Last year’s reciprocity law change removed obstacles to Middle Eastern investors, allowing them to purchase property in Turkey with their passports only, and offering a one-year residency permit to ease their transition.
The last eight months has seen more than 2000 units sold to investors from the Gulf region.
Chief executive officer of international real estate information company Reidin.com, Ahmet Kayan, says foreign investments are crucial to any country for opening up the economy and diversifying the investors base.
The Turkish real estate sector is a strong one thanks to “big local demand and strong local interest in it and the [high] percentage of young population of under 35 years old in the nearly 75 million population country”, Kayhan said.
Turkey is of great interest to the Gulf region as investors see a great potential to invest in the property sector, says Idris Demirhan, regional manager of Agaoglu, a leading Turkish real-estate developer in Dubai. The two regions also find common ground in religious and cultural bonds, as well as a deep and long economic relationship, Demirhan emphasised.
“Politically, we are in the same region, and we are affected by each other... We are sharing same things and feelings, [there] are many things are in common,” he said.
Turkey’s location as the bridge between Europe and Asia, its green environment, temperate weather conditions and good facilities - especially shopping - are chief reasons for Gulf states residents to invst in property in Turkey.
However, there is still some way to go. Of the $558 million foreign investment in the Turkish real estate sector last year, less than $100 million of that was from Gulf nationals. Europeans currently constitute the biggest foreign buyers of Turkish property, with Brits and Germans topping the chart.
However, as far as Gulf nationals are concerned, Demirhan believes that Turkish cities will soon replace traditional spots like Paris and London in terms of property investments. “Because you can find in Istanbul whatever you can find in Europe and Asia, and it is very close [to the Gulf region],” he said. He added that Turkey is known as a ‘melting pot’ for different cultures and religions.
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