Everything you need to know when buying a house in Turkey
Whether you are planning to relocate, retire, invest, or seek a vacation home; Turkey can be a great opportunity. The stunning weather, wide choice of vibrant cities and beautiful coastal resorts makes Turkey an excellent option. However, this is not the only thing... the biggest draw is the property price.
This article discusses issues surrounding buying property in Turkey, as a foreigner of course. All sorts of things are covered; the cost, getting a Golden Visa and much more.
But let's start with a quick look at the state of the real estate market in Turkey.
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What is the real estate market like in Turkey?
The Turkish real estate market has seen huge price increases over the past year, with an increase of as much as 30% in early 2021; this means that it is a seller's market. The good news for buyers is that there has recently been a huge growth in housing development and renovation projects, which may lead to an increased housing supply in the current market.
Demand for real estate decreased due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fortunately the real estate market was supported by local demand and the drop-in mortgage rates. This resulted in growing demand, which increased mainly among foreign buyers.
Can foreigners buy property in Turkey?
You do not have to be a Turkish citizen or resident to buy property in Turkey. However, buying a house in Turkey does not automatically give you the right to live there. Foreigners may still need to apply for a visa or residence permit.
There are also a few restrictions that foreign buyers should know before they begin their search for property in Turkey: foreigners cannot buy more than 30 acres of property in Turkey, and it is not allowed to buy or rent property in military bans and military zones.
Is it safe to buy property in Turkey?
Buying property abroad will always feel riskier than in your own country, partly because you must get used to unfamiliar legal processes. Also, the Turkish real estate market has not always had such a good reputation among foreign buyers. Reading occasional horror stories about scams, fraud and other problems has deterred some potential buyers in the past.
But the reassuring news is that following an increase in foreign investment, the Turkish government has tightened controls to protect buyers and prevent real estate fraud.
As nice as it is that controls have been tightened, you will still need to take a few steps to protect yourself.
For example, do thorough research on lawyers and real estate agents - do they have the right qualifications and accreditations? It is also smart to work only with English-speaking professionals, this way you avoid the risk of miscommunication. At ConnectHouses we have already figured this out for you, one less thing to worry about!
Can I buy a house in Turkey and get citizenship?
Like some other countries, Turkey has a Golden Visa scheme that grants citizenship to foreigners. There are a few ways you can get the Golden Visa. For example, you can start a business, deposit a certain amount of money in a Turkish bank account and buy real estate.
If you choose to buy property to obtain the Golden Visa you must purchase a property of at least $250,000, - (or the equivalent in another currency). Once you have purchased the property, you will be issued a permanent residence card, thus you can immediately apply for Turkish citizenship. If this application is accepted, you will receive your Turkish passport within 3 to 6 months.
How do I find a property in Turkey?
If you do not live in Turkey and/or are unfamiliar with the market, it is a good idea to use a real estate agent. When contacting a real estate agent, remember to ask about the Vocational Qualification Authority. Realtors have been required to have this certificate since last year; the certificate indicates whether a real estate agent is accredited.
If you would like to see properties from different real estate agencies, you can contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org. We will listen to your needs, how small they may be, and help you with your search. Because of our exclusive and extensive network of real estate agents in Turkey, we will find the right property for you.
How do I choose the right property?
Types of real estate
Turkey's architecture perfectly reflects the country's character, a fascinating mix of East and West. This means that many different architectural styles can be found, ranging from modern European villas to Ottoman mansions.
Property styles vary from region to region, with more wooden houses in the north, while houses in the west and south are mostly made out of stone. The most common housing type in Turkish cities are apartments; in the suburbs, these are villas. These are also directly the most popular options for foreign buyers. However, everything depends on what you are looking for, your budget and location.
State of the property
Turkey introduced new laws in 2019 that require all foreigners buying or selling property in the country to obtain an appraisal report. This is not only necessary for the land registry to approve the transaction, but it can also help you assess the condition of the property before you buy it.
What should I look out for?
- Buying "off-plan" property without doing sufficient research. This puts you at risk of the builder or developer going out of business before your home is completed;
- Buying an investment property in an area where rental income is low;
- Not inspecting old buildings properly; Some of the older buildings in Turkey are cheaply made, and require a lot of work and investment to repair;
- Trying to do everything yourself; It is always advisable to work with trusted, qualified professionals when buying a property in a foreign country;
How do I get a bank loan/mortgage?
If you need a mortgage to finance the purchase of the property, there are a few options; in fact, Turkish banks offer mortgages to foreign applicants.
Typically, lenders offer foreign applicants a loan-to-value (LTV) of 70%, and some have a minimum loan amount of about €67,500. One thing to watch out for is that lenders insist on performing their own appraisal, as it can be about 10-15% below the market price.
What are the legal requirements for buying property in Turkey?
Here are some of the most important legal details you need to know before buying property in Turkey:
- DASK earthquake insurance is required before your Tapu* can be issued;
- If you do not have a residence permit, you will need to obtain a foreigner identity number from the Immigration Department of the TNP;
- You will need a tax number from the local tax office so that you can open a local bank account;
- For new property, you will need a document known as an Iskan*;
*In other words, the Tapu means that you are the rightful owner of your property in Turkey.
*The Iskan gives permission to use and occupy the building. It confirms that the building regulations have been met, social charges for the construction workers have been paid and so on. The Iskan was created to combat undeclared work. Nowadays, it sometimes happens that an Iskan is not delivered because the social security contributions have not been paid by the construction company.
What taxes and fees do I have to pay?
Costs may vary between different regions of Turkey, but here is an idea of the main taxes and fees:
- Notary fees; from €200;
- Purchase tax (similar to stamp duty); 4% of the purchase price;
- Land registry fees; € 125;
- Brokerage fees; approximately 3%;
- Legal fees; at least € 500,- ;
Are you looking for a property?
It is possible to submit your active search query to ConnectHouses. The platform has a unique and diverse network of a large number of real estate agencies across Europe.
Based on your criteria ConnectHouses specialists can actively search for that one unique home you have always dreamed of. Our specialists often get a different offer than what is publicly available because of the exclusivity on the housing market, which often occurs in countries like Spain and Italy, regardless of the price range. We therefore have access to the "silent market".
You can then choose to go through the purchase process yourself with the support of a ConnectHouses buying agent, or undergo this yourself with one of our affiliated real estate agencies.
Interested in submitting your search request to ConnectHouses and curious what such a process looks like? Contact one of our colleagues at email@example.com, we would love to help you find your dream home!