Gulf investors drive foreign demand 3 years after Turkey’s law change

New figures reveal the extent of which Turkey’s property market was boosted by the country’s relaxing of ownership laws, with an uplift in buyers from the Gulf States especially notable.

Turkish property investments by foreigners are expected to be worth $5.5billion for 2015, after figures confirmed a value of $5billion for the first 11 months of last year. This represents just under double the value of foreign real estate transactions in 2012, the year Turkey did away with the reciprocal ownership laws that limited who could buy in the country.

“Turkish developers have adapted well to the foreign property buyers’ needs and tastes, be it Middle Eastern or European,” said the head of the Istanbul Constructors Association (INDER) Nazmi Durbakayim Durbakayim. “The lira’s depreciation, legislative improvements, state incentives for foreign realty investors and taking part in international real estate shows and events are also important contributors.”

In recent years, Turkish developers and construction companies have been participating in many international real estate exhibitions and shows, often in cooperation with the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT).

Meanwhile, buyers from Gulf countries have emerged as the top buyers in 2015, accountable for nearly half of the approximately 22,000 acquisitions made by foreigners in Turkey. Of these, Iraqis are ranked first with a total of 4,288 acquisitions, followed by Saudis with 2,704 and Kuwaitis with 2,130.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest metropolis and financial capital, remained the location of choice for foreign buyers in 2015, attracting 7,493 property acquisitions while the country’s most visited tourism destination, antalya“>Antalya came second with 6,072. Marmara provinces of Bursa and Yalova followed with 1,501 and 1,425, respectively.