Turkey’s ‘Golden Visa’ Scheme Could Boost Foreign Investment
Turkey’s real estate market is poised for a turnaround in international sales this year, thanks to a new citizenship law for foreign investors, said Spot Blue International Property in January, adding that the weakness of the Turkish lira will add to the appeal of investing in Turkish property.
Foreigners who invest in property worth at least $1 million and hold it for a minimum of three years will be eligible for Turkish citizenship, according to the new law published by the Turkish Government on 12 January 2017. This is similar to the Golden Visa schemes offered to non-EU citizens wishing to be become resident in a number of European countries.
Alternatively, Turkey’s new rules allow a foreign investor to become a Turkish citizen by either making a fixed capital investment in Turkey worth at least $2 million, buying $3 million worth of government bonds or depositing the same amount in a Turkish bank, or creating 100 jobs within Turkey.
“After the slow-down in foreign sales in the second half of last year, caused mainly by the political coup and security concerns, this is a welcome positive move that should help attract buyers back,” said Julian Walker, director of Spot Blue. “The threshold of $1 million will suit wealthy Arab investors in particular. Last year, Iraqis, Saudis, Kuwaitis and Russians bought the highest number of properties in Turkey. With this new law, we envisage this trend continuing, with interest from Syrians also growing.”
In January, a senior Turkish Government official predicted the new law would trigger an extra $1billion in revenue from property sales in 2017. Most of the sales are expected to be in Istanbul, with other areas of interest including the south-eastern provinces of Gaziantep and Kilis, and the Black Sea region.
“As a further sign of confidence, Turkey features on A Place in the Sun’s ‘Best Places to Buy in 2017’ list,” added Mr Walker. “They highlight Fethiye, Kalkan and Bodrum as particular hot spots with buyers.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s currency has continued to get cheaper for foreigners since the start of 2017, falling more than 10 per cent against the US dollar in the first two weeks of the year. This follows a year-on-year slump of 17 per cent during 2016.
Most foreign buyers looking to benefit from the citizenship law begin their property search in Istanbul. Spot Blue is selling a selection of luxury apartments at a modern complex near Taksim Square in the very desirable Beyoglu district. Three-bedroom duplex units with terraces are available from $1,329,600, currently sold off-plan.
Elsewhere, in the fashionable Bodrum area on Turkey’s Aegean coastline, Spot Blue is offering the chance to own one of two custom-built luxury villas on exclusive plots within walking distance of idyllic Koyunbaba Bay. The completed villa, fully furnished, is priced at circa $1,229,000.
A third $1 million-plus option could be a luxury six-bedroom villa in the most sought-after area of Kalkan, namely Kalamar. The property has all mod cons, but the views alone are extra special.