Buying property in Turkey

Buying Property in Turkey – Turkish Property Buyers Guide

If you are looking to invest in overseas property or simply searching for that dream second home abroad then buying property in Turkey could be just what you’ve been looking for. Turkey is an exotic and culturally rich place that lures many holidaymakers to its shores each and every year. In fact, according to recent figures, around one million Britons take an annual holiday there. This figure is expected to rise as more and more people start to discover the real Turkey and what it has to offer.

If culture and great weather are what you crave the most from your holiday home abroad or overseas property investment, then look no further than Turkey.

Investment Property Partners overseas property buyers guide covers a number of important issues that you will need to consider if you are considering buying property in Turkey either as an investment or as a second home abroad.

Buying Property in Turkey

If you are considering buying property in Turkey either as an overseas property investment or as a second home abroad, make no mistake, Turkey has many big selling points.

For instance, it is projected that Turkey will see an increase in traveller numbers as many low cost airlines now fly from the UK and other destinations into the country.

This increased accessibility factor will mean that many visitors and holiday makers looking to pick-up holiday bargains that come with cheap flights will have their eyes opened to Turkey, which can only add to its already enviable appeal.

Lower Cost of Living in Turkey

For many Brits Turkey is also known to be one of the cheapest places to live and holiday, especially in comparison to other popular European destinations, so it is well worth considering if finance is one of your big priorities.

What about Turkish Property Prices?

If you are considering buying property in Turkey then you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the property market and how the prices compare… however, many investors still find that in comparison to other European countries, Turkey is currently very competitive… to say the least.

Because of this, it may come as no surprise to learn that the property market in Turkey is gathering momentum pretty quickly, so if you want to capitalise on this value for money opportunity… with the promise of adding value further down the line, now could be your time to buy.

Many overseas property forecasters and investment experts have likened the building process and property market in Turkey to that of Spain in the 1980s; and if that is anything to go by, buying property in Turkey could be an excellent investment opportunity.

Of course many countries are still recovering from the effects of the last global economic downturn, and many will have seen its negative impact on their respective building and property sectors – some more than others – and Turkey is no different.

In fact, new construction activity has slowed somewhat in the last few years.

This however, should not concern overseas property investors too much as Turkey has still fared better than many other European countries and still has plenty of good investment opportunities for the keen, diligent investor willing to do their research.

Due Diligence is a Must before you Buy Property in Turkey

One really important piece of advice that and prospective property investor should always bear in mind before committing to buying property in Turkey is to check that everything is legitimate and above board.

This applies to many foreign property investment opportunities.

It is always wise to exercise caution, get good local advice and be thorough in your due diligence investigations to avoid being stung.

Get Good Professional Advice

Any reports commissioned about the property by the property owner, builder or developer should be carefully checked for their accuracy.

Reports about the builder or developer themselves may also help to highlight the developers’ history and local reputation.

It may be prudent to check out previous construction projects and completed developments to make sure they were completed to a good standard, on time and to budget… and that there are no “skeletons in the cupboard”.

It may also be in your best interests to hire an English speaking local lawyer or legal professional to check that the purchase complies with all local property laws, rules and regulations, and that nothing is missed which could jeopardise your purchase or leave you out of pocket later on.

Where in Turkey Should you Look to Buy Property?

So, where should you buy in Turkey? Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight answer to this question as it all depends on what you want from your property investment, and whether or not you want it as a holiday home for yourself, or a holiday let that will bring in good rental returns.

Like Britain, Turkey has many regions, with different characteristics that will appeal to different people.

Buying Property in Turkish Coastal Resorts

There are many popular holiday resorts peppered along the Turkish coast that all boast excellent links to a large airport.

With this in mind, if you crave the sun, sea and sand, and you also want to be able to rent your property out to holidaymakers this may be your best bet, as potential renters won’t have to travel far from the local airport to your property.

This added travel convenience could make it more attractive in comparison to other costal properties.

Resorts along the coast that you may wish to consider in more detail include:

  • Kusadasi

  • Yalikavak

  • Fetiyhe

  • Altinkum

The Cultural Charm of Kalkan

For property investors who want more of a retreat or somewhere that showcases more of Turkey’s natural charm, culture and heritage, the town of Kalkan should be a serious contender.

Kalkan is a peaceful Turkish town that has all the charms of a foreign clime with great weather and a laid back atmosphere.

This laid-back atmosphere would probably appeal more to retired couples or people who are more into culture and sight-seeing than simply sun bathing on the beach.

There is a mountainous backdrop and a natural harbour, so it is definitely well worth considering.

It has to be noted that in areas like Kalkan it is extremely difficult to purchase property, as a future developments are carefully controlled and often prohibited to protect the local character and environment.

The Turkish government are keen to preserve areas like Kalkan and to stop them being over-developed with hotels, resort complexes and the tourists such developments attract… and who can blame them?

This is not to say that you won’t be able to buy a property in an area like this though; it may just require more tenacity than you originally anticipated.

New-Build & Off-Plan Apartments & Villas

If you want to stand the best possible chance of buying property in Turkey, your best bet could be to look at areas where there are a higher proportion of new build apartments, villas and off-plan developments.

