4/9/2008

Turkey's tasty real estate market

Yahoo Daily News - When it comes to buying a holiday home or investment property in the Mediterranean, most people tend to think of Spain or Italy. But Turkey, with its stunning scenery and wealth of antiquities, is fast emerging as a new property hot spot. Straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey is blessed with some of the best coastline in Europe, especially in the country's southwestern corner where the Mediterranean and Aegean seas meet. With Turkey expected to join the European Union within the next decade, property experts say those who get in early stand to see a substantial return on their investment. The combination of rapidly rising house prices and Turkish property market reforms has made the country an increasingly popular destination for international investors. Five years ago the government passed legislation making it possible for non-Turkish citizens to buy property. Since then, foreigners have spent more than $7.2 billion on an estimated 30,000 homes, according to the Turkish government. Over the last year alone property sales to foreigners soared by 59% to $2.9 billion. Not only is it cheaper to buy, it is also much cheaper to live. Economists reckon that the cost of living is between 40% and 60% less than in continental Europe. And according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Turkey is the fourth least expensive place to live in a recent survey of 30 member countries.