BUYING PROPERTY IN SPAIN OR ANOTHER MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRY? IF YOU ARE THINKING OF
BUYING A SPANISH PROPERTY, OR PERHAPS PROPERTY IN ITALY OR SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH A
WARM CLIMATE, YOU MAY FIND IT WORTHWHILE SPENDING A FEW MINUTES READING WHY MANY
HAVE CHOSEN A DIFFERENT MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRY IN WHICH TO BUY.
Why are so many people choosing North Cyprus over Spain and other Mediterranean destinations
when deciding to make that move towards owning property abroad? We decided to conduct
a casual survey among our clients, local residents and others, in order to get a
better idea of what really made them choose this country over other possible options.
We stress that this was very much an informal information gathering process but
we thought the results were surprising and might be of interest to anyone seeking
to buy property abroad. With the majority of our respondents it would appear that
the main country considered for comparison was Spain but also South Cyprus featured
quite a lot. In some cases the move to North Cyprus followed property owning experiences
in other countries while in others this was the first purchase abroad. Survey
conducted spring and summer 2011
PROPERTY PRICES. We expected prices to be well up the list of what people are looking
for and were not surprised by this result. Comparisons with South Cyprus were commonly
quoted where like for like properties in the north are still up to 50% lower. The
price differential compared with other Mediterranean countries is also a major influence.
Most of those we spoke to referred to the value rather than just the price and several
explained what impressed them was just how much you can get for your money here.
Some just want a villa or nice apartment for the life style. Others use the low
prices to build a portfolio of properties to rent.
LOW CRIME RATE. This was mentioned quite often and the low crime rate here is something
that buyers here are well aware of and agree that it is something that influenced
their choice of country. We were a little surprised that this factor carried so much
weight but on reflection we realised that many of those buying property and moving
abroad are of an age when security and peace of mind are high on the agenda. Unfortunate
experiences related to owning property in Spain were recounted and it was pointed
out to us that those bars on the windows of Spanish villas are not just for decoration.
The low crime rate in North Cyprus appears to offer reassurance about personal safety
and also from the perspective of property security. Being able to lock up your property
and leave it without any undue concern is obviously a big plus. The fact that many
alternative destinations are connected to the European mainland which allows easy
movement of criminal gangs while North Cyprus is part of a small island with controlled
entry, is seen as a big part of the reason for the comparative lack of criminal
FRIENDLY PEOPLE. Quite a few of those answering our questions or expressing their
views cited the natural friendliness of the Turkish Cypriots as being a factor in
their deciding to buy in North Cyprus. Moving to other countries where the locals
may be less than welcoming or even hostile is clearly something that most would wish
to avoid. Being able to become accepted, even in the smaller villages, is obviously
BRITISH INFLUENCE. Many rated the fact that there is a strong British influence in
North Cyprus, which includes driving on the left, as part of the reason behind their
decision. The historic connections between the two countries means that many Turkish
Cypriots speak English, some as their first language, and many have lived in the
U.K. Summarising responses, this appears to have created a natural bond that makes
living in a foreign country that bit more enjoyable. This was naturally a factor
important to UK citizens rather than all nationalities but these did make up a large
part of our sample.
WARM CLIMATE. We did expect this to come higher up the list but of course the comparisons
are with other Mediterranean countries that also enjoy a warm climate so this is
not seen as a make or break deciding factor but something that is taken for granted.
CURRENCY. It was mentioned by a number of people that the fact that North Cyprus
is outside the Eurozone is a plus and the fact that most major currencies are accepted
here is convenient and did influence their decision. Also we are told that the fact
that most properties are marketed in British pounds makes it easier when judging
OTHER FACTORS. Horror stories, several of which have featured in the media, have
influenced some. For example the British people who have bought retirement or holiday
properties in Andalucía, Valencia, Murcia and other regions of Spain and face the
prospect of their properties being demolished because, while they purchased them
through the Spanish legal system, it subsequently transpired that the properties
were in breach of laws designed to prevent development too close to the coastline.
This, and other concerns about the Spanish legal system and planning laws were enough
to make some buyers look elsewhere. A recent survey in Spain apparently summed up
these issues when finding that 24% of respondents were either unhappy or very unhappy
with their Spanish property buying experience. Some of our respondents mentioned
previous problems with unfinished projects but these appear to be wide spread and
not restricted to any one Mediterranean country.
We have tried to accurately summarise the views of those kind enough to participate
in our informal survey and wish to thank all respondents for their contributions.
To those who decide to buy property in Spain or elsewhere we wish you every happiness
in your new home in the sun. Should any of our site visitors reading this information
wish to explore the possibilities of buying in North Cyprus we will be pleased to
do all we can to help. To see how we can help with inspection trips and accommodation
when viewing our properties please click here.
Important new requirements. Under new regulation by the government of the T.R.N.C.,
estate agents in North Cyprus engaged in the sale of property and land are required
to conform to stringent criteria in order to be certified as registered to trade
in the business of real estate and estate agency. Busy Bees Estate Agents Ltd have
achieved certification under register number 066 Jan 2008