One of the first questions people ask when they’re thinking about moving to Antalya is how much it costs to live there. Prices for many things compare favourably to their home country and, suddenly, living on Turkey’s beautiful Turquoise Coast doesn’t just seem like an impossible dream.
If you’re serious about living in Antalya permanently, getting your financials in place is imperative. How much you need to live comfortably varies from person to person, but here’s what you need to bear in mind.
How will you live?
Aside from the nitty gritty of how much things cost, where will your income come from? Will you be in receipt of a pension or are you relying on private savings? Some expats invest their money in Turkey and live off the interest, but rates have dropped in recent years so check if this is viable for you. You can’t rely on getting a job if times are lean due to strict employment laws.
A place to call home
If you can afford to buy your own property in Antalya, you’ll always have somewhere to lay your head – which is reassuring in a foreign country. Property prices vary across the area, so whether you’re looking for a stunning sea view villa in Kalkan or a modern apartment in Antalya city, there’ll be something to suit your budget.
Many people decide to rent for a while first so they can decide exactly where to put down roots. While Turkey is cheaper than most European countries, rental prices have risen in recent months so this might not be cost-effective for long.
You’ll need to budget for maintenance costs for your home, and there will be a site fee for any shared facilities. There’s also council tax, which is usually a few hundred lira a year. It’s mandatory to hold earthquake insurance, which is worked out according to the size of your property; you’ll probably want household insurance too, to cover personal items in the event of loss, damage or theft.
Make it official
As a visitor, you can stay in Turkey for a specified period of time. If you’re British, this is 90 days out of every 180, calculated on a rolling basis. Beyond this, you’ll need residency. Costs are reviewed annually, but currently a first-time applicant can expect to pay the equivalent of $80. There’s an additional cost for your residency card and, if you don’t need a visa to enter Turkey, there’s a one-off tax; at time of writing, these are 125tl and 758.90tl respectively.
You’ll also need an approved private health insurance policy if you’re aged under 65; prices vary depending on your age and current health. A basic policy is inexpensive, but cover is limited. After a year you’ll be eligible to join SGK, which is the state’s health insurance. For 2021, the monthly premium for foreigners is 858.60tl; this covers a single person, a married couple (depending on age) and any dependants under 18. The cost is reviewed annually.
Many factors will affect your bills. If you live alone in a one-bedroom apartment without air conditioning, for example, you’ll pay far less than a family in a four-bedroom villa with a pool and under-floor heating.
There’s no mains gas, but you can buy a bottle for around 120tl; even if you cook regularly, this will usually last for several months. Electric bills will vary according to the time of year, but budget around 250tl per month as an average. For water, allow 50tl to 100tl per month, though this will be higher if you have a pool.
You can get an unlimited internet package for 100tl per month and a pay-as-you-go mobile phone package, which includes calls, texts and data, for 40tl.
On the road
Cars are expensive in Turkey, but the good news is they hold their second-hand value. Fuel prices are comparable with the UK, while insurance and tax vary depending on the age and type of vehicle.
You’ll also need to allow for administrative, translation and notary costs when buying your vehicle, plus insurance, TUV inspection – the equivalent of the UK’s MOT – and any maintenance or repair bills.
Daily household needs
There are several supermarket chains – Migros and Carrefour are seen as more ‘high end’ than Şok, Bim or A101 for most of your grocery needs. Most everyday staples are inexpensive. Expect to pay 2tl for a loaf of bread and 5tl for a litre of milk, while an eight-pack of toilet rolls is around 9tl. You can see a breakdown of average grocery costs across Turkey here.
People tend to use the local weekly markets for fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, eggs and spices – prices are lower and the quality is often better.
Red meat and alcohol are expensive. Expect to pay upwards of 80tl per kilo for a leg of lamb, or 130tl-plus for fillet steak. A bottle of red wine is around 50tl, while a bottle of Efes beer will set you back around 12tl.
Living the high life
Your lifestyle will have a major bearing on how much money you need to live in Turkey. If you plan to eat out several times a week, enjoy visiting the local bars each evening and go on regular excursions, you’ll spend far more than someone who mostly cooks at home and rarely socialises.
A steak in a restaurant might cost upwards of 120tl, but a chicken or pasta dish can be as little as 40tl. If you enjoy a drink, you’ll pay 90tl-plus for a bottle of wine, and an Efes will be 30tl or so. The lokantas are cheaper, offering excellent value for money.
So, how much do you need?
The frustrating answer is – it depends. Your home in Antalya, your lifestyle, whether you drink, smoke and run a car will all affect your budget.
As a rule of thumb, though, a property owner with a moderate lifestyle can live comfortably on 4,000tl a month.
Looking for your dream home in Antalya?
When you’re ready to take the next step, our experienced team is ready and waiting to help you buy your ideal property in Antalya. Take a look at our extensive portfolio here and feel free to get in touch for more information.