Turkey has become incredibly popular with both holiday homeowners and expats over the years. Not only does the country have a rich, ancient and interesting history with an impressive and attractive cultural heritage, but property investors are attracted by the beautiful weather, stunning coastlines, colourful waters and unspoilt locations. Particularly popular locations include Antalya, Bodrum and Fethiye, areas offering modern and state of the art apartments and villas. It is also much easier to buy a home in Turkey than it is in many other European countries, with its fast turnaround being an attractive prospect to investors all over the world.
Where can I buy property in Turkey?
Foreigners may purchase land and property in Turkey in their own names provided that properties are located in towns, not in villages or rural areas. The property purchased must be located within the boundaries of a municipality or borough. The land or home purchased must also be located outside of military zones.
Property Purchase Procedure
Of course, to begin with, you need to find a property that you want to buy. For international investors, Istanbul is a stand-out location, especially those from the Middle East. For our British buyers, buying a holiday home is a lifestyle choice and most tend to look at the country’s coastal areas on the Aegean or Mediterranean Seas. Turkey Homes offers properties in all of the popular coastal resorts such as Fethiye, Dalyan, Kalkan, Antalya, Side and many more. Most people tend to buy a relatively modern property in Turkey and the quality of new-build homes has improved drastically in the past decade. Brand new apartments and villas are available with a more contemporary open plan style, some with beautiful outdoor areas and swimming pools. Whatever kind of property or location you are looking for, Turkey Homes has something for everyone.
Once you have found your dream holiday home, Turkey Homes will draw up a contract with you detailing the agreed terms and conditions of the purchase. This will include the amount of your holding deposit, a date agreed where you will pay a full deposit and the final balance cost of the property. A legal translator appointed by government notary offices will be present for the duration of the process so that you fully understand everything.
The legal translator then takes the buyer's passport(s) to the Notary for translation. This is necessary for security and property location checks. The translation takes a maximum of half an hour, after which the passport(s) will be returned to the buyer.
Local office consultants from Turkey Homes and the buyer will then take the contract to a local solicitor. Your solicitor is responsible for overseeing the applications for the TAPU (title deeds) and the Iskan (habitation licence) as well as dealing with contracts. The Iskan is a technical passport for your real estate which holds information about your property such as the number of floors and indoor infrastructure. The TAPU is an official document that shows property ownership. This document will include the owner’s photo and an official stamp and signature. It is vital that a TAPU is checked for authenticity by making sure that the name on the TAPU matches the sellers. Your solicitor will check all of this for you as well as making sure that the TAPU does not come with any debts and matches the property in question.
All parties will then sign the contract written up by Turkey Homes, witnessed by the solicitor, the legal translator, and one other witness.
On completion of the contract, you will be required to leave a holding deposit to secure the property (Minimum holding deposit accepted is GBP 1,000 or equivalent) Properties at and a date will be set for you to pay a full deposit which is usually 1-2% of the purchase value of the property.
It usually takes about five weeks for the security and property location checks to be made and approved. The first step is military clearance, whereby it is checked that the property you are buying is not situated in a military zone. Once the application has been approved by the Land Registry Office and all other paperwork is in place, you will pay the remaining balance on your property and your solicitor will sign over the deeds of the property.
In order to acquire the title of a property, an application has to be submitted to the local Land Registry Office in which the property is situated. After carrying out necessary searches and checks for the above-mentioned requirements, the transfer of the title is done by the Land Registry Office. In Turkey, it is legally compulsory for both sides (the seller and the buyer) to be present at the entry in the property register during the transaction, the proofs or the documents concerning the transfer of the full purchase price into Turkey must be presented to the Land Registry Office.
It is at the point of deed transfer that all taxes and charges will be paid. You will need to pay a buyer’s fee to Turkey Homes which will be set at 3% of the value of the property. You will also need to pay the purchase tax (stamp duty) which amounts to 4.4% of the assessed value of your property. The assessed value is normally around 60% of the purchase price, so your purchase tax will be 4.4% of 60% of the value of your property. This tax goes to the local municipality (council).
As a new property owner, once the purchase process is complete, you will receive your TAPU (title deed). You will need to register with the local tax office and open a Turkish bank account which is compulsory in order to register a property in Turkey. In order to open a Turkish Bank account as well as your original copy of your passport, you will also need to provide another form of identification with your home address in the country you are residing. This could be in the form of a driving licence, any utility bill ( electricity, water, gas,etc ) or council tax bill. Once the bank account is opened, you will be given a dedicated tax number and you must register the fact that you now own the property with the local municipality.
Connection Fees, Tax and Insurance
Once you have the keys to your new holiday home, you will need to pay one off connection fees for utilities such as electric, gas and water. You will also be required to purchase earthquake insurance. Turkey does experience earthquakes and this insurance is mainly for peace of mind. All new build properties come with an earthquake warranty certificate by developers, but if you are buying a slightly older property, Turkey Homes recommends that you ask for one of these certificates.
Annual property tax is collected by the municipalities (the equivalent of council tax) at the rate of 0.3% for land and 0.1% for a house. Costs can vary slightly depending on your municipality and in the big cities these figures are double. All properties are subject to revaluation every year for tax purposes. If you are buying off-plan, as the buyer you must complete an affidavit and submit this to the municipality for tax purposes within 3 months of completed construction. Turkey Homes are happy to guide you through this process for the first time.
Your acquired property may be resold or rented out and the proceeds may be transferred out of Turkey.
What are the costs of buying property in Turkey?
The following illustrates the one-off costs of purchasing property in Turkey. The figures noted here are representative of a property sale of £100,000. All figures are quoted in GBP.
Purchase Tax 4,000 (generally lower - assessed value not the purchase value)
Buyers Fee 3,000
Solicitors Fee 1,000
Notary Fee 300
Gas & Electricity 200
Military Application 400 (to be abolished soon)
The total purchase cost of your property amounts to approximately 9% of the cost of your new property. However, due to the fact that the purchase tax is generally paid on an assessed value equivalent to 60% of the contract price, the eventual costs are around 7%.
Off Plan Properties
Of the costs above, purchase tax, gas, electricity connection, and military application fees are payable upon completion of your property. This means for off-plan purchases, upfront costs are only about GBP 4,000 (4% of your property value) and the remaining is due after the completion of your property, which could be 12 months away. For new build and resale properties, all costs generally are due within 2-3 months of the contract.
While the process may seem complicated at a first glance, Turkey Homes will always be more than happy to guide you through the process with the best advice possible.