Imperium Magazine: A Cypriot state of mind
From digital nomads to the newly retired, as well as those simply looking for a change of scenery, the urge to move abroad has become increasingly popular following the confinement of the pandemic. As a result, Leptos Estates, Cyprus’ leading property developer and one of the largest landowner on the island has seen an influx of new buyers. We sat down with Pantelis Leptos, Co-President of Leptos Estates and son of Leptos founder, the late Michael Leptos and asked him what makes Cyprus such a sought-after country to move to.
Of course, Leptos Estates has been a key player in Cyprus’ property market long before the beginning of the pandemic. Founded in 1960 by the late Michael Leptos – in his son’s words ‘a true visionary and pioneer’ – the company was uprooted by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. After spending time in Saudi Arabia on major residential projects, including developing 4,000 homes in Jeddah’s ‘Saudi City’ development, Michael returned to Cyprus to rebuild Leptos Estates from the ground up. ‘By 2006 we were the largest developer on Cyprus’, says Pantelis. ‘This period demonstrated my father’s truly extraordinary tenacity and personal drive’.
Still though, Leptos remains connected to the Middle East. 30% of the sales at the developer’s latest high-end project, Limassol Blu Marine, have been generated by buyers from the Middle East, including residents from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait.
‘What makes the island so ideal to our buyers is of course its prime location’, Leptos explains. ‘In addition to the fantastic views, natural beauty, low crime, and inexpensive living, the island provides easy access to practically anywhere, as it is at the crossroads of three continents’.
By buying a property in Cyprus, you will be granted a permanent residency, which means you can legally live, work, and study in Cyprus. You can also apply for Cyprus citizenship and a Cyprus passport after residing for seven years. Crucially, this is an EU passport, giving you access to free movement across the continent.
As well as longer term residences, Cyprus is also primed to capitalise off the growing trend of the digital nomad lifestyle, free-floating young people who make the most of remote working and online careers by travelling frequently. ‘Cyprus aims to attract a demographic of younger digital nomads’, says Leptos, ‘and since January 2022 has been offering a Digital Nomad Visa for a maximum duration of 12 months to non-EU nationals whose employer or clients are not based in Cyprus.’
‘The visa digital nomad visa can also be renewed for two additional years, which makes the island a very attractive choice, since digital nomads are not allowed to work while on a tourist visa. This means that all kinds of young people can enjoy what the island has to offer for three whole years’.
Along with young people, and also increasingly with all luxury buyers, comes increased demand for sustainably designed and constructed real estate, a challenge that Leptos has met head-on with ‘eco-friendly and sustainable principles that incorporate green technologies and smart solutions’. One of Leptos’ upcoming projects epitomises this trend: Neapolis Smart City will offer parks, green spaces, and solar-powered buildings to its guests. ‘Luxury and sustainability might seem like the odd couple’, Leptos suggests, ‘but they will eventually become synonymous with each other’.
So what does the future hold for Leptos Estates? ‘We are a company that aims to continue to build sophisticated and elegant projects while always challenging ourselves to adapt to the changing landscape of property,’ says Leptos. ‘We have been around for a long time now, and throughout it all have inherited a reputation for resilience. As always, we will be ready for the future’.
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