic of Cyprus’ own renewed prosperity after 2013’s EU bailout crisis.

Property types and key areas

Housing styles include modern luxury villas with pools, traditional stone houses, purpose-built apartments, or older restored heritage homes. Coastal regions are most coveted for their sea view and lifestyle, especially Kyrenia and Famagusta. Inland also offers great value in Nicosia city or picturesque villages like Bellapais. 

Average apartment prices currently range from £30k up to £500k+ for larger or premium villas.  Rents average £400-1000/month depending on location and facilities. While affordably priced compared to elsewhere in Europe, it still pays to negotiate any deals, especially with recent economic fluctuations.

Property price index table showing changes over the last decade (2012-2022) for key areas in North Cyprus:

Area2012 Prices2022 Prices% Change

Buying Property in North Cyprus

For buyers seeking a permanent home, vacation villa, or overseas investment, houses for rent in North Cyprus offers advantages.


Investment Potential

Real estate market remains undervalued compared to southern Cyprus and other Mediterranean destinations. Capital appreciation potential exists, especially if a future resolution of the Cyprus issue brings economic benefits.

Capital Appreciation

Estate values are rising, with average annual appreciation around 5-10% in recent years. Prime locations have seen even higher gains.

Low Taxes

North Cyprus has low property taxes, with no inheritance tax for non-residents. Capital gains tax only applies to flipping within 3 years of purchase.

Renovation Freedom

Buyers can renovate or rebuild existing homes more freely than in other regions.

Residency/Citizenship Options 

Property purchase fast-tracks residency approvals and may allow eligibility for citizenship after several years.

The buying process involves

  1. Research – Examine locations and buildings types. Utilize North Cyprus real estate portals and enlist a reputable estate agent.
  2. Due Diligence – Inspect the property and verify ownership title. Hire professionals to check electrical, plumbing, and foundations.
  3. Purchase Agreement – Negotiate price and contract terms with the seller. A 10% deposit is typical.
  4. Approvals – Obtain residence permit as a residences owner. For non-EU citizens, approval from the Interior Ministry is required.
  5. Completion – Finalize remaining balance, usually via an escrow account. Pay government transfer fees around 3-4%.
  6. Transfer – Register the title deed locally in your name and record with the Land Registry.

Potential challenges include complex regulations, difficulty obtaining financing as a foreigner, and language barriers. Seeking local real estate and legal expertise is advisable. Overall, the property purchase process is relatively straightforward for international investors.

If you’ve decided to buy rather than rent, learn more about the top reasons North Cyprus is a property paradise in this detailed buying guide.

Renting Property in North Cyprus 

For those not ready to fully commit to homeownership, exploring property for long term rent in Cyprus offers a flexible solution to enjoy the island’s beauty while considering future investment opportunities. 



Shorter leases allow mobility to change locations or travel extended periods.

Lower Upfront Costs

Rents are paid monthly rather than a large lump purchase sum. Deposits are generally 1-2 months’ rent.

No Maintenance Worries

Landlords handle repairs and upkeep.

Opportunity to Explore 

Trying out neighborhoods before committing to buy.


  • No Long Term Investment – Rents pay for housing but build no equity over time.
  • Potential Instability – Landlords can end leases unexpectedly or not renew. Rents may rise sharply.
  • Restrictions – Lease rules may limit pets, guests, decorating, etc.
  • Understanding standard lease terms helps avoid surprises:
  • Duration – 6 or 12 months are typical, with option to extend. Shorter tourist leases sometimes available.
  • Rent/Deposit – Paid monthly in advance. Deposit equals 1-2 months’ rent as security, refundable if no damages.
  • Utilities – Tenant pays electricity and water. Some contracts include internet/TV.
  • Maintenance – Landlord covers building repairs and maintenance. Tenant responsible for minor issues.
  • Subletting – Usually not permitted without landlord consent. Guests allowed short stays.

