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Can a US citizen buy property in Turkey?

Posted by david on 9 April 2022
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An Explanation on:

“Can a US citizen buy property in Turkey?”

In general, we can say that foreign nationals are able to purchase properties everywhere in Turkey. There are no restrictions for any nationalities to purchase real estate in Turkey, except from properties in military zones. If a foreign investor wishes to obtain the Turkish citizenship, it is possible to start a Turkish citizenship by investment program. The terms for this procedure are a minimum investment of $250.000 Dollar. It is possible to purchase multiple properties with a total amount of minimum $250.000 Dollar.

It is definitely possible for US citizens to buy a property in Turkey. Over the years, Turkey has become one of the top-rated destinations in terms of holiday and living purposes. US citizens can purchase land, and property in Turkey on their names. The properties should be located in Towns and not in rural, military zones. 

Before the Title deed exchange, an application must be shown to the local Land Registry Office where the property is located. This institute is doing background checks, and verifications of the property to be purchased in Turkey. After their approval, documentation of the purchase price needs to be provided. The last step in this procedure is the actual title deed exchange.

Property Purchase Investment Law in Turkey

If a foreign investor wants to enter the citizenship by investment program, a notarized contract needs to be set-up confirming that the sale is made by a cash transfer and stating that the foreign property buyer/investor is restricted from selling the property in the first 3 years after purchase. Foreigners are able to apply for citizenship with off-plan (under construction) properties in Turkey as well.

The main rules regarding Citizenship by Investment in Turkey:

  • A property purchase worth at least 250.000 USD.
  • The property purchase commitment has to be organized by the notary.
  • The notarized agreement should indicate that the mentioned property will not be sold in the first 3 years after purchase.
  • The property purchase commitment is valid for off-plan projects as well.

Updates Citizenship procedure in Turkey 2022

Recently the Turkish government made some changes in the conditions for obtaining citizenship through property investment in Turkey. According to the new regulations, the purchase amount determined in foreign currency should be sold to the Turkish Central Bank. It basically means that the purchase amount in Dollars or Euros should be converted into Turkish liras. Furthermore, foreign nationals are not able to sell the property they bought in Turkey for three years. These rules are only focussed on the Citizenship by Investment procedures in Turkey. If a foreigner wants to purchase a property without the program of citizenship, these regulations are not applicable. 

Foreigners and appraisal report for Property in Turkey

These days it is mandatory for all foreign property buyers in Turkey to invite an independent valuation company to make an appraisal, and determine the value plus technical details of the property before the actual Title deed exchange, and transaction of funds. This procedure is mandatory in all cases regardless of the citizenship procedure in Turkey.

If foreign clients are planning to purchase an off-plan (under construction) property in Turkey, there were some setbacks for citizenship applicants, since the value in the appraisal could differ from the value in the sales agreements. With the new regulation this rule is cancelled, and a notarized sales agreement is sufficient when purchasing an off-plan property.

Work permit and Residence Requirements

Purchasing a property in Turkey does not grant you permission to obtain a work permit in Turkey. However, if a foreign investor decides to become a Turkish citizen, and after the procedure of citizenship in Turkey is finalized a work permit is not needed anymore. 

A residence permit is providing permission for foreigner to stay the whole year around in Turkey. In general, these permissions can be extended each year. In order to purchase a property in Turkey it is not mandatory to apply for residency. Nevertheless, if a foreigner does not have a residence permit, it is still needed to apply for a Foreigner Identity Number in order to proceed with the property purchase. 

Foreign citizens who purchase properties in Turkey

In 2021, foreigners purchased a total of 68,168 properties in Turkey. 22% percent of these transactions were made with the purpose of obtaining citizenship. In 2021, foreigners invested in approximately 15.000 real estate units in Turkey. 80% of these transactions were made in Istanbul. In the year before (2020) 41.000 property units were purchased by foreigners in Turkey. In that same year 11.600 properties were bought for Turkish citizenship purposes.

Which nationalities are buying properties in Turkey?

On top of the list from nationalities who purchase the most properties for citizenship in Turkey are Iranians. The second largest group of property investors in Turkey are Iraqis, followed by Afghans, Yemenis, Chinese, Egyptians, Jordanians and Pakistanis. Russian nationals bought a significant number of properties for Citizenship in Turkey as well.

In which areas are foreigner buying properties in Turkey?

Although for many years Istanbul was the most preferred city in terms of foreigners who purchase properties in Turkey, we see a big trend of more foreign investors selecting İzmir as an area to reside. The main factors for this are that İzmir is a more relaxed and comfortable city to live in, with the coastal area Çeşme nearby and the most beautiful beaches of Turkey. Other popular holiday destinations are Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, and Bodrum on the Aegean Coast.

The Reasons to Buy a Property in Turkey

Main Reasons for buying a Property in Turkey

In general, you do not need a lot of money to enjoy the Aegean/Mediterranean lifestyle in Turkey. The low cost of living, amazing climate, delicious food, friendly population, and beautiful areas are one of the main reasons why foreigners are buying properties in Turkey.

Other factors why foreigners buy properties in Turkey

Turkey is an important actor on the world scene, located between the East and West. Throughout the years Turkey developed a rich history of trading and doing business with numerous countries. Setting up a business is quite easy in Turkey and the procedures for organizing this are in general less complicated, in comparison with western countries. The authenticity and the population’s more flexible approach to religion is a big advantage for many property buyers. 

Turkey is not only very popular because of second citizenship purposes. It has a proven track record of a very lucrative and appealing real estate market. The return on investment in
A locations in Istanbul and İzmir, is attracting foreign investors already for many years. 

İzmir is becoming a more attractive location for real estate investment in Turkey, with new land projects in the suburbs and penthouses in some of the city’s most desirable areas. Expats are drawn to İzmir’s laid-back atmosphere and diversity in nature areas, located nearby the luxurious coastal resort Çeşme, and easy access to some Greek Islands. The economically strong position of İzmir in combination with the big industrial harbour and its ‘Western’ quality of life are excellent reasons for investing in this region.

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