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Undiscovered Turkish delights

31st July 2007 Print
Villa in Akkaya, Dalaman In the last five years Turkey has been transformed from a fringe destination for adventurous buyers to one of the most popular emerging property markets. Over $2 billion from abroad was invested in Turkish real estate last year with this figure expected to double in 2007. According to official statistics there are over 17,000 British-owned properties in the country, up from just 3,000 in 2003.

All the things that make Turkey such a good holiday destination – such as the Mediterranean climate, beautiful scenery, friendly people and excellent value for money – have encouraged unprecedented interest from holiday home buyers and retirees while investors are attracted by the potential for capital growth as the country develops and moves towards greater integration with Europe.

“The affordability of Turkish property, with prices significantly lower than established markets such as Spain, is a major attraction,” says Dominic Whiting, editor of the Buying in Turkey guide. “Apartments are available in the coastal resorts from as little as £35,000 and villas from £65,000.”

Massive investment in infrastructure and leisure projects, part of the Turkish government’s ambitious plans to double the number of tourist visitors by 2010, are also increasing the country’s appeal and pushing up property values, with annual price increases of 10-25% expected in the main resorts.

Foreign buyers can buy freehold property and land within municipal areas (which means in and around all the resorts, towns and cities) however, since a change in the law in 2006, foreigners cannot purchase in rural areas and there are some restricted military areas too.

Most properties in the coastal areas are used as holiday homes although a growing number of people are choosing to relocate permanently to Turkey, tempted by the quality of life and low cost of living. Some holiday homes are rented-out when not in use, but the growth of the holiday rental market has been restricted by a lack of cheap, year-round flights and the dominance of the package holiday industry. The eventual arrival of low-cost flights to the coastal airports will boost the rental market.

There has been a dramatic improvement in the quality and choice of property available in Turkey. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the best developers now offer cutting edge design, imaginative features and excellent facilities. However, these improvements are not universal, so shop around. “Don’t be blinded by the bottom line – a more expensive property may be larger, better located or have better facilities, and ultimately make much a better investment. Also, beware of rental guarantees. Unless the developer has an agreement with a holiday company, this rental income may simply be added onto the sale price,” advises Dominic Whiting.

Where to buy?

Foreign buyers have traditionally concentrated along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts and particularly in the largest resorts of Kusadasi, Altinkum, Bodrum, Fethiye and Alanya. Aside from these property hot spots there are a string of undiscovered delights to explore such as Dalaman, Side and Cesme.

Designated a ‘Tourism Development Area’ by the Turkish government, Dalaman is a small town surrounded by unspoilt forested mountains and long sandy beaches, with a golf course under construction and the marinas of Gocek, Turkey’s main yachting centre, just a short drive away. Dalaman airport has recently been expanded providing easy year-round access from the UK. “Dalaman has started to attract a lot of interest from property buyers and prices have risen rapidly, though they are still below neighbouring resorts,” comments Dominic Whiting. “The government-led development plans for the area are very exciting and should really benefit the local property market.”

The pick of the area’s property is just 15 minutes from the airport and town, where developer Curbanoglu (Tel: 0845 355 5625, are offering villas, apartments and plots of land in the beautiful and secluded area of Akkaya. Prices range from £79,000-£159,000 for a villa, or from £55,000 for an apartment and all properties have stunning lake and mountain views.

Side is a popular family resort with great beaches and fantastic Roman ruins, 45 minutes drive from Antalya airport and the golf courses of Belek. There are a range of other activities in the area including white water rafting, horse riding and water sports. Local developer Kaya Homes (Tel: 0845 401 1111, has a selection of good value apartments within walking distance of the beach, with prices from £35,000-£74,000 for two-bedroom apartments, including air-conditioning and white goods.

Largely unknown to foreign tourists and property buyers, the Aegean resort of Cesme has great beaches, three marinas and lots of restaurants and bars open in summer when it is popular with Turkish holidaymakers. The city of Izmir, which has an airport with direct flights to the UK, is only an hour away and there are ferry services from Cesme harbour to the Greek island of Chios and Italian ports. The area has a wide selection of property, with a semi-detached three-bedroom villa costing from £85,000-£130,000; and two-bedroom apartments available from £55,000-£75,000. “Cesme is a charming and authentic Turkish coastal town which is really popular with Turks, so the property market is booming,” explains Dominic Whiting. “It is an ideal place to buy if you want to be surrounded by the local culture.”

For more information about where to buy in Turkey get the newly updated Buying in Turkey guide.

Buying in Turkey: A Complete Property Buyer’s Guide to Turkey
2007/8 edition
Edited by Dominic Whiting
Edition 3, 140 Pages, RRP £9.95
Published 15 July, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-9550890-5-3

The ‘property buyer’s bible’ to Turkey is fully updated for summer 2007

An informative and practical guide to buying and owning property in Turkey. Now in its 3rd edition, the 140 page Buying in Turkey guide has been fully revised and updated for summer 2007.

Available to purchase at all good bookshops or online at or

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Villa in Akkaya, Dalaman