Property in Turkey - Guide to Buying Property in Turkey

By: Les Calvert

The Turkish Property Market

Historically, it was nearly impossible in most instances for a foreign national to purchase real estate in Turkey. Indeed, for the most part, Turkey maintained a nearly absolutely blanket prohibition against foreign nationals having the ability to directly purchase and own real estate in that country.

In 2003, the Turkish government liberalized the laws pertaining to the ownership of real estate in that country. The actual steps taken by the Turkish government to liberalize the real estate ownership laws in that country as far as foreign nationals are concerned is discussed in a bit more detail later.

With the liberalization of real estate laws in Turkey, a growing number of foreign nationals are taking a second look at the possibilities and opportunities that exist when it comes to real estate in that country.

Investment Property in Turkey

Only in the past couple of years has there been any real movement in regard to investment by foreign nationals in Turkish real estate. Of course, the primary reason that this is a development of recent times is the fact that Turkish laws regarding foreign ownership of real estate were very restrictive until the past few years.

In any event, a growing number of foreign investors are turning towards Turkey when it comes to real estate acquisitions. While there certainly is not a flood of foreign money being invested in Turkish real estate at this juncture, more and more foreign investors are taking a close look at what real estate investment opportunities are now available in Turkey.

With that said and understood, many industry analysts maintain that now is the perfect time for a foreign national to take steps towards investing in real estate in Turkey. With Turkey's admission into the European Union, Turkey will be able to reap many economic benefits that are attendant to being a part of the EU. This likely will translate positively for men and women who have invested in real estate in that country.

Residential Real Estate in Turkey - Single Family Properties

With the relaxation of Turkish laws governing the foreign ownership of real estate, some foreign nationals are now taking a look at the prospect of buying residential property in that country. While the movement of foreign nationals towards buying residential property in that country has not been overwhelming at this juncture, there is an ever increasing number of foreign nationals who are buying residential real estate in Turkey with each passing month.

Most of the residential real estate that is being purchased in Turkey by foreign nationals is located in more of the resort communities in that nation.

Residential Real Estate in Turkey - Apartments

When it comes to the purchase of residential property in Turkey, apartments are serving as solid investments that people from other nations are beginning to purchase to gain a foothold in the Turkish residential property market. There are a wide array of different types of apartments available to sale in Turkey at this point in time. For example, there are very high end properties that are luxurious. At the other end of the spectrum, there are more moderately priced units that are suitable for men and women who find themselves finding a part of the year in Turkey in business and desire a second residence for their time in country.

Holiday Property in Turkey

The newest movement that has occurred as a result of the liberalization of real estate ownership laws in Turkey is the advent of foreign nationals making the purchase of residential properties to be used for vacation purposes. (More information about the liberalization of the laws governing the foreign ownership of real estate is discussed shortly.)

With Turkey's entry into the EU, a growing number of Europeans are examining the country as a location for holiday travel. Historically, Turkey was not particularly a destination of choice when it came to holiday travel by Europeans. Generally, the same was true for tourists from many other locales around the world.

However, in recent years, more and more foreign nationals have marked Turkey as a definite tourist destination. In addition, Turkish governmental officials as well as business and civic leaders have taken strong steps towards promoting Turkey as a travel and holiday destination.

Because of this movement, a notable number of men and women are now purchasing vacation residences in the form of apartments, villas and other types of houses in Turkey. For the first time, some foreign nationals are purchasing residential property in Turkey that they are using for their own travel needs. In turn, these same people are then turning around and letting these residences to other people during those times of the year that these foreign owners are not using these properties for their holiday purposes. In short, many foreign investors are now taking the initiative to turn their own vacation properties in Turkey into profit generating enterprises.

Specific steps to buying real estate property in Turkey back to top

Historically, it was very difficult for a foreign national to purchase and own real estate in Turkey. Indeed, overall it was nearly impossible for a foreign national to directly own a freehold (or complete and transferable) interest in real estate in Turkey. The laws restricting foreign ownership of real estate in Turkey had been longstanding.

In 2003, the Turkish government significantly liberalized the laws governing the ownership of real estate by foreign nationals in that country. Specifically, the Turkish government enacted what is known as a reciprocity law when it comes to the ownership of real estate by foreign nationals in that country.

The new law in Turkey governing the foreign ownership of real estate essentially provides that if a Turkish citizen can purchase and invest in real estate in the country from which the foreign national comes from, that same foreign national can then, in turn, purchase and own real estate within Turkey. Thus, citizens from many countries -- from the United States to the United Kingdom and many other nations in between -- can now purchase and own real estate in Turkey.

The Turkish government moved to change its extremely restrictive real estate laws in order to bring it more in line with the statutes and regulations governing real estate ownership that are in place in the other nations that make up the European Union.

Even with the easing of restrictions pertaining to the ownership of real estate by foreign nationals in Turkey, there are areas within Turkey in which foreign nationals are prohibited from purchasing and owning real estate all together. For example, foreign nationals cannot make the purchase of or otherwise own real estate that is in the vicinity of military bases and other similar sensitive locations. It is important for a foreign national to pay close attention to these prohibitions so that he or she does not become involved in a real estate sales transaction that might need to be scuttled in the long run due to the location of the subject property itself.

When it comes to purchasing property in Turkey, it is vital that a very thorough title search be undertaken to make absolutely certain that the property is free and clear from an absolute and complete transfer to a purchaser. Turkish property is notorious for being encumbered by liens and other blemishes to titles. Therefore, it absolutely is imperative that a foreign national who is seeking to purchase and own real estate in Turkey obtain the services of a capable lawyer or solicitor who can work to ensure that the property is not encumbered.

The first step in the real estate purchase process for a foreign national (or anyone else in Turkey) is an oral offer on a piece of real estate. If the offer is accepted by the seller, a preliminary contract is drafted and executed between the buyer and seller. At this juncture, the buyer is obliged to place a deposit on the property. Generally, the deposit amount that is placed is between 4% and 10%. The deposit is non-refundable if the seller backs out of the deal without cause. (Cause for withdrawal includes a failure by the seller to provide clear title to the property or the seller abandoning the deal.)

The final contract for sale of real estate in Turkey actually is executed at the Land Registry Office. A new title or deed is then applied for directly at the Land Registry Office. The new title and deed usually will be issued to the purchaser of the real estate within about three months.

One final factor that a real estate purchaser needs to keep in mind when buying property in Turkey. Unlike virtually anywhere else in the world, earthquake insurance is compulsory in nearly all locations of the country. Therefore, a purchaser of real estate in that country will want to make sure that this expense is factored into the overall costs of buying real estate in Turkey. Generally, the costs of such insurance is not prohibitive when it comes to buying real estate in Turkey.

Property Abroad always recommends using a Solicitor or Lawyer.

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