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BLOG Why The Pandemic Has Brought Expats Flocking To Antalya

12 March 2022 / Lifestyle



There’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic has set the world some serious challenges over the past two years. Governments, businesses and health professionals around the globe have been tested to breaking point, not to mention the countless personal tragedies.

But while few will be sorry to see the virulence of the virus and its various mutations depleted, thanks to vaccination programmes and public health campaigns, not all the changes wrought by Covid-19 are negative.

Bonds between nations have been re-forged in the fires of adversity. New governmental and commercial partnerships have developed. And interestingly – despite movement restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the disease – there are also places where coronavirus has played a part in changing regional demographics.

A good example is Antalya, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The number of foreign nationals registered as resident in Antalya has risen by 42,000 since 2020, with increasing numbers seeking to invest in Turkish real estate. Here are a few reasons why:

People have become digital nomads

One lesson many of us have learned from the pandemic is that the daily commute to work isn’t essential. We’ve discovered many of us can work efficiently from ‘home’ – so why shouldn’t that be a modern luxury villa on the Turquoise Coast?

Of course, not all employers are keen on having their workforce permanently operating away from a traditional office. It’s also true not everyone functions as well without a team around them or finds distractions around the house – pets, the fridge, the TV – too disruptive. Others also prefer to keep work and home separate, which is harder to do with a laptop sitting on the dining table.

But for some, new working arrangements inspired by the necessities of life with Covid-19 have been a revelation. Not only is working from home doable, but they’ve also worked out it doesn’t matter where home is. It might be a two-bedroom terrace in Leeds – or it might be a three-bedroom villa with a pool or a sea-view apartment, at least some of the time. Suddenly, living in Antalya rather than just visiting for a two-week holiday becomes a real possibility.

Welcome to the retirees

People from overseas have been retiring to Antalya for decades – that’s nothing new. But the pandemic, along with other world events, have made it an even more attractive prospect.

A recent article in Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper quotes one expat as saying that Covid-19 has pushed more people south. The draw of better weather, a warm sea to swim in, more freedom of movement and even greater availability of fresh fruit and vegetables have all played a part.

The fact Turkey is currently outside of the EU – and thus unaffected by Brexit – has also helped to attract British buyers looking for a place in the sun - to say nothing of the golf resorts at nearby Belek.

However, Turkey’s offer of citizenship to anyone purchasing property worth more than $250,000 has also proved attractive to wealthy Ukrainians, Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans and Kyrgyz nationals keen to enjoy a quieter life in a part of the world less ravaged by coronavirus.

Indeed, the Antalya province as a whole is home to foreigners from no fewer than 90 countries who, in 2021, bought a total of 12,384 properties in the region – second only in Turkey to Istanbul.

The lira

It’s no secret that the Turkish lira has been on the rack of late. Back in 2014, a pound bought you around 3.5 lira. Today, it’s more like 18.5.

That means, for those with sterling, US dollars or Euros in the bank, in Turkey their money is going a lot further. A property which might have been out of reach ten years ago might now be within their budget.

And it’s not just overseas investors keen to move in. More wealthy Turks from the nation’s bigger cities have also been cashing in their gold to purchase either a new home or a summer residence which they see as an investment more likely to generate a lucrative return.

Nevertheless, the lira’s decline has been so rapid foreign currencies still have the upper hand. Antalya in particular is drawing more investors – compared to other resorts such as Bodrum and Marmaris – because its size means there are generally more properties to choose from.

In January 2022 alone, residential property sales to foreign buyers in Turkey rose by 56.5% year-on-year to 4,186 units. Yet again, Istanbul was the most popular accounting for 1,771 but Antalya was second with 914.

How can we help?

If you’re looking for a property investment likely to retain or increase its value, if you prefer something with a sea view, close to a lively, year-round urban centre but within easy reach of summer pursuits, and if you’d like a home in an area steeped in history but building for the future – you should consider Antalya.

We’d love to help you find your dream home in Turkey and we’ll be there to help every step of the way, from selecting potential properties through to completion. Take a look at our portfolio and, when you’re ready, get in touch.

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