Buying a house or apartment in Turkey – is a good investment for citizens of other countries who plan to move to the state, to visit it during the vacations or to rent housing. According to Turkish law, all foreigners who buy real estate for any amount can obtain a local residence permit. Persons who have made a purchase worth more than 400,000 USD, have the right to apply for citizenship of Turkey.
The main advantages of buying a home in this country include favorable prices (a standard apartment of 70 m2 can be purchased relatively cheap – about 34 500 USD), low utility bills, a wide range of different types of accommodation (townhouses, duplexes, apartments and other). Local real estate can be called cheap due to government policy and strict control of prices on the market.
Pros and cons of purchasing real estate in Turkey
Before purchasing real estate in Turkey, foreigners should weigh the pros and cons of the deal, and if they are planning to move on this basis – learn the lifestyle of local people, their mentality, culture and everyday life. The advantages of buying a Turkish apartment or house include:
- opportunity for additional earnings by renting out the property;
- wide range of options on the real estate market;
- possibility of obtaining a residence permit or citizenship;
- affordable prices.
Among the cons of buying real estate in Turkey are high rates for mortgages in lira (16% to 24% per year) and taxes.
What Turkish real estate a foreigner can buy
According to the law «On Land Cadastre» foreigners can buy real estate in Turkey up to 30 hectares and not more than 10% of the area in which it is located. It is also not allowed to buy an apartment or house near military facilities.
Applicants may consider for purchase the following types of real estate in Turkey:
- Apartments. Typical apartments in multi-storey buildings, equipped with all the necessary technology and furniture. Suitable for people who have just decided to move to the country and do not know where to look for the best place to settle down.
- Penthouse. Two-story apartments located on the top floors of apartment buildings. Most commonly, penthouses are found in luxury apartment complexes with rooftops that have swimming pools or spacious terraces.
- Duplex. Duplex apartment, located on any floor of a multi-storey building, except the last (without access to the roof).
- Villa. A detached house designed to be used by one family. Villas often have a front and back yard, parking space for 1-2 cars, and sometimes a swimming pool. You can buy a house in the city near the multi-storey residential complexes or in the suburbs. Most often, villas are built in elite cottage communities with a guarded territory.
- Townhouse. A house divided into two parts and designed to accommodate two families. The main feature of townhouses is that the neighbors do not meet each other because they have a separate entrance, yard and even pool.
- Land plot. Land is purchased to build your own house or farm. Land is most often located in the countryside and its price depends on the distance to the nearest large settlement or the sea.
A brief comparative description of real estate that foreigners can buy is shown in the table below.
|Real estate type||Approximate area, m2|
How to find a real estate object
Before the purchase of real estate in Turkey, a foreigner can use the following ways to select the offer.
Independent search for an object on the site
Applicants have an access to a large number of web resources where real estate agents and property owners place advertisements for the sale. On the sites, foreigners can read the prices, see photos, and learn all the important information about the object (location, area) in advance. The main advantage of real estate web resources for sale is the ability to immediately contact the owner and avoid dealing with the real estate agent. However, the foreigners must be prepared for the fact that all paperwork (contract, notarization) have to be performed by them. The most popular real estate websites in Turkey: emlakjet.com, hepsiemlak.com, zingat.com.
Addressing a real estate agency
Real estate agents help foreigners find homes according to their requirements. When contacting a real estate agency, the applicant signs a contract, pays for the services of a specialist, and explains their expectations of the apartment or house. The duties of an agent include the selection and preliminary examination of several options for buying, support for clients at all stages of the transaction (viewing, preparing a package of documents and the conclusion of the contract of sale). The disadvantage of going to a real estate agency is that the foreigner pays an additional fee to the organization (a certain percentage of the value of the object).
Purchase directly from the builder
Foreigners who are not considering buying secondary real estate can apply directly to the builder and buy a ready-made home or the one being constructed. The main advantage of this method is the opportunity to purchase a completely new object in a modern district or complex. The disadvantages include the fact that in most cases, builders sell housing without repair and furniture.
Addressing a real estate agent saves a lot of time and allows a foreigner to focus on other organizational aspects of moving to Turkey. A few aspects to consider when choosing a highly qualified specialist:
- License check. Before cooperating, applicants should check whether the real estate agent works legally in Turkey. A foreigner should ask the agent for a license in paper or electronic form.
- Clarification of the real estate agent’s specialization. A highly qualified real estate agent works in 1 or 2 fields, such as the sale of secondary housing or apartments in new buildings.
- Researching reviews about the specialist. Recommendations of the agent can be found on Turkish forums. Also, a foreigner should study the number of announcements posted by a real estate agent on specialized real estate websites – professionals always have a lot of work to do.
