Middle EastTurkey

Gulf property buyers are growing a liking towards Istanbul, Turkey

Gulf property buyers are keeping their eyes on the Istanbul property market, despite recent geopolitical uncertainties.

Investors are still putting their money in these property markets and not being put off by other external factors.

The Turkish government introduced the golden visa scheme as an incentive to attract more people to the country. They announced that they would grant citizenship to foreigners who buy property worth at least $1 million and invest a minimum of $2 million or deposit at least $3 million in a bank account for more than three years.

For those investors with money, obtaining a golden visa doesn’t seem that far away. In fact, it is possible and opens up many investment opportunities on a long-term scale. This is why the gulf property investors are so interested in Turkey’s real estate market. The Turkish government believes that this new scheme will trigger an extra $1 billion in revenue from property sales in 2017.

Other positive changes are on the horizon for Turkey. Changes in stamp duty, land registration and VAT laws will all have a good impact.

According to CBRE, property consultant, Gulf countries (GCC) account for 50% of all foreign sales in Turkey. These countries include:

  • Bahrain – or Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • Oman – or Sultanate of Oman
  • Saudi Arabia – or Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)
  • UAE – United Arab Emirates

Istanbul actually attracted the most number of foreign buyers to the country. The investors that come from Saudi Arabia have emerged as the largest GCC real estate investor in Turkey, which is a huge part of the property sales market. The Gulf property buyers have never felt so excited about investing in Turkey’s housing market.

Foreign investors bought 18,189 properties in Turkey throughout 2016 and Istanbul was at the top of the list at 5,811.

Ahmet Akbalik, a board member of Gyoder, said:

“When we look at similar examples in different parts of the world, this sales figure for a cosmopolitan city like Istanbul tells us that there are significant opportunities ahead.

“We believe demand will have a significant boom thanks to the stable environment in our country with the disappearance of uncertainties and adoption of other structural steps such as conferring citizenship to foreign investors and offering them exemption from VAT.

“The main priorities for Gulf investors is the valuation potential of the real estate they purchase and the strong financial structure of the company realising the project.

“This is followed by proximity to the sea, historical and touristic sites of Istanbul such as Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet [Blue Mosque], Eminoni, Galata and Karakoy, and at the same time proximity to the city centre as well as to facilities like shopping, healthcare, sports and education premises.”

For some reason or other, Istanbul has always been popular among foreign investors and even by visitors. It has great transportation links, a rich and lavish culture, historical attractions and top living standards.

Buyukyali in Istanbul is a favourite place, thanks to the transport systems and infrastructure investments. The recent appreciation of the US dollar against the Turkish lira will benefit foreign investors, so the popularity in Istanbul, Turkey may not be shrinking anytime soon.

Written by Gemma Smith

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