Cost of Living in Cyprus
The cost of living in Cyprus has been heavily affected by the country’s banking crisis, the measures imposed by the European Union in exchange for a bail-out loan and the country’s shrinking economy.
For decades, British pensioners have moved to Cyprus for its relatively low cost of living and favourable tax conditions, which, until recently, allowed their pensions to go further than they could in the UK. Unfortunately, many who kept their savings in Cyprus have lost significant amounts in the wake of the banking crisis. This adds to the financial problems of residents and many expats in Cyprus have less purchasing power.
While prices in Cyprus may be low for expats from strong economies, the cost of living is high in relation to the average Cypriot’s income, which is only around 1,300 EUR (in contrast to the average salary in Berlin, which is over 2,000 EUR). Many expats moving to Cyprus have savings deposited in their home countries.
The cost of living in Cyprus is fairly similar to other European countries. In October 2013, the website ranked Nicosia, the island’s most expensive city, as the 88th most expensive out of the 100 cities in Europe that were surveyed. When only factoring in consumable products, however, that ranking rockets up to 48th.
There are still compelling reasons to move to Cyprus, aside from the weather. The costs of accommodation, communications, education and healthcare are all fairly low and, for the most part, of good quality. On the other hand, the prices of consumables such as groceries and magazines are fairly high, while clothes are usually subject to import taxes that driving up their prices.
Southern Cyprus tends to be more expensive than the Turkish-occupied northern part of the country, especially in terms of rent, but its economy is around five times the size. Most expats prefer living in the south because it generally has better job prospects and higher salaries.
Cost of food in Cyprus
Groceries in Cyprus tend to be cheaper than in the UK, especially when it comes to fruit and meat. Beer and cigarettes also tend to be cheaper, while cappuccinos are more expensive. Restaurants in are generally cheaper as well; although, if expats opt for smaller, local establishments they will be able to save quite significantly and sample some of the fine cuisine on offer in Cyprus, which is a cosmopolitan blend of Greek, European and Middle Eastern cooking.
Cost of transportation in Cyprus
There hasn’t been a rail network in Cyprus since 1951, but Cypriots have been told they’ll once again have access to intercity trains in the next 15 years. Buses are available and are fairly inexpensive. Unfortunately, they are not always reliable and routes can be limited, so many people opt for private taxis.
Cost of living in Cyprus chart (2014)
(These prices are averages from November 2014 - prices may vary across Cyprus)
|Furnished two bedroom house||EUR 600|
|Unfurnished two bedroom house||EUR 550|
|Furnished two bedroom apartment||EUR 550|
|Unfurnished two bedroom apartment||EUR 500|
|Dozen eggs||EUR 3|
|Milk (1 litre)||EUR 1.40|
|Rice (1 kg)||EUR 1.90|
|Loaf of white bread||EUR 1.40|
|Chicken breasts (1kg)||EUR 8.25|
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)||EUR 4.50|
|Big Mac meal||EUR 6|
|Coca Cola (330ml)||EUR 1.40|
|Bottle of beer (local)||EUR 3|
|Three course meal at a mid-range restaurant||EUR 20|
|Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)||EUR 0.09|
|Internet (Uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)||EUR 32|
|Basic utilities (Average per month for standard household)||EUR 141|
|Taxi rate/km||EUR 1.10|
|Bus fare in the city centre||EUR 1.50|