- Figuring out an agent’s work plan. An experienced real estate agent always has a clear sequence of actions that will help you find the best object to buy.
To find a real estate agent, a foreigner needs to contact the selected real estate agency, as well as call a specialist via any of their announcements on the website for the sale of housing.
Where do foreigners buy Turkish real estate
Turkey is associated with the sea, so most foreigners prefer buying houses and apartments nearby. The most popular regions of the state among foreigners:
- Mediterranean coast;
- Central Anatolia;
- Marmara Sea region.
Before choosing a region, a foreigner should carefully study its climate, assess the opportunities for their own development while permanently residing in it (enrollment in college, employment). In the case of buying real estate to rent it out, the immigrant should calculate its profitability, as well as take into account the popularity of the locality among tourists. Based on the above, the foreigner will be able to choose the best city for the purchase of the object.
The region includes many large cities such as Antalya, Marmaris, Mersin and Alanya, as well as small resort towns such as Side, Kemer, Bodrum. The Mediterranean coast has a great number of modern hotels, aimed at tourists from Europe and post-Soviet countries. Real estate prices in the region are higher than in other parts of Turkey, due to the high demand for it – most foreigners prefer buying a home on the coast.
- proximity to the sea;
- well-developed infrastructure;
- international airport (Antalya);
- developed transport links between the cities;
- large number of free city beaches.
Disadvantages of the region:
- noise on a regular basis;
- high prices;
- orientation of stores at tourists, due to which the prices of food and other goods can be inflated.
In the center of the region there is the capital of Turkey – Ankara. Often foreigners consider buying homes in other major cities: Konya, Kayseri and Karabük. The area is less popular among tourists, so house prices are not very high compared to the Mediterranean coast. In the larger cities, immigrants have the opportunity to find high-paid jobs. For example, one of the largest Turkish steel factories, Kardemir, is located in Karabük.
Main advantages of the region:
- low housing prices;
- well-developed infrastructure in major cities;
- opportunity to find a high-paid job;
- proximity to the capital of Turkey;
- developed transport links between cities and towns.
- most locals do not understand English;
- low demand for apartment rent (if the applicant is planning to buy an apartment with the purpose to get profit from its renting).
Marmara Sea Region
The territory is located in the western part of the state. The most popular cities among foreigners are Istanbul, Bursa, Çorlu, Bandirma and Tekirdag. Those who prefer to live a more peaceful and measured life, consider buying a home in small, but developed villages: Saray, Lyuleburgaz and Silivri. The most expensive houses are in Istanbul, in other cities the prices are much lower, because they are not so popular among tourists.
Advantages of the region:
- low prices for apartments and houses;
- proximity to the airport in Istanbul;
- large seaport and other places for employment.
- polluted water in the sea due to the large number of ships entering the port of Istanbul;
- higher prices during the tourist season for food and household goods due to the influx of foreigners;
- no opportunity to swim in the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus Strait (for safety reasons).
The cost of an apartment or house in different cities of Turkey
The cost of Turkish real estate depends on the following factors:
- Location. The cost of an apartment or house by the sea is much higher than inland. Also, on the price affects the popularity of the region among tourists: the more foreigners visit the area each year, the higher the cost of objects there.
- Infrastructure. In developed cities, housing is more expensive than in small towns. Metropolitan areas give foreigners more opportunities in work, business, education and self-development – they have to pay extra for this.
- Real estate type. Housing in new buildings is much more expensive than the secondary market. Foreigners have the opportunity to buy a modern apartment in Turkey in a new residential complex with a swimming pool, gym and protected area, but the price will be much higher.
- Area and number of rooms. Spacious townhouses, penthouses and duplexes are more expensive than standard studio apartments.
The table below shows an average price of apartments and houses in popular Turkish cities among foreigners.
|City||Average cost, $|
|Apartment (100–130 m2)||House (approximately 300 m2)|
|Istanbul||40 800–51 700||202 700–330 700|
|Ankara||34 600–45 800||from 280 000|
|Antalya||64 400–239 200||210 700–277 400|
|Alanya||114 100–270 500||351 000–608 200|
|Kayseri||33 000–88 000||from 189 000|
|Bursa||81 300–129 300||from 933 600|
According to the report of the Data and Statistics Department of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, as of October 2022 real estate prices rose by 188.2% in nominal terms and by 56.3% in real terms compared to the same period in 2021. This phenomenon is associated with a high demand for the purchase of housing among foreigners.
