Cyprus to lift European holiday home ownership restrictions

Current laws in Cyprus restricting ownership of a holiday home by an EU national may soon be a thing of the past, with the European Commission issuing formal proceedings last week to force the island nation to open up its markets.

German press agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that Brussels sent the Cypriot government a 'reasoned opinion', giving it two months to change its restrictive laws on EU holiday property ownership before it instituted legal proceedings and fines. Failure to do so could see the nation appear before the European Courts of Justice.

The nation was given five years since its EU accession in 2004 to change the laws, but the deadline has now lapsed and as its growing economy and plethora of new high-end resort developments makes it a growing source of interest to foreign property investors, EU nationals are chomping at the bit to get their own opportunity to purchase Cypriot real estate. Already a popular overseas property ownership destination with UK residents, an opening of the market to the EU, apart from being a necessity of its membership of the bloc, would undoubtedly see Cyprus' real estate industry receive a huge boost.

"Free movement of capital is at the heart of the single market and constitutes one of its four freedoms", said the Commission. "As Cyprus is still maintaining these restrictive measures, nationals from the EU are hampered in their efforts to acquire secondary homes in Cyprus. The European Commission has today asked Cyprus to respect EU rules that give nationals from the EU, as well as from Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, the right to buy a second home in Cyprus without restrictions."

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