An up-to-date look at the buying process, restrictions and costs for foreigners purchasing property in Turkey
Buying property in Turkey is remarkably easy and the whole process, from signing a preliminary contract to completion, could be completed in a matter of days. Unfortunately, however, all foreign nationals must get permission from the Military Authorities, a process that at the best of times takes up to 12 weeks. At the moment however, there is a huge backlog of applications thanks to a freeze on foreigners buying while the country’s property legislation was re-drafted in 2005. Although the new law has been in place since January 2006, it is expected to take most of the year for things to get back to normal.
The recent amendments to the property law will not affect most British buyers. The main changes were to limit the amount of land that a non-Turkish national can buy to 2.5 hectares, and to limit purchases to within areas with an official town plan. Foreigners will also not be allowed to buy property in certain areas of military, economic and cultural significance. These areas are being defined at the moment, but they are not expected to include the popular coastal resorts where most British people buy.
Once you have decided on a property to buy, your will generally need to pay a deposit, which should be recorded in a contract between you and the seller. Never hand over any cash without a contract, and before signing anything get the document checked by a Turkish solicitor with experience of property law. Your solicitor will also need to make various checks and searches at the Land Registry and elsewhere. Once these are complete and you have received official clearance from the military authorities, then you are ready to pay the money and transfer the deeds into your name, a simple procedure that usually takes place in the local Land Registry office. Granting power of attorney can allow your solicitor or another trusted person to complete these formalities on your behalf.
Remember when budgeting to include all the costs and fees involved in the transaction. These include a 1.5% stamp duty, Land registry fees of about £160, the estate agent’s 3% commission and legal fees. If you are buying in Euros or US Dollars remember to use a recognised foreign currency broker rather than your bank, in order to get a better rate of exchange and to save on commissions and fees.