Guide in purchasing a home in Turkey
Registration of the deal on the purchase of real estate takes place only in the land registry and cadaster in the location of the object. Foreigners have the opportunity to sign unilateral promise of sale (preliminary agreement) in the presence of a notary. An immigrant must have a valid passport or other form of identification for the deal to take place. In special cases, the competent authority may require a residence permit, a power of attorney and a certified copy thereof (if the applicant is represented by a third party). After registering the agreement, the foreigner receives a contract of purchase and sale of real estate, as well as a special document TAPU (cadastral sheet), which is a confirmation of their ownership rights for the housing.
Deposit for the object is made in advance, at least 1 day before signing the main contract of purchase and sale in cash or in installments to the seller. The amount of the deposit is specified in the respective agreement and ranges from 5% to 50%, depending on the prior verbal agreement of the parties. The buyer may cancel the contract within 14 days from the date of signing and without paying the penalty, if the seller is notified of his decision. Paying a deposit for the object is optional, but usually all owners require a down payment to guarantee the transaction. For the buyer, the deposit serves as proof that the home will not be sold to another person during the inspection.
Legal inspection of the object
Before purchasing real estate in Turkey, a foreigner needs to order a Due Diligence. The lawyer examines the apartment, house or plot of land and issues an opinion on it:
- seizure, litigation, and other proceedings;
- previous owners;
- technical characteristics of the object and their compliance with the standards.
The specialist also checks whether the object of purchase was a collateral for the loan. A foreigner needs to order a legal inspection of real estate in private companies, the service is paid.
Account opening and TIN
In order to open a bank account and carry out the purchase and sale transaction, the buyer must have an individual tax number (TIN). A foreigner should visit the official website of the Tax Service and submit an online application for an e-version of the document. When filling out the application form, the applicant provides the following data:
- first name, last name;
- mother’s and father’s names;
- date and place of birth;
- country code of residence;
- phone number;
- residence address;
- passport number, date of issue and expiration date.
If the applicant is in Turkey, they can apply in person to the tax office for a paper version of the document. When applying they fill out a similar application form and provide their passport. TIN is issued within 15 minutes after checking the identity card by an authorized officer.
With an individual tax number, the applicants have the right to open an account in a Turkish bank if they intend to pay for the transaction in a non-cash way. The applicant needs to prepare the following package of documents:
- application (to be issued at the bank);
- international passport;
- Turkish TIN;
- local phone number.
Foreigners should go to any bank branch and specify to the authorized employee that they need to open a bank account for the transaction of purchase and sale of real estate.
Signing the contract of purchase and sale
The contract is drawn up by a Turkish notary. The document must contain the following information:
- name of the object and its full address with the region, city, street, registration number;
- description of the real estate object (apartment, house, townhouse or other) and its area;
- sum of transaction and deposit (in figures and words);
- place, way and time of payment;
- full data of the buyer and seller (surname, name, TIN, sometimes – passport data);
- rights and obligations of the parties;
- fees to be paid to the land registry and to the notary.
According to the Turkish Civil Code and the law «On Protection of Consumer Rights» real estate purchase agreement is valid only after its signing by two parties, the official registration of the document and notarization by an authorized officer of the state body (representative of the land cadaster or the magistrate).
Payment and registration of ownership
A real estate purchase and sale transaction may be paid in cash or non-cash by prior agreement of the parties, as well as in different currencies (US Dollar, Euro, Turkish Lira).
After the foreigner has paid the full amount for the object, the buyer re-registers the real estate through the General Directorate of Land Cadaster and receives the TAPU. In advance, the participants of the deal need to submit an online application for the transaction with the documents on ownership rights.
Signing a contract for the provision of utilities
New owners of real estate, who received the TAPU, need to reissue personal utility accounts. A foreigner can sign a contract for water, gas and electricity only after taking out special insurance against earthquakes DASK. To obtain the policy, the applicant must go to the company’s office in Istanbul and provide complete information about the object of real estate (address, year of construction, number of floors, area), themselves (name, surname, TIN, Turkish phone number) and confirmation of ownership of the apartment or house.
Connection of utility services in Turkey is done by private companies. In advance, the foreigner must find out which company is a service provider in their area, and visit its office to sign a contract. In addition, the applicant pays a fee according to the tariffs of the company.
|Company||Utility type||Approximate one-time fee, $|
Features of buying and owning real estate by foreigners
An apartment or house in Turkey can be bought by both foreign individuals and legal entities. Any foreigner can buy housing, regardless of whether they are the holders of a residence permit.
If for any reason the buyer cannot make their own purchase of real estate in Turkey, they have the opportunity to draw up a general power of attorney for a third party. The foreigner has the right to delegate authority to an experienced lawyer who knows the possible nuances of the purchase of housing in this country.