With proper expectations, renting can suit needs ranging from student housing to expatriate placements. Popular areas for rentals include central Lefkoşa for urban access, Kyrenia’s coastline for beaches and nightlife, and Lefke for university students.

When researching rentals, visit multiple units personally. Check for amenities, noise, adequate lighting, and pest control. Ask about utility costs and payment options. Have a Turkish-speaking agent, friend, or lawyer assist in finalizing the lease. Be sure to understand renewal terms and timelines.

Comparative Analysis 

Ultimately, choosing whether to buy real estate or rent comes down to budget, timeframe, and lifestyle priorities:


Renting requires less upfront investment, while buying demands sizable capital and financing. Long term, buying accumulates equity and mortgage paydown. Rents rise continually but mortgages remain fixed.

Short vs Long Term 

Renting suits shorter stays of a few years and provides flexibility. Buying has higher upfront costs but recovers over decades.


Frequent travelers prefer renting’s mobility. Young professionals rent before settling down. Families value stability of home ownership. Retirees often buy property for long-term residency.

From a financial perspective, purchasing seems more appealing for these reasons:

  • Capital appreciation averaging 5-10% yearly
  • Strong tourism growth supporting rents and land values
  • Undervalued real estate market compared to southern Cyprus
  • Purchase costs recovered long term versus endless rent payments

However, renting counters with:

  • Minimal financial risk or liability
  • Hedge against market decline or status quo continuing politically
  • Flexibility to change locations readily
  • Avoidance of maintenance, taxes, and fees

Thus, both options carry advantages for the region. Each individual must weigh out priorities like mobility, transaction costs, investment goals, and desired lifestyle. With proper due diligence and managed expectations, one can succeed buying or renting in North Cyprus.

Key Factors and Recommendations

  • Deciding between buying and renting ultimately depends on:
  • Budget – Purchase costs, mortgages, taxes/fees vs rent payments and deposit savings
  • Financing – Mortgage access as a foreigner vs savings and rental income
  • Investment Goals – Capital appreciation and North Cyprus rentals
  • vs liquid savings
  • Mobility – Frequent moves vs long-term residency
  • Home Preferences – Turnkey vs customization freedom

For buyers, recommendations include:

  • Research locations thoroughly and realistically
  • Inspect properties personally before purchasing property
  • Verify ownership title and confirm no liens or restrictions
  • Hire professionals for inspections and valuations
  • Consult real estate and legal experts locally
  • Ensure financing is secured before closing
  • Understand tax obligations and associated costs
  • Determine if residency/citizenship needs are met
  • Compute long-term projections for capital gains, rents, etc.

For renters:

  • Clarify budget and lease duration needs
  • Tour multiple rental units before choosing
  • Vet landlords thoroughly and agree terms in writing
  • Inspect premises carefully and document pre-existing defects
  • Read entire lease agreement closely before signing
  • Pay via check or receipt rather than cash if possible
  • Obtain receipts for all deposits and transactions
  • Understand renewal timeframes and processes
  • Maintain open communication with the landlord

Foreign Investment in North Cyprus Real Estate (2015-2020)

YearTotal Investment (€)UK InvestorsTurkish InvestorsMiddle Eastern InvestorsRussian InvestorsOther
2015100M40M (40%)30M (30%)10M (10%)15M (15%)5M (5%)
2016120M45M (37.5%)35M (29.2%)15M (12.5%)20M (16.7%)5M (4.2%)
2017110M40M (36.4%)40M (36.4%)10M (9.1%)15M (13.6%)5M (4.5%)
2018130M50M (38.5%)40M (30.8%)20M (15.4%)15M (11.5%)5M (3.8%)
2019140M55M (39.3%)45M (32.1%)20M (14.3%)15M (10.7%)5M (3.6%)
2020150M60M (40%)50M (33.3%)20M (13.3%)15M (10%)5M (3.4%)

Legal and Financial Considerations for Buying and Renting property

Legal Considerations

Due to political complexities, overseas buyers can’t obtain standard title deeds in North Cyprus. Rather Turkish Cypriot authorities issue ‘tapu’ land certificates proving rights and ownership instead. Seek reliable legal and expert advice to fully understand and be aware that lack of international recognition creates an element of assumed risk despite protections under TRNC laws.

