Turkey ranks 14th among world's most advantageous real estate markets for foreigners

In a research that listed the 25 most advantageous real estate investment markets, Turkey secured 14th place, outpacing countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece thanks to its affordable prices, growth projections and stable tourism market.

According to the report, conducted by the U.S.-based international real estate investment company Remote Ventures, Turkey ranked fourth among the fastest growing markets and third among the cost of living.

The 'Top 25 Global Real Estate Markets in 2020’ index revealed the 25 most advantageous real estate investment markets among 200 countries it reviewed, and Turkey placed high with features like growth rate, cost of living, income taxes and transaction costs, in addition to tourism sector growth.

The survey is a guide to help kickstart your real estate investments by overcoming that first and most important step in the process — figuring out the best country to buy and invest in during 2020.

Residential property sales in Turkey jumped 124.3% year-on-year in July, according to the country’s statistical authority where a total of 229,357 houses changed hands last month, up from 190,012 the same month last year.

Housing sales to foreign buyers in July recorded 2,741 units, Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data showed. Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population, enjoyed the lion’s share of sales to foreign buyers, with 1,046 units. Antalya followed with 615 properties, while the capital Ankara came third with 230, despite a short-term stagnation in the housing market due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is worth mentioning that foreign residential sales in Turkey significantly increased following the reciprocity law launched in 2013, contributing to the country’s real estate sector, which came to the fore as one of the leading markets along the Mediterranean coastline. These laws and regulations have made the country more competitive.

Foreign sales-born income has surpassed $6 billion in Turkey since the implementation of the reciprocity law, breathing new life into the sector.

Moreover, the demand for buying real estate in Turkey has also increased dramatically after the amendment of the law granting Turkish citizenship in exchange for buying a property issued in 2018, which allowed the granting of Turkish citizenship in exchange for the ownership contract, so that the foreigner can apply for Turkish citizenship by buying a property under construction, after it was is limited to completed real estate only, so that the property price is paid in cash, with a value of no less than 250 thousand US dollars, or the equivalent of this amount in Turkish pounds. Accordingly, the sale of residential properties to foreigners reached 45,483 units in 2019, with demand increasingly diversifying each year.

Colombia placed first, and Montenegro, a country that has also drawn attention in recent years with its rapid growth projections after achieving full membership to the European Union, finished second on the list titled "Top 25 Real Estate Markets for Foreigners.”

Turkey meets all basic qualities

Remote Ventures co-founder and CEO Matthew Campbell told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they are an investment company that helps customers to easily monitor foreign markets, explore emerging locations, recognize and analyze properties in detail and turn opportunities into investments. Accordingly, he said, Turkey emerged as a country that offers tremendous opportunities to international real estate seekers.

"Turkey stands out because it has all the basic amenities we are looking for in an attractive market,” Campbell said. Explaining the criteria that the list was based upon, he added that “Turkey, a huge economy in the region, has world-class cities with beautiful coastlines, proper visa and residency opportunities, rich culture and history, dynamic demographics” along with stable tourism and other features. Campbell noted that their index was mainly based on specific measures, including gross domestic product (GDP) growth, relatively low cost of living and cheap property prices.

Campbell stressed that the prepared index shows that Turkey's attractiveness in price compared to similar countries gives investors a message that those discounts will not always stay like this.

Study reveals attractiveness of real estate in Turkey

Selman Özgün, chairman of Antalya-based Helmann Yapı, also told AA that a foreigner can buy real estate for about 400,000 euros ($440,000) in countries such as Portugal and Spain, while this figure is around 120,000 euros in Istanbul.

Özgün said that the study reveals the attractiveness of Turkey in terms of real estate investment and profitability, adding that in recent years the investors’ diversity is also beginning to increase.

He went on to say that those who buy a housing unit in Turkey stay in the country for about 90 days, which is important for other sectors as well, as they buy house-related materials that further contribute to the economy.

Turkey's most popular tourist destinations, Istanbul and southern Antalya, a coastal city on the Mediterranean, top the list for home sales to foreigners. Özgün noted that other cities have also started to become alternative spots with advantageous opportunities.

Edited by Ziyad Veis based on DS, AA and Remote Ventures

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