Foreigners who want to buy a home on credit must first obtain a residence permit or work permit. To obtain a mortgage, an immigrant may additionally need to provide a guarantor – a Turkish citizen. An object of real estate serves as collateral. Standard package of documents for obtaining a mortgage loan:
- application form (issued by a bank);
- residence or work permit;
- insurance of the object and the buyer;
- income certificate;
- registration documents of the real estate object.
In addition, the financial institution may require other documents, such as a specialist opinion on the legal inspection of real estate.
When a real estate purchase and sale agreement is made, the buyer and seller are required to pay a transaction tax of 4% of the value of the object. Most commonly, the state fee is divided equally between the parties, but they can agree to pay the fee by one party.
Real estate tax in Turkey is paid by all owners at a rate from 0.1% to 0.6%. The final amount of the state fee depends on the value of the object prescribed in the right of ownership.
Foreigners who became owners of real estate in Turkey have the opportunity to earn extra income from renting it out for more than a year. The main requirements that an immigrant must follow:
- residence permit of the tenant;
- conclusion of an agreement and notarization of the document;
- registration of tenants at the address of the object with the Civil Status Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Without a license, foreigners are not allowed to rent out their apartments or houses for short periods. In order to implement this opportunity, a person should conclude a special contract with a real estate agency, according to which a certain percentage of the profit is paid to the agent.
The main costs of maintaining the real estate in Turkey:
- Annual tax. The amount that the owner must pay depends on the value of the object, type of real estate (apartment, house, land) and location. The rate varies from 0.1% to 0.6%.
- Utilities. The price of 1 kW of electricity is about 0,073 USD, 1 m3 of water — 0,27 to 0,43 USD. Not all regions of Turkey have a gas pipeline, so many locals use cylinders, the cost of which is about 9 USD.
- Home maintenance (aidat). Real estate owners in multi-story residential complexes independently set the fee for the maintenance of the house and territory at the general meeting. On average, a one-room apartment is charged between 37 and 53 USD per month.
- Home Internet. The approximate monthly fee for Internet and wi-fi at home is about 7 USD. Prices can vary slightly from provider to provider.
Responsibilities of the owner
Foreign owners of real estate in Turkey must meet the same requirements as locals:
- pay an annual tax;
- not to violate the rules of the apartment complex (if they own an apartment);
- pay the utility bills and the aidat;
- maintain the real estate object in a proper condition;
- follow the rights and legal interests of the neighbors.
Residence permit and Turkish citizenship by purchasing real estate
According to the law «On Foreigners and International Protection» for citizens of other countries who purchase real estate in Turkey, it is possible to obtain a short-term residence permit. There are no requirements for the amount of purchase by the government. Applicants can apply for a residence permit, if they are the legal owners of the apartment, land or house, and use the object strictly for its intended purpose. Immediate family members (spouse and children) are also eligible to receive a residence permit along with the applicant. The main requirements for applying for a residence permit:
- having a share in the purchased real estate;
- providing a registered address of residence in Turkey;
- no criminal record in the country of permanent residence.
Applications for residence permits are processed within 90 days from the date of submission. In exceptional cases, the deadline can be extended, of which the foreigner is notified.
Individuals who have made investments in Turkish real estate are entitled to receive state citizenship by presidential decision. The value of the land, apartment or house cannot be less than 400,000 USD or the equivalent amount in foreign currency. One of the conditions for obtaining citizenship is that the investor has the right to sell the object only 3 years after the purchase. Term of consideration of applications by authorized state body is from 6 to 8 months. Requirements for foreigners who wish to obtain a Turkish passport:
- age of majority;
- no diseases that may threaten the health of the people;
- good reasons for living in the country (in this case – housing);
- no threat to the national security of the country.
Real estate in Turkey for EU citizens
EU citizens see Turkey as an attractive country for business development and investment for several reasons:
- state is a potential candidate for accession to the EU;
- opportunity to buy cheap real estate in Turkey compared with other countries of the European Union;
- high security level in the country;
- state is a full member of NATO;
- opportunity to obtain a second citizenship when making an investment;
- loyal attitude of the Turkish government to EU citizens.
Also, EU passport holders can buy a house in Turkey next to the sea at a reduced cost (many Turkish make tacit discounts for Europeans).
Foreigners should obtain the support of qualified migration specialists at the initial stage, which will launch the process of buying real estate in this state. Then the applicant does not need to look for their own real estate agents and other professionals to conduct the transaction — everything will happen on an established automatic chain. Get more information at the consultation of migration lawyers.