Cost of Living in Cyprus

by Jose Marc Castro on August 10, 2009

costoflivingCYPRUSThe cost of living in Cyprus is ultimately lower compared to the United Kingdom although the difference is not that great. There are a number of taxation benefits provided to citizens but homeowners generally have to spend around 100 euro every year for council tax and another 120 for refuse tax.

Cyprus is a famous tourist destination in the Mediterranean. It is the third largest island and due to historical affairs, the UK still controls the last 3% of the Republic while some of the northern areas are still governed by Turkey.

Cyprus has done well in recent years by improving its economy and infrastructure. It is a member of the European Union and will be adopting the euro as well as its national currency. Growth spurts are evident at an average rate of 10%. The Cypriot economy has prospered with its per capita GDP is just above the average for the European Union. The continuous rise of the fields of education and construction as well has helped keep national debt at bay. People from the UK visit or permanently stay in Cyprus for its scenic coastal regions, wide range of agricultural space and fast-developing business sector.

As shared in Cyprus Expat Forum last June 17, 2009:

Nicosia is doubtless the best place on the island for authentic Cypriot and international cuisine has countless restuarants and clubs – but as some forum members have poinnted out, some venues are decidedly frosty to strangers – but once you’ve made friends, life in Nicosia is fabulous.

Food and Drink Costs in Cyprus

Food and drinks bought from shops instead of eating out in restaurants can significantly be cheaper. An individual gets to spend around 100 euro every week for grocery items and beverages. Cyprus is dependent on imported food products since there is a shortage in agricultural stock and natural resources.

Overall, the country has a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat and fish primarily intended for self-use. Wines and beers are also available locally and there are imported ones that cost more. Coffee, tea, brandy and Cypriot wine are highly popular and are mainly used for export. These are available at very affordable prices.  With beers at around 2 euros a pint and wines at 3 euros per bottle.  Cheese products are one food category that seems to be in excess.

Locals and households sell homemade cheese, yogurt and salad dressing, which may explain the surplus. Vegetables and herbs in Cyprus also have relatively large sizes. Potatoes, celery, radish, parsley and coriander are produced and sold at cheap prices. Meat products are affordable if bought at the right places but seafood can be especially expensive.

Clothing and Accessories Costs in Cyprus

British expatriates will find Cyprus’ prices on clothes and accessories cheap. Although the style may not be as trendy compared to the UK, there are various shops ranging from flea markets to department hubs to private labels. Footwear is considerably cheap in Cyprus but jewelry is more or less the same as in the UK. It has been recommended in Cyprus Expat Forum last August 2009:

In Cyprus, prices are similar to that of the UK but avoid the touristy shops near the water as the prices are a bit more inflated

Locally made clothes and shoes are rampant and are of very good quality. The clothing industry is one of the main financial supporters of the country and each year, several items and accessories are exported. A number of clothing and footwear companies are affiliated with Western brands and designers.

Nylon and silk are the common textiles so these are available at very low prices. In terms of modern fashion, Cypriots usually follow British standard. There are several shops based in the UK that provide new styles and designs. These are usually sold after fashion shows and designer debuts. In terms of traditional clothing, people can buy cheap local goods in different bargain spots and shops. Traditional types of clothing and accessories are abundant and can be bought in wholesale. One of the most popular ones is the Larnaca Sunday Market.

Housing Costs in Cyprus

UK expatriates prefer long-term rental instead of buying properties immediately. Housing in big cities can be quite difficult but there are a number of available alternatives like home exchange. Many Cypriots would be willing to do home exchange even for a number of years while others would agree to permanently exchange residences provided with ample monetary compensation and documentation. This documentation issue for Cypriot properties is coming to a head, as this has been one of the major issues as to property ownership in the area.

Since Cyprus joined the European Union, several British citizens have been eyeing on purchasing property since prices cost only a fraction compared to downtown apartments or small suburban homes in the UK.

