So, you are wondering where the best place to buy property abroad is, and are probably overwhelmed with choices. After all these days, the world of real estate is no longer country confined but now an international market. Property investors tap into holiday lets and Golden visa schemes while summer home buyers and retirees looking to move abroad want an idyllic lifestyle befitting their dreams.
The days of shoddy property sales are gone as many countries openly welcome foreign house buyers. Whether you want a mountain retreat, a home with a sea view, an urban landscape or a rural property, the listings of homes on the market run into thousands. So how do you choose where to buy?
Well, we say Turkey should be your first choice. Having lived and worked in the country for many decades, alongside fellow workers, neighbours, and Turkish friends, we have gained a wonderful insight into the culture, history, traditions, and day-to-day lifestyles. Being estate agents, our inside knowledge of the real estate market is second to none. Now, you might accuse us of biases so let us look at some official stats.
Why Turkey is the Best Place to Buy Property Abroad
In 2019, foreigners of various nationalities bought 45,500 apartments and villas. This was up 14.7% year-on-year, proving that Turkey’s lure is just too much to ignore. Some destinations like property in Istanbul, Antalya, and Bursa came out on top as favourite places to buy, while nationalities varied from Iraqis to Brits to Russians and Germans. The country has turned into quite the little United Nations, but why do people choose the country?
1: Prices Lead the Way
By far, affordability drives the foreign housing market. Compare the price of an apartment in Spain to one in Turkey, and the massive difference always wins the day. Prices per square metre vary, but an essential starting point is £50,000 for a freehold apartment and £90,000 for a villa with swimming pool and garden. The most expensive place to buy property is Istanbul, but even that housing market offers delightful, cheap properties thanks to mass development on the European outskirts. If you are looking for a bargain property, with masses of mid to long term capital appreciation, and high liquidity, Turkey ticks all the boxes.
2: Easy Buying Process
Now, you might say, affordable prices are one thing, but if you must jump through hoops to get the title deeds, it is useless. Stop right there, because this is where Turkey steps up to the podium, with one of the most simplified, and straightforward buying processes in the world. If your finances are in place, and you buy an already built property, the entire process can take as little as three weeks. The Turkish legal process does not require the use of a solicitor, but we recommend them, to ensure everything is in place and completed as soon as possible.
3: Affordable Payment Plans
Istanbul is the top spot for foreign house sales. Naturally, as Turkey’s biggest city, it is a hub of business, finance, education, tourism, and investment. Off-plan and new build developments on the European side are changing the face of the market, and one reason they attract investors is the affordable payment plans. Examples include a 30 to 50% deposit followed by interest-free monthly payments ranging from a year up to five. Not only are investors saving on mortgage interest rates, but they also tap into the discounted off-plan prices, giving them an excellent start in raising their property value.
4: Low Cost of Living
Every year, increasingly more foreigners arrive to live out their retirement years. Everyone has different reasons for choosing the country, but a common factor in among them all is the low costs of living and running a property. Council tax is a fraction of what people pay in the UK, TV licences are non-existent, water can cost as little as five pounds per month, and house insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. While smoking, drinking, and running a car can soon empty the wallet, affordable prices of food, medicine, and other daily necessities provide plenty of opportunities to save money. Many expats sell the properties back home and deposit the funds into high-interest bank accounts here. They withdraw the interest monthly, therefore live without ever touching their nest egg.
5: Weather and Lifestyle
For that typical overseas life, Turkey delivers in bucket fills. Because of its enormous size, it has seven different climate zones of which the Mediterranean and Aegean, where many people buy property are the best. Hot summer temperatures allow locals to make the most of an outdoor lifestyle and alfresco dining while cool winters, add that extra twist to Christmas and New Year. For the best climate, choose the Antalya region, where people swim in the sea in December. For outdoor people, Turkey is the perfect playground, whether this is pursuing hobbies, indulging in adventure sports, or sitting back with a cocktail by the pool.