Common legal hurdles include confusion over names on documentation, solving disputes from inheritance issues or previous unpaid taxes/bills related to the property. Using a reputable registered lawyer minimises such problems. They can also help collect proper council approvals for renovations, sorting finances and accurately declaring values to facilitate sales transactions. Lawyer fees average 1-2% of property value but provide necessary peace of mind.

Financial Considerations

Mortgage interest rates currently average around 8-10% based on lending bank, property type and buyer profile. As a rule of thumb, expect 60-75% loan-to-value ratios. Monthly costs for a £125k apartment could entail roughly £900 installment repayment, plus £150 service charges and £100 council taxes and utilities.

Buying transaction fees include 10% VAT, 3% real estate registration tax, plus legal and agent fees averaging 5% combined. For a £250k villa this equals around £60k upfront in taxes and professional costs. Renting also incurs expenses like 10% agency fees and rental deposits of 1-2 month’s rent. Be sure to validate ambiguity around maintenance obligations too.

New management fees apply if you decide to lease out any purchased property in North Cyprus long term while abroad. Expect 8-15% commissions deducted from rental earnings dependent on agency contract and services rendered, from basic tenant sourcing and check-ins to full assets upkeep while occupying or vacant.

Updates and Future Outlook for the North Cyprus Property Market

Major Developments

Several major developments underway will shape the country’s real estate landscape. A €2 billion casino and resort by Turkish conglomerate Cengiz aims to establish a ‘Las Vegas of the Med’ in Famagusta. Targeting foreign citizens and buyers, its casino, hotels, marina and heritage restorations should also buy surrounding holdings.

Infrastructure Upgrades

Infrastructure wise, the new Kyrenia marina expansion and road upgrade seeks improving links to Turkey. €15 million development around Guzelyurt also promises shops, restaurants and thousands of homes to be built over 5 years, benefitting area land values.

Policy Changes

Policy changes may also impact housing. Recent Title Deed legislation aims accelerating issuance for over 130,000 buyers waiting since 1974 divisions froze deeds. This step formalising ownership should release sales activity. Tax cuts also incentivise landlords in Cyprus pounds.

Tourism Growth

With tourism projected growing 6% annually, corresponding property development continues rising too. Over US$2 billion worth projects are currently underway, focused mostly around desirable coastal cities. As foreign investment keeps pouring in from crisis-hit Turkey and Russia, North Cyprus seems set to increase its share of Eastern Med estate, aided by solid local legal protections. Experts predict if confidence maintains post-pandemic, housing values should continue steadying over 2023-2025 as global factors permit.

Navigating Your North Cyprus Property Journey

Deciding between buying property or renting in North Cyprus involves weighing multiple factors. This article has provided insights into the housing landscape, offering guidance to navigate this complex but rewarding market. Whether you’re drawn to the allure of owning a sea-view home or prefer the flexibility of renting, making an informed decision is crucial. Whether you decide to buy real estate or seek Cyprus rentals long term, expert advice is invaluable. Consult professionals, consider your personal circumstances, and embark on your journey to finding the perfect property.

Key Takeaways Box

  • Buyers: Enjoy capital gains, residency options, and the freedom to customize.
  • Renters: Benefit from flexibility, less commitment, and often lower monthly costs.
  • Both: Research the market, understand the laws and taxes, and make an informed choice based on your individual situation and goals for long term rentals North Cyprus.

With a rich mix of historical charm, modern appeal, and a burgeoning market, North Cyprus offers a unique opportunity for both property buyers and renters. The key is to make an well-considered decision that aligns with your dreams and realities.