The 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.