In the past three years, the cost of housing has increased by almost 20%. These are still very affordable. Old homes in villages are priced at around 30,000 euro, large independent villas are priced at around 125,000 euro and downtown apartments are priced at around 35,000 euro.

In coastal areas and major cities like Paphos, rates can be higher. Transfer fees, property tax and mortgages will add an extra 10% to total costs. A number of locals invest so much in real estate since it is very marketable at the moment. Buying a house and lot from a local can be resold at twice or thrice as much to a foreigner.

Services Costs in Cyprus

Due to the hefty costs of council tax and other housing expenses, the Cyprus government provides benefits when it comes to home maintenance and land passes. Health care benefits are reminiscent to the NHS in UK. Medical and rehabilitation services are subsidized by the government. Medication and pharmaceuticals however, are limited depending on the individual’s status and request.

In terms of communication, Cyprus is doing well in providing excellent postal service as well as Internet and telephone connectivity. Property and real estate services are some of the main thrusts of the government since citizens (especially traditional ones) are very conservative when it comes to their property. Most houses and lots have been passed on from generation to generation and residents only wish to maintain home ownership and the good condition of their property.

Employment Costs in Cyprus

Cyprus is currently in need of more lawyers, real estate experts and agents and marketers and business investors. The recent discovery of oil in the country has spurred the need for more working hands as well. The economy still runs on a free market structure and there is a need of a more delineated structure between private and government sectors. Workers in Cyprus generally earn around 5,000 euro a month but the country is aiming to double the amount in the near future.

Employment rate in Cyprus has grown at over 5% in the last three years. Only 4.7% of the total population is unemployed. The government is aiming to educate all younger generations to ensure future skilled workers in order to accommodate the presently lacking workforce. Expatriates will not have a problem finding a good-paying job in Cyprus especially if their expertise covers one of the fields currently in demand.


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

John Demetriou July 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I am really sorry, I have to comment, because I am absolutely staggered by the sheer depth of rubbish coming out of this article.

Absolutely every single statement of fact written by the author of this piece is plain, straight up wrong. Demonstrably false.

I lived and worked in Cyprus for a year and a half just a few years back, and absolutely everything you have said here is the opposite of the truth. Where do I begin? Cost of living and housing, availability of work, stuff about clothing and industry etc? What you say is the exact opposite, and some of the figures you come out with (please point me to a downtown apartment for 35k!!) are hilarious.

I had to check the article was about Cyprus because It was abundantly clear you must have written about another country. But no, apparently this article represents the socio economic situation in Cyprus. It doesn't.

You need to get your facts straight because this is the most misleading article I've ever read in my life.

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anonymous July 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

THis is rubbish 5000 euros a month try 800 euro's a month, im a programmer with 5 years experiance and i get 1200 euro's a month!

Absolute Rubbish all of it!! i Will leaving this greedy island once and for all

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malith October 18, 2010 at 9:21 am

i want to know what is the nomal part time job salary for 1 hours in cyprus. has thetr any part time job for student? wat is the cost for living 1 month

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Daniel November 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

@malith most places will pay you the minimum, especially as a foreigner and that's 3.50 EUR/hour and it it very-very less to live on. Also it it extremely difficult to find employment at the moment as tourism is down a lot and there has been a steady stream of Eastern-Europeans coming here to find jobs.

Cost of living for a person, 1 month I would say the very minimum would be 5-600 EUR and that's sharing your flat with 2-3 other people and never eating out, going on trips etc.

If you want to rent your own 1 bedroom flat/studio, own a car, the cost go over 1000EUR/month minimum, not including going out, having a drink etc.
The guy who seems to be writing articles for all countries (Jose Marc Castro) does a very good job at creating illusion because I've read most of the "Cost of Living" articles and being to 3 countries of those listed there , all three are full of misinformation.

