With buyers still looking to avoid the more expensive eurozone areas, Turkey's popularity is continuing to burgeon.
Turkey property market overview
Poised at the junction between Europe and Asia (Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents), this democratic country has a wealth of history and culture to be devoured, as well as its famed cuisine and fascinating geographical distinctions: there aren't many places where you can ski and sunbathe in the same day.
As a holiday destination, Turkey has a reputation of being value-for-money, bringing in the crowds from far and away, which has helped to boost the country's popularity as a property investment hot spot. And with relatively cheap prices, demand for Turkish homes is on the up, among both investors and lifestyle buyers.
The process for buying property in Turkey
The Turkish Statistical Institute cites that there are around 73,000 overseas nationals registered. Many of these inhabitants will have benefitted from recent capital growth, with prices appreciating by 7.3 per cent last year. But what process did they have to go through to actually purchase the property - and hopefully make a sound investment?
- Always carry out due diligence before buying a property and appoint a translator when dealing with negotiations and documentation.
- Check the 'Tapu' (title deeds) to ensure the property belongs to the owner, check it complies with building standards and that there are no outstanding charges against the property.
- Under the law of the country a home seller does not give up the title deed, the new buyer just gets a fresh one. This makes it theoretically possible for a home to be sold more than once, so buyers should look at the official register rather than just the deed.
- Sign a preliminary contract of purchase, which commits you to the sale and pay a deposit of around 30 per cent. The title deed transfer will take place at the land registry office. As the legal owner, your name and details will now be on the title deed, a copy of which will be given to you. Additional copies of the title deed can be ordered from the registry office for a small fee. If you are buying off-plan, you should receive a habitation certificate at the end of the building work.
- If you are buying off-plan, you should receive a 'Iskan' (habitation certificate) at the end of the building work. This document is required for all new buildings and shows that the construction of the building has been completed in line with the planning permission given by the local council (Belediye). This document is very important as without out it you can neither live in the property in question nor subscribe to the utility companies.
- For purchase costs you should budget on 6 to 7 per cent of the purchase price for fees. You will need to pay a deposit, legal fees, taxes and agent's commission. Stamp Duty is 3 per cent and split between the buyer and the seller.
- It is important to register with the local tax office and open a local bank account.
- Once you have purchased a property you need to register with the local tax office who will issue you with a tax identification number.
Buying property in Turkey
Fees & taxes
Breakdown of approximate costs of buying property in Turkey costing £150,000
- Purchase (transfer) tax at 1.5 per cent (paid by both the buyer and seller) £4,500
- Notary fees £140
- Land registry fees £150
- Municipality fees (can vary) £300
- Military clearance £500
- DASK (annual compulsory earthquake insurance) £50
- Total £5,640
Turkey property hot spots
Turkey is tipped to see tourist numbers reach 30 million this year, which is good news for holiday rentals investors as demand for these should continue to outstrip supply. Turkey's coasts offer a good prospect for investors and the most popular areas tend to be dotted along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines. The development of various marinas and the cruise industry is helping economic growth in said locations, which is pushing up demand for homes in the area and increasing rental potential.
Standards of property in Alanya are constantly improving in this cosmopolitan town, and with a new airport near completion, and an enchanting coastline to boast, developers are moving in to try and replicate the success of Spain's property boom.
Both these areas are popular with golfers. There are around 15 professional standard, 18 hole courses in Belek, with plans to build another 15 over the next decade. Just 20 minutes from Antalya international airport, this year-round destination offers a range of attractive beaches, museums and bazaars. Property is slightly cheaper in Side than Belek, yet it is still close enough to the golf facilities to offer a good rental return for investors.
With infrastructural improvements continuing, excellent shopping, restaurants and nightlife, Bodrum draws in 70 per cent of all Turkey's tourism. However there is a quieter side of life down on the peninsula. For example the pretty fishing village of Gumusluk is only a £10 taxi ride from the vibrancy of Bodrum, giving potential purchasers the best of both worlds.
These two resorts are hugely popular with the Brits, and with accessible prices, a good call for investors. A one bedroom sea view apartment here would average around £63,000.
This town benefits from sunny weather, wildlife attractions that include turtles nesting on the beach and good accessibility due to being near Dalaman's international airport.
Didim Property and Altinkum Property
For those who really want to tighten the purse strings, apartments are available here for just £25,000, enabling most budgets to go a long way. Nearest airport is Bodrum, an hour and a half drive.
Gocek Property and Kas Property
Also areas on the up. The latter has a large marina featuring upmarket shops, restaurants, a planned golf course and views across the southern Aegean.
Prices here reportedly jumped annually by up to 40 per cent between 2002 and 2005, after a law was introduced permitting foreign nationals to purchase property in their own name. Tipped to be crowned European Capital of Culture for 2010, long-term lets are particularly popular, and there are signs that the property prices will continue to appreciate in the city.
- Population: 72 million (approx). Of this number 80 per cent are Turks and the remaining 20 per cent are Kurds.
- Capital: Ankara
- Languages: Turkish. Various other minority languages are spoken but not officially recognised, while English and German are spoken in many of the business districts.
- Area (sq km): 781,000
- Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
- Dialling Code: +90
- Emergency services: 112
- Embassy in UK: http://www.turkishconsulate.org.uk/en/
- Always seek independent legal and financial advice specific to Turkey
- Ensure the developer has the correct planning permission papers to give you full ownership rights
- Check the distance to the nearest international airport, and that flights from Britain offer a year-round service
- Tales of corruption and rogue house builders are not uncommon, so approach any purchase with caution
- Ensure your passport has over three months validity before entering Turkey
- And when stress creeps up on you...make time to try a Turkish bath (Hammam) it is a never to be forgotten experience. Bath houses have existed since medieval times and are an integral part of the culture.
Turkey's busiest international airport is Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport. Throughout the year, and particularly during the busy summer months, you can also catch international flights to/from Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, and the rapidly expanding Izmir airport. However, from Turkey's other airports, including Ankara; you usually have to pass through Istanbul. There are excellent bus connections to and from all airports and city terminals.
The national carrier is Turkish Airlines, which has direct flights from Istanbul to most capital cities around the world. British Airways, Turkish Airlines and EasyJet offer direct flights between London and Turkey, while other airlines may offer non-direct services. Prices average at about £200 return fare. Charter flights to Turkey go from Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Newcastle.
For those more intrepid explorers, once in Turkey, don't forget you can travel easily by train or bus around the country, or to various other destinations in eastern Europe or the Middle East.
Healthcare in Turkey has improved, but has still not reached the expected quality, especially in most of the state hospitals. Private hospitals have a far higher (international) quality of physicians and medical equipment. Ensure you take out good health insurance, as most private hospitals have contracts with various insurance companies. The main centres are well served with hospitals some of which have direct agreements with BUPA.
Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. Zoopla strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.