BY JENNY ELLINAS
Owning an offshore property and realising a Plan B is a dream than many South Africans would love to achieve. The choice of whereto invest can be intimidating; and the financial, legal and tax implications coupled with language & cultural barriers sometimes makes even thinking about a Plan B a non-starter.
Europe remains being the preferred geographic location for the majority of South Africans as not only it is the world’s largest trading block, but the opportunities are enticing. There is positive economic growth, decreasing unemployment rates, centralised location globally and on-going political stability – all of which has cemented Europe as being a very safe destination for our hard-earned ZAR.
Cyprus, an English-speaking, ex-British colony and full European Union (EU) member, is an extremely popular destination in Europe for South Africans to invest.
Here are the 9 reasons why South Africans are buying property in Cyprus:
- Cyprus has been voted one of the safest countries in the world – your personal safety is assured.
- Cyprus is a full member of the EU, economically stable and politically secure so the country is not flooded with refugees.
- Being an ex-British colony (Cyprus is not part of Greece), there is no language barrier as everyone speaks English.
- You can acquire permanent residency or EU 2nd citizenship by buying property:
- Properties in Cyprus offer excellent value for money when compared to other European countries – especially homes right on or near to The Med. The lush & beautiful Western side of the country is similar to the Western Cape and enjoys the biggest demand and highest growth.
- Cyprus is a very popular tourist destination so owning an investment property will reap an attractive offshore income.
- There is no inheritance tax, so you can implement effective tax planning.
- The lifestyle on offer in Europe is similar to South Africa: golf courses, breath-taking countryside, modern cities etc.
- There are no social problems in Cyprus: no car guards, shanty towns or people living below the poverty line; and because of this Cyprus has huge appeal as a destination for relocation, retirement, holiday-making and investment.
Acquiring permanent residency in Cyprus is very attractive because it gives 3 generationsin the same direct family line the legal right to live in Cyprus without having to go through onerous immigration processes should they wish to make a permanent move. All dependent children up to age 25, plus both the parents andthe parents-in-law qualify for residency on the same property purchase under the main investor. The property can be used as an investment tool to earn a Euro-based income; and there is no need to live in Cyprus for the residency permits to remain valid. No other programme in Europe offers this!
Unlimited access to the EU & the UK is where Cyprus’ 2ndcitizenship programme excels. All dependent children up to age 28 plus the parents of the investor qualify. Chief benefits include travelling, living, working & studying anywherein the European Economic Area; plus visa-free travel to more than 169 countries in the world. In Cyprus your investment is not a donation to the government but an investment that will enjoy capital appreciation, rental income and low tax implications.
Some attractions that Cyprus offers are:
- Euro-accredited education gives your children a distinct advantage when they enter the global job market;
- As an ex-British colony, there is no language barrier – everyone speaks English and all your documentation is in English. No need for a translator!
- The discovery of natural gas is already having a positive impact on foreign investment and infrastructural development;
- Low cost but high standard of living;
- Europe on your doorstep gives ease of travel to other EU countries
- Cyprus has 2 International Airports and several marinas
- 1stworld medical facilities & affordable healthcare with highly qualified doctors & specialists.
An astute offshore property investment that works for you in the short, medium and long term is the achievement of a lifetime. In Cyprus investing in the “Citizenship through Investment” or the “Fast Track residency programme” will reap financial rewards and lifelong benefits. Can you afford not to take advantage of this while both programmes are still open?
Savvy investors should ensure they take the time to make the right decision to secure their Plan B especially with some counties offering the chance to secure relatively easy permanent residency status or a 2ndpassport. You are advised to closely evaluate each programme to understand the minimum investment amounts, the pre-requisites and of course all of the upfront and on-going costs.
Your approach to your investment decision will be determined on how clear you are on the reason you want a Plan B in Europe. Is the driver to acquire residency or a 2ndcitizenship, to relocate or to have an investment property to leave a legacy for the children and grand children?
Investing overseas is a huge financial and emotional commitment, but your offshore journey can be made easier when you get advice from professionals. Always check exactly what you are buying before signing any contracts; and take your time – there will always be a good deal to be had. Going across on an inspection trip to personally view the property opportunities and to do the groundwork could save you thousands in the long run!
Cypriot Realty is a pioneer in actively and consistently promoting property opportunities primarily in Cyprus. They have succesfull been doing this from their Cape Town and Sandton offices since 2008. As a result, the company is recognised and respected as Southern Africa’s authoriatative investment specialist for promoting Cyprus as an ideal desitnation for acquiring permanent residency/citizenship, property investment, immigration/retirement and starting a European-based business.