6: Beaches Galore
If long sandy beaches, hidden coves, and scenic bays are what you dream of, prepare to be wowed. We recommend choosing the Mediterranean coast, home to beautiful beaches including Cleopatras in Alanya, Lara and Konyaalti in Antalya and Kaputas. The nearer home is to the coastline, the higher the prices per square metre. Still, you can easily find an affordable place with a stunning sea view that is within 5 to ten minutes’ walk. Many Blue Flag beaches boast of cleanliness, toilet facilities and a wide range of amenities to rent including sunbeds, umbrellas, and water sports.
7: Citizenship by Investment Scheme
The property buying process and residency system are separate here. Buying a home does not automatically, net residency, and this is a different application process. However, if you spend more than $250,000 on a home and agree to keep it for at least three years, you can apply for citizenship for you, your spouse, and children. Many people have taken advantage of this system, with the media reporting that to date 5,000 people have been approved. Compare Turkey’s golden visa system to places like Spain or Portugal, to instantly see the benefits of quicker approval time and cheaper entry levels. (More about applying for citizenship through real estate investment.)
8: Portfolio of Homes on the Market
Should you want a fixer-upper or renovation project, there are plenty of traditional Turkish homes to choose from, but otherwise, expect, a vast portfolio of modern, resale, off-plan, and new build homes. Turkey has gone far out to reinvent its property market over the last 20 years, and architectural trends, green living and smart technology, play a part. In some places like Kalkan, and Yalikavak in Bodrum, luxury six-digit mansions lead the way with one-of-a-kind architecture, while in other areas, apartments twin with communal facilities like swimming pools, gyms, and saunas to provide the lifestyle residence theme. Developers use up and coming Turkish architects or even professionals from as far away as California to design homes that stand out on the international market. To see a range of styles and themes, browse our portfolio of homes on the market. Each listing includes a description, price, location and contact details to find out more via email or arrange a viewing.
9: Tourism, Cosmopolitan Vibes, and Foreign Languages
Turkey is one of the world’s top ten countries for tourism as ranked by visitors. Most tourism happens in Istanbul and along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. This evokes a multicultural feel to most towns and coastal resorts that make foreign house buyers feel instantly at home. The language barrier need never be a problem because often locals speak many languages, including Russian, German, English, and Arabic.
10: The Turkish Riviera
From land to sea, Turkey attracts yachts from all around the world thanks to its stunning Turkish Riviera, also named the turquoise coast. Running from the northern Aegean round to the Mediterranean, sailing routes and historical sites lend their weight to Blue Voyage trips ranging from one night to two weeks. You don’t have to stay overnight on a boat, to sample Turkey’s sailing atmosphere. During summer, daily boat cruises often leave from all the harbours, allowing you to tap into an alternative Turkish lifestyle.
Find Out More
So, by now, you probably have figured out why Turkey is one of the best places to buy property abroad. Still, to narrow down your property search, it is worth deciding on a location. Below are some top destinations where foreigners buy homes.
Istanbul: This is where anyone eyeing up an investment or an urban landscape heads to. And Why not? Istanbul offers everything from the traditional to recent trends, art, culture, food, and shopping lead the way. Choose from 39 districts, including the Bosphorus shores that are home to luxury yali mansions.
Antalya Region: Zipping across to the Mediterranean, we arrive at the 2nd most popular destination that includes Antalya city centre and smaller resorts like Alanya, Side, Kemer, the golfing capital of Belek, and the luxurious villa destination of Kalkan.
Fethiye Region: Comprising a city centre, and smaller coastal towns like Oludeniz, Calis Beach, Hisaronu, Ovacik, this region has also become a popular expat hub for foreigners who live here all year round.
Bodrum Peninsula: Meanwhile, if you prefer Aegean vibes, start your search on this peninsula. Places like Yalikavak attract more of a sailing crowd, while Gumbet is a time-honoured favourite of Brits. Each resort has its unique character and something to offer.
If you want a real estate agent to lead you through finding and buying a home in Turkey, contact us today. Our offices all around the country have professional agents with local in-depth knowledge to ensure you make a wise investment for the future.
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