There are also many charming traditional stone houses that highlight Turkey’s rural heritage that are available for sale, so if you want a holiday home or property investment which also captures the charm of the area, this too may be a great property option to investigate.

As previously highlighted however, you may stand a better chance of being successful if you look at new-build property first.

Does Turkish Property Offer Good Investment Potential?

With regards to investment potential, buying Turkish property could bring you substantial rewards, but only if you research the local property market, get to grips with property prices and rents, and learn how the property buying process works in Turkey.

Generally speaking, the property market in Turkey has been affected by the last global economic downturn, but probably not as much as other European countries.

In comparison to other countries though, Turkey still presents some of the best overseas investment opportunities, especially in areas where there is already a substantial population – city areas like Istanbul for instance.

The Process of Buying Property in Turkey

Buying property in Turkey can be stressful, and it is vital that you have a good understanding of the local property laws, the buying process and what rules and regulations you’ll need to consider.

While you’ll need to have your wits about you at this crucial stage, you’d also be well advised to hire the services of a good local lawyer (preferably English speaking) to guide you through the process.

Your best bet to avoid any unfortunate mishaps is to get to know as much about the country as possible and also enlist the help of local English speaking property advisers and legal professionals.

Knowledge, research and good local professional advice are essential and will help you avoid problems and overcome any pitfalls along the way.

What about Foreign Property Ownership in Turkey

If you are seriously considering buying property in Turkey you should be aware that the foreign ownership of property is governed by the “reciprocity” principle.

Citizens of countries that freely allow Turkish residents to own property in their country, are allowed to purchase property in Turkey.

The good news for us Brits is that this means that because the UK allows Turkish nationals to own property or premises in our country, then we too can purchase property in Turkey.

To all intents and purposes this should mean that the process of buying property in Turkey should be easy, but there are a few stipulations and regulations that need to be carefully followed.

Firstly, foreign nationals have restrictions placed on them with regards to acquiring properties within municipal areas with less than 2,000 registered inhabitants.

Neither are foreigners allowed to buy properties that are in the immediate vicinity of Turkish military zones.

Finally, non-Turkish residents are restricted to the amount of land that they can own.

Currently a maximum of 74 acres is allowed for foreigners and any land that goes over this will need a permit from the Turkish authorities.

Financing your Turkish Property Purchase

With regard property finance for your Turkish property, a ten to twenty five per cent deposit will normally be needed to kick start the buying process and this will be required upon signing of the purchase contract.

Just like in the UK, the more deposit you have the better your chance of getting the property you want and quickly.

Getting Permission for your Property Purchase

You should also note that permission for the property sale needs to be obtained and this will be done by sending the deeds for the property and passport translations of the buyer to the local Army headquarters for approval.

Granting of the sale will normally take a period of around two months at the most.

Turkish Land Registry Office

Once permission for the property sale is obtained from the local Army headquarters and all formalities have been checked, the transfer of title of deed for the property can commence at the local Land Registry Office.

At this stage, it is in your best interests to get a local lawyer, preferably an English speaking one, to help you through this stage – it isn’t a legal obligation, but it does help to minimise your risks significantly.

Notarisation of Property Sales

When buying property in Turkey there is a legal requirement that may have by-passed you however, and this is with regards to notarisation.

Notarisation of every single property sale to non-Turkish residents by a government-authorised interpreter is a necessity.

Also remember that both parties to the property sale must also be present at the entry of title stage.

Registration of the Property & Release of Title Deeds

Even though the process of buying property in Turkey may sound a little long winded, it is in actual fact a relatively quick turnaround, especially when you consider you are a non-Turkish citizen purchasing property.

Registration of property transactions in Turkey will normally take around nine days in total and the government will take between three to nine months to process the application and release the title deeds.

As touched upon previously, it is always prudent for any overseas property investor that they have a local lawyer or legal representative to look after you, the property and your general interests.

Getting Legal Assistance in Turkey

You may see this professional legal assistance as an additional and unwanted expense, but should a problem arise, that expense will certainly prove to be worth every penny as your advisors will be able to help identify and resolve issues quickly.

Do not simply select the first Turkish property lawyer you come across, or the cheapest one you can find.

Always search for a lawyer who has an excellent reputation, is registered and approved, speaks English well and also has experience with regards to property acquisition by UK nationals in Turkey, or at least other European countries.

What about Turkish Property Taxes?

Again, just like Britain, you should put money aside for fees and property taxes.

Typically it is estimated that 4.5 – 5.5 per cent of the property purchase price should be adequate.

Finally, it is also handy to know that currently Capital Gains Tax in Turkey is nil after five years’ ownership of the property… before this stage, typical income tax rules apply.

Capital Gains Tax for UK Property Buyers

If you are a UK national, for tax purposes you will be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax in the UK as well – this will be at the same rate that you pay income tax.

If you are in any doubt however, we recommend you speak to your accountant or tax adviser.

Overseas Property Investment Solutions

As a leading independent property and land investment specialists Investment Property Partners offer expert advice and support to clients across our specialist areas of expertise helping them to achieve their investment objectives.

If you are an investor searching for overseas property investment opportunities or a second home aboard please contact us today to discuss how Investment Property Partners can help you.

Further reading…

More information about Turkey… here →

More about landholdings and buying property in Turkey … here →