Turkish real estate delights tailored for GCC investors

The property market in Turkey is in substantial growth mode since the new government eased restrictions on real estate transactions involving foreign citizens in May 2012 and also allowed them to buy land. Since then, the real estate market has consistently attracted the interest of foreign buyers especially from oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Overall value of investment in real estate, according to real estate information company Reidin.com, skyrocketed by 500 per cent in the period with 24 per cent of foreign buyers originating from the GCC and others mainly being from Russia, Germany and UK. Expectations are that GCC buyers, mainly from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, will spend up to $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) next year for Turkish property, and sales to the region are expected to rise by 20 per cent, whereby the GCC interest will remain focused on Istanbul, and primarily on high-end property.

''The Turkish real estate market is expecting revenue of $5 billion from the sales of about 20,000 houses to the foreigners in 2015 alone. The target for the year 2016 is 40,000 houses and revenue of $10 billion,'' says Ceyda Carmikli, Executive Board Member of Nurol REIT.

''Istanbul's attractive capital returns and strong capital appreciation are drawing substantial interest from this region. The security offered by Turkey's government-protected title deeds, combined with a young population who have housing needs, are appealing to both the homeowner and buy to-let investor,'' she added.

These facts have prompted Turkish real estate companies to beef up their promotion activities in the Gulf. For example, at Cityscape Global 2015 in Dubai, 61 exhibitors out of 369 in total were from Turkey, which accounts for 15 per cent of all exhibitors. In August, Nurol Real Estate Investment Trust, or Nurol REIT, a part of Turkish industrial conglomerate Nurol Holding, ventured into the region and just recently announced that it appointed one of Australia's largest and longest established real estate agents, Raine & Horne, through its Dubai branch as lead agency in the GCC for a Dh3-billion property portfolio in Istanbul.

The portfolio comprises three large developments: Nurol Life, luxury residences in the heart of Istanbul in the Seyrantepe area with views over the Bosphorus; Nurol Park, a mixed-use community in close proximity to Ataturk Airport which comprises of two commercial and eight residential buildings and one hotel, targeting first-time investors at affordable prices; and Nurol Tower, a residential and office building next to Istanbul Court in the Maslak area nearby Taksim and busy Nisantasi Avenue.

''Turkey is a key market for today's property investors, and our buyers in the GCC are demonstrating their confidence in Istanbul's healthy property market,'' says Sanjay Chimnani, Joint Managing Director of Raine & Horne Dubai, adding that Nurol REIT's developments ''offer opportunities with a range of different properties to suit different buyers.'' And they were Raine & Horne's ''first foray into Europe''.

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Source: Arno Maierbrugger, Special to Property WeeklyPW


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