Property prices in Turkey remain low compared to other European countries, however, even with the high levels of foreign investment. This makes the Turkish property market an ideal investment opportunity.
Legally, Turkey treats foreign investors according to the principal of reciprocity: as long as their homeland allows Turks to purchase property, foreigners are allowed to purchase property in Turkey. In contrast to many countries, Turkey´s stance on foreign property investors is refreshingly simple.
The actual price of property is based on two major factors: property location and construction quality.
Areas where expats tend to settle are Istanbul (as Turkey´s business and cultural center), Ankara (for its political importance), and the south of Turkey (as a tourist region). The western, coastal part of Turkey is best for those who are more interested in culture and nature.
Istanbul: Istanbul is one of Europe's largest cities, with a metropolitan area population of 12.6 million. It is a 24-hour city offering culture, business, and night life.
Although there is a large quantity of available properties, there is a shortage of properties that are both reasonably priced and well-maintained. Some properties are in such poor condition that letters must have superhuman confidence to put them up for rent. Certain districts are so far away from the city center that they are impractical for anyone who doesn´t work in them, while others are simply not friendly environments for foreign residents.
Istanbul is a city of contradictions, and therefore one finds enormous price differences - sometimes between streets that are only 50 meters apart.
All of this means that you should carefully research your property, its value, and the surroundings before purchasing it. While this is true of any place in Turkey, it is especially important in Istanbul.
Southern Mediterranean Coast: Properties on the Mediterranean coast vary from regular flats or small houses to luxury villas. There are also residential parks designed especially for foreigners.
If you are looking for a house or a villa, be very careful about approaching so-called “co-operative properties” (developments of 40-60 homes financed by groups of people). In many cases, construction quality is poor. In others, the group financing the property has built more villas or houses on the property than were approved. The major issue is that co-operative properties are owned by the co-operative, not individuals. Even if you buy a house or a villa, legally, you will have secondary property rights (similar to those of a tenant).
Other regions: All other regions in Turkey have beautiful properties available for reasonable prices, though you will still have to do some research to find a property that suits your needs.
Property prices in Turkey
Property prices in Turkey can vary to extremes. The more convenient the location and the newer the building, the higher the property price will be. However, it is difficult to pin down price ranges because of the extreme variance. An entire flat might cost €90,000 for 180 sqm one one street, while just 50 meters away the same price will get you less than a bathroom.
Porperties in areas preferred by foreigners are generally more expensive than areas favored by Turkish people. This has less to do with the quality of the areas themselves as it does with the fact that property owners usually charge foreigners more money.
Therefore, it pays to shop around: Know the region you are looking at and use a variety of websites to see prices of properties similar to the one you are considering.
Potential problems when purchasing property
In many ways, buying property in Turkey is like buying it anywhere else. There are “dos and don´ts” that will protect you from fraud and even simplify the purchasing process.
First, use common sense at all times. Never sign a contract you can´t read, for instance, and get copies of the seller and his real estate agent´s Turkish ID cards (Kimlik).
Find a capable property lawyer before you start your property search. There are plenty of foreign language speaking lawyers in Turkey who can advise you. While their services won´t be free, their guidance will probably end up saving you time and money. You can find a list of Turkish lawyers and law firms specializing in property law at HG.org.
Have your lawyer review all contracts and documents, and never make any payments until he tells you that you should.
Finally, have the property valued by an independent source. Since many property owners charge foreigners higher prices, getting an objective opinion will help you negotiate a price, not to mention protect you from getting scammed.