2019 Predictions for Turkey’s Property Market and Foreign House Buyers
Over the last year, Turkey’s property market picked up traction as foreigners flocked to take advantage of a weak currency, excellent prices, and a fast track citizenship program. While the eyes of the world are still on Turkey’s economy, many are wondering if 2019 will see a repeat of foreign property sales peaking at an all-time high.
Indeed, it looks like trends are here to stay during 2019, but there are some impressive stats from 2018 to beat. Last year, while domestic sales slowed down because of higher interest rates, sales to foreigners increased by a staggering 78% year-on-year. Roughly 40,000 homes were sold to nationalities from all over the globe. Can 2019 match those figures? We think so, and for good reasons.
The Turkish Lira: World’s Cheapest Currency
Deutsche Bank has called the Turkish lira “the cheapest currency in the world,” while German bank and finance company Commerzbank predicts there will be no change in its status for 2019. Inan Demir from Nomura PLC, who Bloomberg says is the best Turkish lira analyst, also predicts it won’t grow stronger in 2019. While this isn’t good for some industries, Turkish tourism and real estate sectors are benefitting as foreigners seek to take advantage while they can.
Turkish Citizenship by Investment
Another boost came in September when the Turkish government decreased real estate investment levels for Turkish citizenship from 1 million USD to just $250,000. According to Daily Hurriyet Newspaper, in the following four months, 250 buyers applied, having met requirements. With the scheme still in its first year, experts predict high numbers of applications throughout 2019. (More about the Turkish citizenship investment scheme.)
Popular Locations for Foreign House Sales
Here at Turkey Homes, we see no changes in favourite places where foreigners buy property. Istanbul, an economic, educational and touristic hub will still rank at 1st place. The expanding city, especially on the European side has several new and off-plan developments. A large choice of neighbourhoods and an extensive portfolio accommodating both budget and luxury buyers will dominate the market. (Reasons to invest in Istanbul’s real estate market.)
The Antalya region, including the city centre and smaller resorts of Alanya, Side, Belek, Kas, Kalkan and Kemer, will continue to dominate second place with European, British and Middle Eastern buyers. Covering a large region on the Mediterranean coast, many districts of Antalya appeal to budget buyers, but it also does luxury homes with style.
In 2019, we predict a growing trend for Izmir, an alternative to the busier city of Istanbul. Including the centre and coastal resorts like Alacati, Foca and Cesme, more enquiries are coming through, not only among foreigners but also retiring Turks who want to move from Istanbul. (Read more about favourite locations for foreign house buyers in Turkey.)
Brand Recognition and Trust
While foreigners are investing in Turkish properties, there is no suggestion they are jumping in without caution. Buyers want to deal with established agencies who have a proven track record and industry knowledge. Gone are the days when cowboys and fly-by-the-night agents ruined Turkey’s real estate reputation. These days, people want professionals who make a point of protecting their client’s investment.
Tolga Ertukel, owner and managing director of Turkey Homes says…
"Turkey's property market is thriving. There is a tremendous amount of interest worldwide but what we found as a company is many clients need assurances as to whom they deal with, the company, their credentials and their visibility so they can make the right decision to engage with a company they can trust. We are privileged to be a market leader, so our customers feel comfortable dealing with any of our regional branded offices."
Turkey’s Multi-Cultural Appeal
When Turkey first opened its door to foreign buyers, a majority of these were European but those days are gone as Turkey courts more countries around the globe. Strong relationships with China have boosted tourism, and as seen in previous years, a certain number of tourists turn into property investors.
Likewise, Turkey is increasing its appeal among wealthy Indians, of which many choose Turkey for their millionaire weddings, and end up making investments or doing business in the country. Dropping the reciprocal buying law in 2013 attracted Middle Eastern investors who now top the list of nationalities, and this trend will continue. Turkey is not slowing down. It wants to be a global brand, and evidence of its success will be evident in the real estate sector during 2019.