Clever land investors flying high in Turkey

Posted on 02 July 2013

Hungry investors looking for alternatives to today’s volatile financial markets should consider investing in land in Turkey, said Turkish property specialist Spot Blue, adding that buying land and building your own villa can also be a better long-term proposition for second homeowners.

“Opportunities to buy land come in all shapes and sizes, from the large-scale urban investment sites to the smaller ones on the edge of resorts suited to individual homes,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue. “We’re seeing a consistent demand for land in 2013. Currently, we have a client in the process of buying an 800-square-metre plot in Belek for around €110,000, giving the option of building a desirable private villa, or sitting on the plot and waiting to see if its value rises. An example of a deal generating interest from professional or institutional investors is a large site in Bodrum. We can source all types of land, to complement our estate agency business.”

Turkey’s real estate proposition was recently confirmed by the internationally recognized Knight Frank Global House Price Index, in which the country recorded the seventh highest rise in residential property globally during 2012, namely 11.5 per cent. This was higher than any other European country.

“The removal of Turkey’s restrictive reciprocity law last May has driven interest from Middle Eastern buyers in particular,” continued Julian Walker. “Many of these have long-term investment interests and come to us asking for help finding land deals in hot spots, particularly the rapidly developing suburbs of Istanbul, where demand for residential housing is booming.”

An example of a site currently available in Istanbul, an increasingly prominent global financial hub which could experience a major uplift if voted in September as host for the 2020 Olympics, is a 56,500-square-metre site in the Basaksehir district. With a purchase price of around £11million and good connections to the city-centre, 40,000 square metres of the site comes with planning permission.

Buyers of smaller plots, for the development of a second home, should bear in mind that local building rules dictate how much of a plot can be built on, typically 15-20 per cent. In general, areas in and around the centre of a resort, where plot sizes are usually smaller, might get planning permission for anywhere between 30 and 100 per cent of the plot size.

On top of meeting all national and local property regulations, other considerations when choosing a plot in Turkey should include: access to main roads and infrastructure, the gradient of a property and exposure to extreme weather conditions, views, the immediate surrounding area and possibility of further developments, and amenities in the wider area. Having a reliable contact for the construction of your property and watertight strategy for overseeing the project are also paramount.

“Bear in mind, as building laws become more stringent in Turkey, plots near a beach that can legally be built on are becoming scarcer and consequently more valuable,” concluded Julian Walker. “This makes speaking to experts so important. At Spot Blue, after an initial consultation, we suggest a trip out to Turkey, where we present the best options suited to each individual investor, whether they’re buying land or built property. Key to our service is using our contacts to match buyers with what’s available on the market at that particular time and helping them to navigate the Turkish buying process.”

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