Turkish construction firms are rushing to promote their projects abroad after a law was passed that allows foreigners to purchase real estate in Turkey without requiring reciprocity. Fatih Tosun, Vice President of TSKB Estate Agency, says, “With the Turkish parliament’s passing of this draft bill, nationals of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and other nearby countries can own real estate in Turkey. With this new law, Turkey’s real estate and construction sectors are expected to boom.”
Major Turkish construction companies will soon be opening offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Iran, Russia and Britain to more aggressively market their projects.
Tosun argues that the Spanish model, which has already proven to be successful, will need to be adopted in Turkey.
He says: “In Spain, according to real estate registration statistics, 417,203 housing were sold in 2010, whereas in Turkey this number was 357,341. However, Spain is 35 percent smaller than Turkey in terms of population and area. In Spain, 18,561 of the sold houses were purchased by foreigners, or about 4.45 percent of total housing sales. In order to stimulate the estate market in Spain and provide solutions for the problems of the sector, the Estate Ministry (El Ministerio de Vivienda) was founded in 2004. In this respect, the Spanish case must be closely examined. I believe that a plan involving the creation of a Ministry of Estate is the best model for us to follow. The establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning was a major step, and similar endeavors regarding real estate should follow.”
Significant numbers of buyers from Germany, Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium have bought houses in Turkey. The most popular locations were Alanya, Fethiye, Didim, Bodrum, Kuşadası and Ürgüp. Tosun says that while Germans and Scandinavians mainly prefer Alanya, British buyers tend to go for Fethiye and Didim. “Buyers mainly prefer a second residence, especially summer houses. They prefer estates that are close to the beaches or have their own gardens. Recently there has also been a high demand for luxurious apartment flats,” he added.
Tosun also estimated the future house sales figures for Turkey: “In 2010, roughly 357,341 houses were sold. The annual sales figures for 2008, which was 427,105, had increased to 531,746 in 2009. Average housing sales over the last three years was 440,000 units per year. If the Turkish economy grows steadily and the repercussions of the crises in Europe are not severe, this number could rise to 600,000 units, which will be equivalent to $5 billion in housing revenue a year.”