Can Foreigners Own Property in Turkey

Real estate has traditionally been considered a low-risk asset. For this and many other reasons, wealthy people sooner or later think about buying a house to live in, a villa for vacations, or commercial property for doing business, renting out, etc. At the same time, investors often consider options for buying property abroad. 

According to the Turkish Institute of Statistics, over the past few years, foreigners are increasingly buying property in this country. In 2021, citizens of other countries bought almost 40% more Turkish real estate than last year. Why is this type of investment so attractive to foreign investors?

Any foreigner can buy commercial or non-commercial property in Turkey. If an investor has spent at least 400,000 US dollars on the purchase of a property, they can apply for Turkish citizenship. However, there are some limitations to be aware of before buying property in Turkey for foreigners.

Restrictions on the purchase of Turkish property for foreigners

Although the Turkish government strongly welcomes foreign investment in Turkish real estate, there are several restrictions: 

  • A foreigner can buy a maximum of 30 hectares of land. 
  • An individual can buy up to 10% of the total area of ​​the area where the private property is located. 
  • Military restricted areas and security zones are prohibited from being considered for real estate investment. 

These restrictions do not apply to legal entities registered in the home country.

Benefits of buying property in Turkey for foreigners

  1. Citizenship by real estate investment 

One of the main reasons why foreigners are ready to invest in Turkish real estate is the opportunity to get a Turkish passport. Foreign investor and their family can obtain citizenship if they buy real estate in Turkey in the amount of $400,000 or more. These investments must be kept for 3 years, after which the sale of the purchased object is allowed.

  1. Immigration to Turkey 

Some foreigners buy a house in Turkey to move there. Turkey is a developed country with a developed infrastructure, a high level of health care and education, and a pleasant climate. The prospect of immigration to this country attracts many foreigners. However, you first need to get a residence permit. This can be done using the CBI program or in other ways: .

  1. Ease of buying real estate 

Usually, a buyer of real estate in a foreign country faces a lot of difficulties. Applications are processed for a long time, a large number of documents are required, etc. Fortunately, in Turkey, the procedure for buying property and obtaining documents takes only a few weeks.

How can a foreigner buy property in Turkey?

First of all, a foreigner must submit a preliminary application to the Land Registry Office. You also need to prepare some documents: 

  • Passport of the buyer and its photocopy; 
  • One photo of the seller, two photos of the buyer; 
  • Earthquake insurance policy for villas, offices, etc.; 
  • Document of the value of the property; 
  • Document of ownership; 
  • Certified translator if the buyer does not know Turkish.

The buyer must calculate in advance the approximate cost of paying taxes and other necessary fees. Among them: 

  • Expenses for notary services 
  • Fee for the Land Registry 
  • Expenses for the services of a lawyer 
  • Payment of property tax

Mortgages for buying property in Turkey for foreigners

Foreigners who decide to buy Turkish property can apply to a bank for a mortgage. In most cases, the loan amount is 70% of the value of the property. The mortgage process is as follows: 

  • The applicant contacts the bank, discusses possible loan options, and receives preliminary approval. 
  • The applicant must have a Turkish tax number. 
  • The applicant signs the final real estate purchase agreement with the Land Registry. 
  • The applicant applies for a mortgage.

Where is the best place to buy real estate in Turkey?

At the moment, the price per square meter of an apartment in the city center in Turkey is about 4 times cheaper than in the UK. The largest cities, such as Istanbul or Bursa, have a price of more than 1,000 euros per 1 square meter. In Ankara, Antilia, and Izmir, it is about 800 euros. 

According to expert Svetlana Gorchakova from the Immigrant Invest agency, almost half of foreigners prefer to settle in Istanbul. This choice is due to the size and developed infrastructure of the city. Also, this city is considered one of the most comfortable places for both small and large businesses. 

Ankara, Bursa, and Antalya also attract large numbers of immigrants. Buying an apartment in Turkey for foreigners in this place is more profitable than in Istanbul. There is also plenty of attractions, restaurants, shopping centers, etc.

Citizenship for the purchase of Turkish property for foreigners

The CBI program was developed by the Turkish government to attract foreign investment in the development of the state’s economy. A foreigner who takes part in this program can become a Turkish citizen. A Turkish passport will allow you to visit more than 110 countries of the world under a visa-free regime and obtain an E2 visa for living in the United States and all the rights that Turkish citizens have. 

There are other ways to obtain Turkish citizenship. For example, you can buy government bonds and open a business or a bank deposit. However, these methods require an investment of $500,000 or more. Buying a property requires $400,000 and is the cheapest way to get a Turkish passport. 

Considering the increase in real estate prices, such an investment can bring a profit from the sale in 3 years or from the lease. When buying, the investor must pay all taxes and fees. This will require approximately $15,000 to prepare. The amount will increase slightly if family members of a foreigner also take part in the program. 

An applicant for Turkish citizenship can obtain passports for their spouse and children under 18 years of age. They will also be able to enjoy all the benefits of Turkish citizenship. To participate in the program, a foreign investor must prepare documentary evidence of a legal source of capital for investment.

Other features of buying property in Turkey for foreigners

At the moment, Turkey has legal protections in place for foreign property buyers that ensure a safe buying process. Before using the services of a real estate broker, an investor should check the license. It is also worth checking reviews about the quality of the broker’s work. Some lawyers advise foreign investors to work with English-speaking professionals. Thus, the buyer minimizes the risks of misunderstanding, which can lead to unpleasant consequences.

Thanks to the tightening of the rules for buying property in Turkey, the number of fraudsters has significantly decreased. Foreigners can choose Turkish property to buy with confidence. Rising property prices, the opportunity to obtain citizenship, living in a country with a high standard of living, the possibility of obtaining a mortgage – all this motivates foreign investors to buy a house in one of the major Turkish cities or a quieter place, such as by the sea.