Gulf News - Priding itself as the gateway between Asia and Europe, Turkey is successfully attracting Gulf nationals to its real estate sector.
Last year, the country changed the law to facilitate property investments by Gulf nationals, allowing them to buy properties using passports only and by offering a one-year residency permit to foreign investors and their families.
The last eight months saw some 2,000 units being sold to investors from the Gulf region.
“Foreign investments are important to any country, one, for the diversification of the investors base, and two, you are opening up [your economy],” said Ahmet Kayhan, Chief Executive Officer of Reidin.com, an international real estate information company focusing on emerging markets.
In the case of Turkey, which has at present a balance deficit, opening up the economy will bring in foreign money that is required to further grow the Turkish economy, he noted in an interview with Gulf News.
The Turkish real estate sector, meanwhile, is already vibrant due to the “big local demand and strong local interest in it and the [high] percentage of young people of under 35 years old in a country with a population of nearly 75 million”, Kayhan said.
Turkey’s economy grew at the second-fastest rate in the world in 2011 at 8.5 per cent, while Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data shows that the Turkish economy will be the bloc’s fastest-growing member in 2011-17, with average annual growth of 5.7 per cent.
According to some press reports, GDP (gross domestic product) per capita is set to rise from less than USD 11,000 at present to more than USD 14,500 by 2016.
Turkey is one of the eight growth markets in the world along with Brazil, China, India, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and South Korea, said Kayhan.
“These eight countries are estimated to produce nearly 46 per cent of the world economy by 2050,” he said.
The real estate sector is also expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, while “the value of the property will be growing much higher here than the rest of the world”, according to Kayhan.