Dünya – Turkey’s easing of the property ownership restrictions applied to foreign nationals initiated an upward curve in immovable sales to international investors, according to the head of the leading sector body, the Association of Real Estate and Real Estate Investment Companies (GYODER).
“Brand projects are attracting Gulf investors’ interest on an increasing scale. Istanbul with its completed and ongoing residence/office projects has become an investment center in this regard”, Aziz Torun, GYODER President said about Turkey’s rising attractiveness for foreign property buyers.
“The share of property sales to foreigners has risen from 2 percent to 6.5 percent with the eased property ownership law. Half of the property buyers are from Gulf countries and Turkic republics...” Torun said, adding that transactions with Arab buyers are either in blocks or on an individual basis in ongoing projects. “These transactions are not yet regarded as sales because of the projects’ “ongoing” status. The actual share of Gulf-based investors will rise as completed properties are handed over”, Torun said.
The investor-friendly property law enacted last year allows foreign nationals to own property in Turkey regardless of the buyer’s country of origin giving the same right to Turkish citizens, effectively abolishing the ‘reciprocity principle’.
15,086 foreign nationals from 98 countries acquired 21,691 immovables -11,803 residential units and 9,888 land plots- in Turkey in the first 10 months of the year, according to data from Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning. Russians, Germans and Britons ranked as the top buyers of Turkish properties, preferring Turkey’s Mediterranean coast for their investments. Property acquisitions by Gulf investors stood at 2,697 in the same period, with a focus on brand projects in Istanbul.
Real estate purchases by foreigners reached a total of USD 2.6 billion in 2012, up 31 percent from the preceding year. The figure is expected to reach USD 3 billion by the end of this year.