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Turkish property taking off in 2007!

18th July 2007 Print
Dazzling white limestone terraces at Pamukkale Increased interest in Turkish property listed on has nudged Turkey into the exalted Top of the Props Top 5! Here we investigate why property investors currently can’t seem get enough of this transcontinental treasure trove.

With its fascinating archaeological sites, glorious climate, irresistible turquoise waters and close proximity to Europe, Turkey has long been a popular holiday getaway with British tourists. Many have already even gone one step further and bought their own Turkish holiday home.

Now, with new laws to boost the local finance market, the Turkish economy in fighting fettle, and the prospect of EU membership on the horizon, foreign interest in Turkish property is really hotting up in 2007, as reflected in the movements in this month’s Top of the Props chart. An increase in the number of enquiries about Turkey properties listed on over the last month has nudged Turkey up 3 places from 8th to reach the hallowed Top the Props Top 5.

The Top of the Props chart reflects the share of overall monthly enquiries to each country receives.

Turkish delights

Turkey is not short of tourist attractions. With its strategic location as a land bridge between Europe and Asia, it has been a cultural melting pot through the ages and now houses a varied and fascinating historical heritage. Highlights include the archaeological remains of the legendary city of Troy as well as not just one but two of the Ancient Wonders of the World - the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Maussollos at Bodrum. Turkey also has a wealth of natural wonders such as the dazzling white limestone terraces at Pamukkale.

With temperatures on its Mediterranean and Aegean coast averaging between 14 ºC in December and 35 ºC in August and an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, Turkey enjoys a truly enviable climate. Washed clean by clear turquoise waters, its beaches are some of the best on the Mediterranean, as reflected by the 325 Blue Flag accreditations they received this year. With increasing availability of cheap flights to Turkey from a wide range of European cities and intensive international marketing activity, Turkey’s tourism sector is starting to really rocket; 25 million tourists are expected to visit the country this year alone.

The Turkish government is currently implementing an ambitious national tourism development plan which runs until 2010, and has recently entered into a regional tourism alliance with Egypt. Investment is centred on five “Tourism Development Regions” (TDRs) mostly located on Turkey’s Riviera coast between Izmir and Oymapinar to the south.

Turkey’s property market take-off

Historically, Turkey has had a strong holiday homes market, linked to the main resorts along its Aegean and Mediterranean coast lines. Antalya on the southern Mediterranean coast is the city containing the most foreign-owned properties in Turkey at present, whilst Mugla (near the Bodrum peninsular) has been the most popular place for foreigners to buy on the western Aegean coast.

Now, with Turkey’s economy recording annual growth rates as high as 7.4% in recent years, tourism really rocketing, prices cheap in comparison to more established Mediterranean markets and EU membership in prospect, there has been an explosion of interest in Turkish property in 2007 from investors purely looking for hard returns. The TDRs are attracting a lot of attention but savvy investors are also looking beyond the traditional second homes markets to the cities and Istanbul in particular; Istanbul now houses the second highest number of foreign-owned properties in Turkey.

Chris Davidson, Product Manager at commented: “A huge market that remains relatively overlooked is Istanbul. A true gateway between Europe and Asia and attracting 700,000 new residents each year, Istanbul offers both interesting buy-to-let investments aimed at the resident worker and also one of the last genuine flipping opportunities in advance of local mortgage finance becoming available.”

Mortgages available from 2008

Turkey was recently voted one of the most improved markets in Europe by Global Property Guide and topped Currencies Direct’s index of global emerging markets for the second time in a row. The market has also just received a further boost in the form of a new law on mortgages set to make finance available locally from the beginning of 2008.

Davidson explained: “With the advent of local mortgages, set to come on stream within the next 12-24 months, current rising levels of wealth in Turkey will be translated into increased demand for property, thus driving up prices. As local brokers start to lend to foreign investors, this growth will surely accelerate, especially as speculation builds around the prospect of EU membership in the next 6-8 years.”

Julie Anthony, Sunseekers Altinkum UK Representative and partner of Fisks International commented: “Turkey is a popular place for people to buy property due to its unique geographical location as the crossroads between East and West. It also has a rapidly expanding economy which grew by 7.4% in 2005, meaning that Turkey is now one of the top 20 largest economies in the world.”

Anthony continued: “With new mortgage laws recently passed and a population of over 70 million, Turkey offers a huge and dynamic domestic market to foreign investors, with prices rising by as much as 25% a year in some places. Now is a great time for Brits to buy as the exchange rate is good and Turkey is on the up. For example, in Altinkum, a development area, a new marina is being built and two golf courses are planned for next year.”

Turkey today is not without its problems and arguments with the Kurds to the east and Greeks to the west are well publicised. However, investor optimism is currently undiminished and if you consider all the current positive developments currently in motion in Turkey, it's easy to understand why.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Dazzling white limestone terraces at Pamukkale