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Turkey keeps investors happy

12th August 2008 Print
Prospective investors in Turkey were delighted with the recent news that the government’s temporary ban on the issue of title deeds (Tapu) to foreigners has been lifted. Now that the Turkish government has had time to re-draft the relevant law, title deeds are being processed as usual. This is welcome news for foreign investors, especially now that mortgages are more readily available in Turkey - the essential elements for overseas property investors are firmly in place.

The government’s move will reassure prospective investors looking for a good short, medium or long-term investment. The changes to the law are not expected to make any significant difference to individual foreign property investors because they primarily affect foreign companies rather than the growing numbers of foreign investors who usually buy property in officially zoned areas around cities, town and holiday resorts.

Turkey remains a popular investment location, especially now that a number of lenders are offering mortgages to non-residents. Ken Thorkildsen, Director of Obelisk Private Finance, says that Turkey’s mortgage market is evolving, particularly since the passing of the country’s new mortgage law in 2007 which allows lenders more freedom in their lending practices. “Prior to the 2007 Mortgage Law, mortgages were only available to Turkish nationals, at high, double-figure, interest rates,” explains Ken, “now non-resident property owners can take advantage of multi-currency mortgages with low fixed rates. Mortgages are available to citizens of countries with whom Turkey has a reciprocal arrangement, such as the UK and Ireland. There are a handful of lenders offering mortgages to non-residents and that is set to grow as demand increases from foreign investors.”

Now that the Tapu ban has been lifted, Land Registry offices across Turkey have restarted processing applications for the transfer of title deeds to foreign nationals. This is cause for celebration amongst investors, particularly those interested in buy-to-let. Recent survey results published by the Daily Telegraph and undertaken by independent travel group, Cooperative Travel, show that Turkey has pushed Spain from its top position as favourite holiday location for Brits, partly because of the over-valued euro, but also because the cost of living is a fraction of what it is in the UK.

Turkey is a popular tourist and investment location for a variety of reasons, not least because it is now better served by low cost airlines, making access easier and more cost effective. Most importantly, property in Turkey is still significantly cheaper than other similar locations. Now that mortgages for non-residents are gradually becoming more available and the government has passed its new Tapu law, investment in Turkey has been given the green light.

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