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Can Turkey do no wrong?

8th March 2008 Print
Can Turkey do no wrong? Turkey has been hot topic number one throughout February, with enquiries for property and mortgages increasing beyond all expectations when compared to figures from 2007, A Place in the Sun naming Turkey as the third top place to buy, and the Independent hailing Turkey as top of the hot spots list.

In February 2008, award-winning property agent and developer International Property Agents saw a record number of enquiries about property in Turkey.

The number of enquires about property in Turkey was up 43% on February 2007’s figures, and up 112% on the number of enquiries received in January 2008.

Gordon Lyons, director of International Property Agents stated “at a time with a great deal of uncertainty in the global markets, we ended last year with somewhat reserved forecasts for 2008. We felt that the decreased UK interest rates would help to reinforce the level of interest in the strongly performing overseas markets such as Turkey, however we hadn’t anticipated this level of growth. Whilst all the indicators are looking positive for Turkey, we felt that the number of UK purchasers looking there may have dropped. Quite clearly, this isn’t the case.”

Nearly two thirds of the enquiries received by International Property Agents were for property under £40,000, and 54% of those were for property under £25,000; suggesting that potential investors are seeking affordable property, to try to gain maximum return on their investment.

Gordon Lyons commented, “whilst the number of people from the UK looking to buy is increasing, people are certainly more budget conscious now than in the past, with buyers keen to seek opportunities in the lower price brackets. For the over £50,000 bracket, we are seeing a change in the type of purchasers. Many who may have only considered Spain or France in the past are seeing Turkey as a serious alternative. With year-on-year tourism growth there for nearly a decade, and a raft of golf developments backed by the Tourism Ministry, the plans to improve the quality of tourism there are working.”

This increase is backed up by a recent announcement by Conti; that enquiries for Turkish mortgages have increased 147% year on year. This, along with the increased amount of enquiries for property, seems to back up the thoughts from last year; that Turkey’s consistent property market growth is set to continue at a steady rate. The advent of more low cost flights and lower mortgage rates would be the next step in boosting the market, not only in terms of sales prices, but would also favour investors in terms of rental demand.

Turkish mortgages, as we can see from Conti’s announcement, are becoming a more viable option to the potential property purchaser, and with time and progress of the mortgage system, it is likely that they will only become an even more accessible option to fund a property overseas.

The second major drawback; the lack of available low cost flights, is also being addressed; with easyJet operating it’s first direct UK to Turkey flight on 30th March this year. A number of additional flights have recently been announced; with new airline Goldtrail operating five flights per week between Leeds/Bradford airport and Turkey from May 2008, and Thomson Airlines operating flights to Turkey from five UK airports.

However, despite the address of the two factors being only recent, the rental market seems to be doing very well indeed. Leading holiday rentals site analysed demand for rental property across the 112 countries where they advertise property to let, and Turkey came in 7th amongst those countries. Of all the emerging markets; Turkey led the way coming in even before South Africa and the Canary Islands.

This announcement offers a considerable boost to investors in property in Turkey, vindicating their confidence in the market. ‘Given the still relatively low availability of low-cost flights to Turkey, the property rental market is still very much a developing one’, says Gordon. ‘This report does however show that rental demand is developing and the market is most definitely heading in the right direction.’

Gordon added ‘Turkey’s tourist market was developing long before it’s holiday home market, with in excess of 20 million tourists a year visiting the country. This is a key indicator we look for when choosing where to sell property. If the tourist market isn’t there, investment with a view to holiday rentals simply isn’t backed up by anything. For some time now we have seen all the right indicators with the Turkish rental market and now the facts are starting to speak for themselves.’

All in all; the various factors that are needed to make a successful second home market are falling into place in Turkey; from available finance to fund a property, low cost flights to access the property affordably, a popular rentals market, public and private investment in the tourism infrastructure and increasing interest in the market.

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Can Turkey do no wrong?