Can Foreigners Buy Property in Istanbul?

4 mins read

Many people ask can foreigners buy property in Istanbul? The excellent news is that all nationalities apart from 4 can purchase an apartment or villa, in Istanbul, and many other areas of Turkey. They are Syrians, Armenians, North Korean, and Cubans. Some nationalities like Greeks, Georgians and Russians have restrictions in place, mainly because these are bordering countries.

The law that allows many nationalities to become Turkish homeowners has been in place since 2012. Before that, only citizens of reciprocal countries could buy, but when the government changed the law, Turkey’s real estate market took off to new heights with international sales.

You can not buy in a military zone and are restricted to a certain number of hectares. Aside from that, look forward to affordable prices and a simplified buying process. To prove the system works, let us look at the stats. In 2018, foreigners bought 14,270 houses in Istanbul, and in 2019, this rose to 20, 857. (Stats provided by Daily Sabah newspaper.) But before you delve in, here are some things to know about the Istanbul housing market.

Tips for Foreigners Buying Property in Istanbul

1: Property Prices

Prices per square meter vary across neighbourhoods, so do your homework to ensure you stick to your budget. Properties lining the Bosphorus shores of the Bosphorus command the highest prices per square meter, especially Ottoman Yali mansions that always sell for millions of dollars. Likewise, given the iconic status of the Princes Islands, their pricy Ottoman mansions mean you are purchasing a slice of nostalgia for old Constantinople.

can foreigners buy property in Istanbul

Likewise, purchase in the Beyoglu or Fatih districts of new and old Istanbul, and prices will be higher because these are established hubs for tourism, nightlife, and shopping. At present, outskirt European districts offer the lowest prices per square meter because mass investment into infrastructure also presents ideal potential for capital appreciation.  Find out more about where to buy property, and which districts are leading the way for investment and lifestyle in this article.

2: Citizenship Investment Scheme for Foreigners

Many customers also ask us if buying property entitles you to residency or citizenship. Whenever you buy property in Turkey, if you want to use it for over 90 days out of 180 days, you will need to apply for a residency visa. If you want citizenship, you need to buy property, worth at least $400,000 and sign a declaration to say that you will not sell it for three years. Both the residency and citizenship by investment scheme are separate to the property buying process but are simplified and straightforward. Read more about Turkey’s citizenship by investment scheme for real estate.

3: Is Investing in Istanbul a Good Decision?

Yes, it is. Istanbul, despite not being the country’s capital, is the leading hub of everything, including tourism, education, business, finance, art, culture, fashion and much more. Everything happens around the clock in this city. However, do not jump straight into the deep end. For capital appreciation, individual districts soar ahead of others. Some developers are offering off-plan discount prices and interest-free payment plans which provide more opportunities to save money and boost your return on investment.

4: What is the Process for Buying?

One reason Turkey is popular with many foreign house buyers is because of the quick and easy buying process. If your finances are in place, it takes as little as three to six weeks. The first step is to decide on your budget. Do not forget to factor in roughly 9 to 10% for additional buying costs like taxes and notary fees. In Turkey, house buyers do not have to use a solicitor when buying a property. Still, we recommend it because they complete all the checks and ensure contracts and payments follow government advice.

Istanbul property

The next step is to browse our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing features price, location, home features, and an enquiry form to find out more. Alternatively, if you are in Istanbul, or plan to visit, call us to arrange a viewing trip of neighbourhoods suiting your lifestyle and potential properties matching your budget. Once you have chosen your home, we walk you through each step of the buying process, until you sign for your title deeds and put the key in the door. Read more about the property buying process here.

Also of Interest

Is Turkish Property a Good Investment? We have helped many foreigners buy property in Istanbul and other areas of the country. Some buy for use as a summer holiday home, others because they have plans to live out here, and some because they want a profitable real estate investment to boost their property portfolio. In this article, we discuss how to maximise your return on investment, with advice on whether it is safe, and tips to navigate the market.

Is Turkey a Good Place to Live? Many foreigners move out to Turkey. Those who enter the job market head towards the enormous cities like Istanbul or Ankara, while those who retire mainly settle in towns on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. In this article, we look at official surveys to find out what people think about living in Turkey.


About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.

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