Friday, 3 November 2023
A total of 4,569 foreign purchased real estate in North Cyprus in the first ten months of 2023, Yeniduzen reports.
According to official data, between January 2019 and November 2023, the number of foreigners granted the right to purchase property in the TRNC totalled 9,699.
Despite the statement by the Interior Minister Dursun Oğuz, mentioning that about 35 percent of those who obtained property acquisition permits from the Council of Ministers eventually went on to make purchases, the specific information about the size of land or the number of properties purchased by these permit holders is unknown.
Other unknown data is the number of properties acquired by foreigners through local companies who set up silent partnerships.
It’s noticeable that these developments correspond to the time when certain countries, including the United States, began imposing sanctions on Russian investors due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Reports in the south Cyprus media suggested that following the sanctions, Russian investors who fled from south Cyprus to the TRNC were mainly replaced by Iranian investors with good relations with Turkey and largely by investors with Israeli ties. These new investors were said to be the ones purchasing immovable properties.
Following a question raised at the General Assembly by CTP MP Doğuş Derya, Interior Minister Dursun Oğuz stated that approximately 35 percent of those who obtained permission from the Council of Ministers to acquire immovable property and then went to the title deeds office were foreign citizens. Oğuz claimed that 60 percent of those granted this right did not go to the title deeds office to complete the process. He expressed concerns about agricultural land and the need to protect it, emphasising that emirnamas (decree-like orders) would not be a solution.
Moreover, according to information obtained from sources within the Interior Ministry, while there were more Turkish Republic citizens among those granted this right in the past, as of 2022, the majority has shifted to Russians and Iranians.
Current data in the real estate market suggests that almost 90 percent of those granted the right to acquire immovable property up to 2022 were Turkish Republic citizens, but in the past year, this ratio has allegedly dropped to the 70 percent range.
Another rumour from the real estate sector is that a far greater number of immovable properties than officially recorded are being purchased by “secret foreign partnership” set up my local companies. According to the laws in Northern Cyprus, foreign individuals who wish to buy immovable property need approval from the Council of Ministers, and companies intending to invest in properties must have 51% owned by a North Cypriot citizen. The construction sector law also mandates that 100% of companies involved in construction must be in the name of a TRNC citizen.