Now let me list a few expected prices and incomes:

-INCOME:
—For someone working here legally incomes will start at 7-800EUR for full time jobs. Expect working 45-55 hours for that, not 40hours like other places.
—Jobs generally pay much less that other countries, sometimes 3-4 times less. A job in IT here (programming, etc.) will not pay more than 1500-2000 for someone newly employed, so that's <20.000EUR/year. Compare that to what IT specialists get in the UK, US, Canada, AUS, NZ etc
—A lot of people with qualifications who are stuck here in this "great" country consider themselves lucky to land a job in a restaurant as the pay+tips is sometimes better than working in an office environment.
—Expats are not treated equally to Cypriots, especially if you are not British
—You will have to speak/write Greek very well before getting any decent job. Although most locals do understand English, it will not get you very far job-wise.

Now about the COST OF LIVING:
—2-3 bedroom flat in Nicosia,Limassol , the places where most decent jobs are will set you back 600-1000EUR/month in rent, more if you want something very modern.
—To buy a very small flat(studio/1 Bd) prices start at 100.000EUR minimum in the aforementioned cities, no such thing as 35.000EUR flat, unless it's some old holiday village in the middle of nowhere in the Paphos areas which have been experiencing property values decrease significantly as the high-number of British expats, especially retired are leaving in droves, unable to withstand the big increases in the cost of living. For anything resembling a villa in Limassol, not in the center but in the adjoining villages, expect to pay 3-400.000 EUR for a 3-4 bedroom. Luxury villas easily go over the 1 million pricetag. Lots of rich Russians come to retire here or conduct business so the prices are artificially sky-high !
—The cost of anything from groceries/electronics/cars, etc. is some of the highest in EU. The only things who are reasonably priced is some fresh produce (not fruit, which costs a lot) and pork meat who is very popular here. Some examples:

-1 Loaf of Bread 1.5-2.5 EUR
-1 Liter of Milk 1.2-1.5 EUR
-Apples 2EUR/kg, Oranges 2.5-4EUR/kg, Bananas 2EUR/kg, most fruits in general are very expensive, even in season.
-most British imported stuff which sometimes has the RRP prices in UK pounds is more than double here, in EUR
-Cosmetics are outrageously expensive, 3-4-5 times more than US, UK
-Electronics are sensibly more than the UK and not much to choose from
-Cyprus doesn't have any law governing how much someone can add to the retail price so some things will amaze you being 10+ times more here than other places
-Gas is cheaper than most EU countries but if you relate to earnings, definitely not. Regular/Diesel are now 1.1EUR/liter
-Electricity is expensive especially considering that you can't survive without the AC on May-October as well as heating needs Dec-March when it gets quite chilly and the building standards here are quite low, most places are very poorly insulated
-Internet is probably the slowest in EU since all the traffic goes thru one underwater cable to Greece. Prices start at 50EUR/month and for that you get 512kbps and sometimes limited to 5-10GB/month. For a proper broadband, 10Mbps expect to pay 200EUR/month.
-There is NO (reliable) public transportation so you can't rely on that, you WILL need your own car in Cyprus unless you have the luck to find something within walking distance to your job.

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Jackie March 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

Danel I would say you are about spot on here..

I did laugh where the author says the country needs more lawyers and real estate people….lol
I think what they need is more regulation for the property industry
But don't be put off if you want to be living in cyprus.

Visit the island, do your own research and make up your own mind. Don't let a blog sway you.
Listen to the voice in your heart and make your own decision.
It is a lovely place to live

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Daniel November 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

-ONE good thing: no income tax if you earn 19.500EUR< but expect high rates (30%) if you earn less than double that:
– up to EUR19,500 nil
– from EUR19,501-28,000 20%
– from EUR28,001-36,300 25%
– above EUR36,300 30%

-Private health insurance is quite costly and state-insurance is very unreliable, you do NOT want to end up in state-hospitals
-Private schools (English) are very expensive, state-schools have low-standards compared to other EU countries and education is in Greek

