A new “Golden Visa” scheme could revolutionise Turkey’s property market.
The property-for-residency scheme, which is similar to that of Cyprus and Portugal, will mean automatic residency for anyone investing $500,000 in property.
Property Turkey director Cameron Deggin says the visa has the potential to radically change the property market - particularly that in Istanbul. “It’s very likely this incentive will drive even more spending on property, and push prices up further, especially in Istanbul, where millions is spent on property each year. We saw a similar phenomenon in other Golden Visa countries, and the property market in Istanbul is much more buoyant than that of Portugal or Cyprus.
Deggin added that Istanbul’s reputation as a centre of economy and business meant foreign property investment was at an all time high. “The golden visa scheme will make investing in Turkey just that much more enticing, as well as having a positive impact on economic growth.”
The golden visa scheme is the latest in a long line of incentives introduced by the Turkish government to court investment. Past initiatives include relaxing the reciprocity law, allowing citizens of more countries to buy property in Turkey and introducing an automatic year-long residence permit for first-time buyers in Turkey.
The number of overseas buyers rose by 19% from January to September 2015. In Istanbul, that figure was 26.1%, demonstrating that the city’s draw to investors shows no sign of abating. In fact, since September, Istanbul is now the top spot for overseas buyers, overtaking the southern city of Antalya.
Since Portugal introduced its Golden Visa scheme in 2012 revenue has been boosted by 1.47 billion Euros. It’s clear such a move would be a positive one for Turkey, says Deggin. “The Turkish government has been extremely clear in its goals: to see foreign investment reach US$10 billion. This is a clear step towards achieving this ambition.”
Tourist numbers have also increased dramatically in the past few years, and the Turkish government is channelling money into its hospitality sector to meet the demands of growing visitor numbers, particularly in Istanbul. Hotel investments have increased, with Middle Eastern buyers capitalising on Istanbul and wider Turkey’s growing popularity with the Middle Eastern market.
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