Eyeing substantial increases in property sales to overseas investors, Turkey has said it is to model new regulations along the lines of those in place in Spain, promoting construction new holiday home complexes to be sold off plan. The announcement came from Turkish Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and Tourism Minister Atilla Koc on their return from a fact finding mission to Spain.
In the past the Turkish property market has been off limits to most foreigners. However, new regulations saw increasing sales to overseas investors in the years immediately before a constitutional challenge to those regulations last year. For example, just short of 2,900 properties were bought by foreign nationals in 2002, 4,000 in 2003, 9,000 in 2004, and 6,000 in 2005 up to the point at which sales were halted.
With a newly revised law, once again allowing properties to be purchased by overseas investors from countries offering Turkish nationals reciprocal rights, some 4,600 properties were snapped up by foreigners in the first six months of 2006.
Now that EU membership is a firm hope, Turkey is expecting the number of overseas property buyers to increase and is now planning for a building boom of Spanish proportions in Spain around 1m residential units mostly for summer use have been sold to overseas investors at an average price of around £123,000, Unakitan pointed out.
In comparison sales of Turkish property to overseas investors have so far been tiny only some 57,000 units in 83 years.
Currently 62,500 foreigners from 70 different nations own properties in Turkey. Originally most foreign buyers were Syrian, and Syrians still hold by far the largest area of land. However, more recently Brits and other Europeans have been buying the largest numbers of units.
According to Unakitan, there have been 14,500 UK buyers 14,400 German, 14,000 Greek, 3,100 Dutch and 2,500 Syrian since 1934.
He has asked Turkish officials to draw up plans for copying the Spanish model in which most developments are constructed as managed complexes, are sold off plan and are often marketing overseas scale models and artists impressions.