Turkey is a wonderful place to live. With its beautiful climate (over 300 days of sunshine per year), fascinating history and culture, diverse, rugged scenery and warm, hospitable people, Turkey is being seen increasingly as a desirable location for second homes, holiday homes, investment and retirement. Most properties of interest to UK investors are near the coast. Turkey has 7,200km (4,473 miles) of coastline with stunning beaches and a mix of idyllic hideaways, bustling towns, quiet fishing villages and vibrant tourist resorts.
Let’s talk Turkey – demand for Turkish property
Below we have the exact number of searches for these particular keywords in December made by UK-based people through Google.co.uk. As you can see there is a vast difference in interest by the UK population between these popular Turkish locations:
|Search Keyword||Exact Search Volume on Google.co.uk in December|
|1. Kalkan property||260|
|2. Altinkum property||140|
|3. Bodrum property||140|
|4. Antalya property||73|
|5. Dalyan property||73|
|6. Fethiye property||73|
|7. Marmaris property||73|
|8. Alanya property||46|
|9. Akbuk property||36|
|10. Kas property||36|
|11. Icmeler property||16|
|12. Didim property||12|
|13. Hisaronu property||12|
|14. Calis property||0|
|15. Ovacik property||0|
What is the legal situation for foreigners buying Turkish property?
Turkey operates a ‘reciprocity principle’ in relation to property ownership. This means that foreign citizens may legally own freehold land and property in Turkey, providing that they are citizens of a country that extends the same rights to Turkish citizens. If you are a UK citizen (or any EU citizen, but check the regulations concerning your own country to make sure) you have the right to buy, or lease, a property in Turkey. You will need to obtain government approval from the relevant municipality before purchasing a property however, because some specific areas in Turkey are zoned for strategic importance. You may not build or buy property in these preserved zones.
As with every country (including the UK), the quoted price of a property is not the bottom line that you will be expected to pay. Purchase costs may vary wildly from one town to another or even one estate agent to another. Here is a list of items that you might expect to pay in purchase costs. This is not comprehensive and purchase costs are not regulated. When buying a property in Turkey (or anywhere) be sure that you understand all of the charges and that there will be no extra hidden ones. In Turkey, as well as the price of the property you can expect to pay:
Estate agent’s fees
Generally around 3% on a resale property but can be subject to negotiation.
Lawyer’s fees will vary greatly depending on the services that you require (whether you wish them to retain power of attorney for example). Once you have found the lawyer you wish to use, make an agreement and be sure of how much the fees will be. Anecdotally (from British expats in Turkey) you can expect to pay around £1000 on most property transactions.
Deeds transfer tax
This is payable to the Cadastral Office and is charged on properties bought from private individuals. The rate of the Deed Transfer Tax is 3.3% which applies to the property as a whole. In Turkey this is normally split equally between the buyer and the seller, make sure that it is clearly stipulated in the contract who is paying the tax and that it is calculated on the price you paid for the property.
Registration of title deeds
The cost of registering the title deeds can vary from place to place. You should expect to pay around £100.
Property tax (Emlak Vergisi)
This tax is payable by the buyer upon the transfer of ownership of the property at the Cadastral Office. The cost is 0.1% of the value entered in the Property Registry.
Your passport and all contracts will require translation by a certified translation service. Normally this should cost around about £150 – £180. It is worth remembering that, in the event of any dispute, it is the Turkish contracts that will apply regardless of what the English ones say. Make sure to use a reputable translation service and that all paperwork is correctly translated.
You will need the services of a notary and can expect to pay £140.
This is another charge that can vary from one municipality to another. Expect to pay around £300.
DASK (Compulsory Earthquake Insurance)
Turkey is on an active earthquake zone and consequently all Turkish properties are required to hold insurance against earthquake damage. Expect to pay around £50 per annum.
You might escape the UK climate, but you can’t escape VAT. New residential properties of over 150m² are subject to VAT at 18%.
This is the Turkish equivalent of the UK Land Registry. Expect to pay around £140 for the property to be registered and map referenced.
Last, but not least; the government will charge you around £100 in a tax to cover the administration costs of military checks.
How to buy a property in Turkey
Unless you have a good working knowledge of Turkish, Turkish culture and Turkish society, the idea of just turning up in Turkey and looking for a property is a bit of a no go. The best place to start your search is on-line. There are hundreds (probably more) of websites that specialise in overseas properties. These sites will give you a feel of what is available and what sort of prices you can expect to pay. If you want to take it further you will need an estate agent. Try using an estate agent that specialises in selling Turkish properties to non-Turkish buyers. Always use an estate agent that you know you can trust. All UK estate agents are bound by the Estate Agents Act, however on top of this there are a number of voluntary trade organisations to which estate agents may belong. If an estate agent is a member of a trade organisation they are obliged to follow the standards of that organisation. An estate agent that is a member of The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Guild of Professional Estate Agents can normally be considered as a reputable business.
What part of Turkey?
Turkey is a huge and diverse country. As a generalisation most UK buyers of Turkish properties choose locations along the Mediterranean coast. Areas such as Altinkum, Fethiye, Dalyan, Icmeler, Bodrum, Kalkan, Hisaronu, Calis, Marmaris, Ovacik, Antalya, Akbuk, Kas, Didim, and Alanya have all proven very popular with those looking for their own slice of Turkish heaven. With budget airlines providing regular connections and property prices comparing favourably to the UK, maybe now’s the time for you to get yours.