Cyprus property struggles with fallout from visa scandal despite spike
Cyprus' real estate market is recovering from last year’s pandemic-lows, with sales up more than 40 percent in June, but the suspension of the country’s Golden Visa program continues to weigh heavily on the sector.
Figures show that a total of 924 sales contracts were signed in Jjune, representing a jump of 43 percent from year ago levels, with most growth seen in Paphos, Famagusta and Limassol.
Although the market is expected this year to reach the level of business done in 2018, the suspension of the Golden Visa program last year is weighing heavily on sales to non EU residents.
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Out of the 924 contracts completed in the month, 580 were domestic deals, with another 344 deals being property purchases from foreign nationals (about half of which went to EU nationals).
The country is still struggling to deal with the fallout from revelations that government officials had broken the law by allowing criminals to take part in its cash-for-citizenship program.
A government probe found that just over half of the 3,000 residency permits issued by the country between 2013-2019 had been done so illegally, mostly benefitting rich Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese and Cambodians.
Since then the EU has launched infringement procedures against the island state, which it is in now stepping now, for failing to conduct proper checks on individuals benefitting from the scheme that gave recipients visa free travel to all of Europe.