-Going out: 25-30EUR/person minimum without alcoholic drinks. A pint of beer in a pub 3-6EUR. Alcohol/tobbaco in shops is relatively cheap when compared to the UK, for example. 3-5EUR/pack of cigarettes, 8-15EUR/bottle of liquor

All in all, Cyprus is not what some websites/brochures try to make it to be. Be prepared for a very harsh reality

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Nishad December 11, 2010 at 2:49 am

thanks daniel……

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Edwin December 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Thanks Daniel. My Wife and i were looking forward to an holiday in Cyprus.
Just found out it is not a possible sweet place to be

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deniel March 30, 2011 at 7:52 am

Hi, i m from nepal , i would like to know about study (course of hospality management ) in cyprus. so please give me information about colegess and fees and living cost for international students . how much can we earn normally in a month . thank you……

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Jowied June 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Hi Everybody please
I got a new job in cyprus …
I am Architectural designer
using Autocad Program .
salary is 2000 EUR but company gave me the flat and car .
- this is first time for me in Cyprus .
so , can you help me by advice ?

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Des Drawer November 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi Jowied,
Just saw your comment and considering a move to Cyprus. How are you finding working there?
What company are you with and are they a good employer?
I've been to Cyprus before some time ago on holiday and loved it but wondered what it would be like to work there.
Des.

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DInesh Lahiru July 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Hello Guys.

At the moment i'm trying to leave My country (Sri Lanka) to Cypress for Study. that is the best way to go abroad from Sri Lanka. and i have found a Agency also. why i have chosen cypress for education is it's with low cost not more that 4000 Euro for all. College fees i should pay after getting the Visa. my question is can i survive in cypress, can i find a part time job ?. i cannot ask money from my home. i need deep Advice about this please.

Thank You
Dinesh

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DInesh Lahiru July 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Hi Everybody i'm from Sri lanka. and i have decided to travel Cypress to study. it will cost 4000 Euro. why i have chosen this country not more money for College. and i will have Visa before the Payment. so my questions are is it easy to find part time job in Cypress, and how about the cost of living in there. can i survive in Cypress country.

i need Advice…

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John November 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Hi all,i am an African student who got admitted at one tertiary institution in Nicosia.Can I easily get a part time job and please advice me on the living expenses.What is the pay per hour and how do they treat foreigners.

thenks

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MItu February 2, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hi everyone, I am in plan to move there(Cyprus) for some time, may be for a year with my husband. But I do not know the cost of living there. What is the minimum money required to live a normal life happily there for two persons per month

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Mihalis March 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

It will depend on your expectations and lifestyle. A normal couple eating out a couple of times per month in Winter and say once a week in Summer would probably need in the region of €1500 per month if renting for €500. This will mean living frugally. If you are a social animal then budget for €2000 per month. If you own your own home with no mortgage then the costs of running the home and garden will almost equal the same as if you were renting.
I have to agree however with John Demetriou and others in that the so called facts presented in this article are unadulterated drivel. Please do not base your budgets on the misinformation within. If as has been suggested you took the exact opposite of what has been said then you would be on the right tracks. For information what the Island does not need is more lawyers or estate agents. It needs many to be culled and those remaining to be regulated and given a lesson in morality, ethics and honesty. Sadly lacking in the industry that is property.

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Temmy October 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Hi all,
I intend to come to cyprus for MBA program. The admission is a prospective one. I will like to know the living conditions, cost of rent. Can i also get a job as a student – average wage per hour. I’ll love to get an insight into all these before i decide to go there. I need advice! Thank you all.

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muhammad ali July 16, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Hey all…ive been planning to move to cyprus from pakistan for degree in hotel managment course in nicosia,so I wana knw di living expenses n can we get a part tim job n by that job can I cover sum of my expenses bcoz I cant ask my parents for more money othr than my tuition fees pls help me out I want sensible advice…pls let me knw

Reply

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