Northern Cyprus: rising popularity, FAQs

Northern Cyprus: rising popularity, FAQs

Demand for property in Northern Cyprus (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or TRNC) from foreign investors is continuously increasing.


A brief look at statistics

  • In just the first six months of this year, housing demand in the TRNC surged by 40-50%.
  • As reported by the Yeniduzen portal, foreigners acquired 4,569 properties in Northern Cyprus in the first 10 months of 2023.
  • Official data reveals that from January 2019 to November 2023, 9,699 foreigners obtained the right to purchase real estate in the TRNC.
  • Interior Minister Dursun Oğuz stated that approximately 35% of those who received approval from the Council of Ministers and then applied to the relevant authorities to register their property, were foreign nationals.
  • According to information from the Ministry of the Interior, while Turkish citizens (90%) were the majority of property owners, Iranians have begun to significantly increase their presence since 2022.

Additionally, Iranians, along with citizens of Israel and the United Kingdom, constitute a significant portion of foreign real estate buyers.

Therefore, today Turk. Estate clarifies certain aspects regarding property acquisition in the TRNC and answers some frequently asked questions submitted to our editorial team.

Interesting facts

  • Residents of Northern Cyprus before the 1960s still hold British citizenship, as the area was formerly a British colony.
  • Prices (both sale and rent) are still listed in British pounds sterling, although the Turkish lira is commonly used for everyday transactions, as in Turkey.
  • Despite the limited areas available for construction, there are still sites – and residential complexes – on the frontline.
  • Meanwhile, prices are quite moderate, although they are rapidly increasing.
  • Unlike the Republic of Turkey, there is currently no minimum purchase amount set for obtaining residence permits through property ownership in the TRNC, which is particularly appealing.
  • And the "cherry on top" – the cost of processing documents is relatively inexpensive: as an example, obtaining local residence permits when purchasing any property in the TRNC can be quite affordable, costing around GBP 2,400 for a family of four. Moreover, some developers offer this amount as a discount or even handle the paperwork themselves, including navigating through the bureaucracy and arranging all necessary documents.

Northern Cyprus: rising popularity, FAQs


"Residential real estate sales in Northern Cyprus are rapidly growing, with developers asserting the market's potential; however, is there any inflation in the statistics? Is there a risk that an investor might invest in an under-construction project now but not achieve the promised returns? Is the market overheated in this regard, and what explains the sales growth in terms of living convenience?"

It's a confirmed fact that not only in Northern Cyprus but also in the southern part of the island and the Mediterranean region as a whole, property prices are steadily increasing. In TRNC, where the housing prices are currently the most affordable among these locations, is somewhat just catching up to the general level. The “most affordable” prices will no longer be so in a few months; hence, those who manage to buy real estate in TRNC now can expect a good return on their investment in just six months to a year, without having to wait several years.

The reason is that the region is currently undergoing active development, and this is just the beginning: the island has seen the introduction of 4.5G internet, and the local Ercan Airport has been upgraded and expanded (with an increasing number of flights): this event, the reopening of the upgraded airport, was awaited for almost 10 years. And now, its passenger traffic has significantly increased – just months after its summer “'relaunch”. It's no surprise that there's been a surge in investors from Iran, Israel, Germany, the Emirates and Europe too – in some European countries like Germany, living has become too expensive, while it's much cheaper in Northern Cyprus. What we're currently seeing in TRNC, especially in real estate, is what Turkey experienced about eight to 10 years ago. Compare prices in Turkey eight years ago and now, and you'll understand the potential profitability of Northern Cyprus.

And not just Turkey: Limassol, which was just a regular village 20 years ago, now offers houses for millions of euros. Property in Turkey with similar characteristics to those now offered in TRNC for hundreds of thousands of euros, cost at least a million.

"Is it worth buying property on the first line?"

It's up to the buyer; however, the coveted seaside spots are selling out quickly. There's a high chance that in about five years, investors will be happy to pay the current price for a first-line residence to get a flat in a housing complex 30 kilometres from the sea – if they can.

Because in five-10 years, the locations available now will be gone: the first line will be 'closed off' (including being sold out).

"If I buy a flat in Northern Cyprus, will it be comfortable to live there? And are the flats well-finished?"

You don't have to worry about the finish: building materials are sourced from Turkey and they are of high quality, especially the interior finishes. Regarding living comfort: about high-speed internet and the new airport terminal – see above. Plus, there are kindergartens and schools. This is for permanent living; but for holidays, Northern Cyprus is simply a paradise on Earth with its magnificent beaches and wonderful nature.

Northern Cyprus: rising popularity, FAQs

"What can I expect in terms of renting out and reselling property? And which types of housing are most advantageous in this regard?"

You may want to consider apartments styled like hotel rooms, preferably with services and ideally managed by the developer, in prime locations. As an example, the most sought-after area – Long Beach, Iskele district, and Famagusta and its surroundings – is an established resort area considered the best beach on the coast, with sandy sea entry. Essentially, it's a five-kilometre sandy shoreline. This area attracts hordes of tourists, and notably, three and four-star hotels are scarce here. So, both small studios and larger residences in comfortable residential complexes are unlikely to be vacant: they effectively replace hotel accommodations and are in high demand.

Following the demand trend, entire complexes in Northern Cyprus, consisting solely of studios yet resembling hotels with pools, communal areas, lobbies, cafes, bars, reception and other hotel-like infrastructure, have emerged. If you look around, you can still find such properties starting from EUR 75,000 – EUR 80,000 for a fully furnished, ready-to-move-in studio. Thus, buyers get not just an apartment but also a ready investment tool. The managing company takes care of renting it out, minor repairs and dealing with tenants.

Rental yield in Northern Cyprus is currently around 8% per annum in resort locations, and that's in currency terms. You can sign a contract with the managing company that guarantees a certain percentage, regardless of how frequently your property is rented out. In successful projects, this can be as high as 9% or 10%.

Northern Cyprus: rising popularity, FAQs

Regarding price appreciation on resale, the traditional "from excavation to key handover" scheme can yield a profit of 30 – 40% of the property's value. If you buy a ready (or nearly ready) studio, rent it out for a few years, and then resell it, the returns can be even higher. In fact, much higher: we've had cases where a two-bedroom apartment initially sold for EUR 80,000 was resold in less than two years – more like one and a half years – for almost EUR 200,000.

Also, a major factor boosting tourism is the upgraded airport. Especially if direct flights from various countries can be arranged, rather than connecting through other Turkish cities (as is mostly the case currently). Negotiations are underway with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Iran. Even if direct flights are established with just one or two of these countries, the influx of tourists will be immense.

Given that in Northern Cyprus, it's easier to find a five-star hotel than a more budget-friendly three or four-star one, the advantage is currently in the buyers' hands.

In the next article, we'll discuss the legal status of property owners, obtaining residency permits, citizenship, inheritance of purchased real estate in the TRNC, etc.

To be continued.

Subscribe to newsletter