Accommodation in Cyprus
Expats moving to Cyprus will need to spend some time getting to grips with the country's property market and the options available to them. Choosing the right type of home in the right part of the country will directly effect the success of a person's expat experience in Cyprus.
The general trend in recent years has been for foreign investors and expats moving to Cyprus to buy property, rather than to rent property, on the island. This has greatly been influenced by the property market, sending prices skywards as demand has increased. The process of renting and buying accommodation in the 'Turkish North' and 'Greek South' of Cyprus is largely the same; with one major difference being that in the south, properties tend to be newer, fancier, more expensive and easier for foreign nationals to purchase.
Types of property in Cyprus
Expats moving to Cyprus will find plenty of housing options available to them, from furnished or unfurnished apartments, to houses, villas and maisonettes in complexes with shared pools.
Rented apartments in Cyprus are usually furnished, while houses are unfurnished. Shipping furniture to Cyprus is a viable option (especially from within the EU), but the IKEA in Nicosia makes buying furniture highly feasible. Expats report that the second-hand furniture market in Cyprus is somewhat disappointing.
Renting accommodation in Cyprus
Expats looking to rent property in Cyprus will find that newspaper advertisements and online searches are good places to start. Estate agents can be helpful, but will charge a fee. As rental fees in Cyprus can be quite substantial, some expats might want to consider house-sharing options.
Expats will usually be responsible for their own utility bills. These can be quite costly, and should be factored into the housing budget. Cyprus has a progressive water-taxation system – so expats should think twice before watering their gardens excessively or re-filling the pool.
The standard of accommodation in Cyprus is generally excellent, as a lot of the property on the island is fairly new. Air conditioning and heating are common, and most houses in Cyprus have either a shared or private pool.
Areas in Cyprus
Due to the large influx of foreigners in recent years, 'expat areas' have sprung up around the island. These include Limassol, Oroklini and Paralimini. It is, of course, up to the individual expat to decide whether they wish to live within a close-knit expat community, or whether they'd prefer to be surrounded by locals. In the latter case, finding accommodation in the north of Cyprus, or one of the smaller villages in the south, may be a good idea.
Home security in Cyprus
Home security shouldn't be a major issue for expats in Cyprus. Most people feel safe in their homes and, although houses are usually fitted with locks on their doors and windows, these are often left open without much concern in the sweltering summer heat. Rural areas tend to be safer than urban centres, but break-ins are relatively rare in both cases.