Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci says the country is set to follow in the footsteps of Spain, Portugal and Cyprus and launch its own Golden Visa scheme to grant citizenship to those foreigners who invest from €500,000-€1m in property.
Leading Istanbul agent, Universal21, says the move could revolutionise the Turkish property market. Director Adil Yaman, says, "Turkey, and the country’s biggest city of Istanbul, is widely lauded as a cultural melting pot and this is certainly – increasingly – the case in the property market. In recent years growing numbers of external buyers have looked to purchase property in this wonderful country, and the exciting new announcement by the Minister looks set to escalate this to impressive levels in 2016".
"Benefitting individuals looking to purchase in a growing market, providing welcome advantages alongside their property purchase, as well as the economic benefits for Turkey as a whole, this is a positive move from the government for a country open to, and welcoming of, foreign investment".
The number of overseas buyers in Turkey rose 19% year-on–year from January to September 2015 and by 26.1% in Istanbul, according to data from the statistics office, Turkstat.
With the success of the Portuguese Golden Visa scheme, which has brought in €1.47billion of investment since its launch in 2012, €1.33billion of which was from property purchases, it is easy to see why this would be a welcome move for Turkey, says Universal21.
Compounding the notion that the nation is focused on expanding the already flourishing property market, the government says it wants to see overall foreign investment reach $10billion.
The knock-on effect of the proposed scheme to the sector and those who operate in it, as well as to the country's coffers as a whole, is clear is welcomed by the agency.
September saw Turkey's largest city of Istanbul overtake Antalya as the top Turkish location for house sales to foreigners, registering a growth of 26.1% from January to September 2015, compared to 2014 figures.
Universal21 are providing new projects in response to this growing demand in the city for high quality, affordable housing. Having just launched their new project, 7th Avenue, the agent is already seeing impressive interest levels. Situated in the middle class neighbourhood of Old Beylikdüzü, in close proximity to local amenities and restaurants, a 20 minute drive from Ataturk international airport, a short drive from the beach and a 10 minute walk from the area's major shopping centre, Marmara Park, 7th Avenue is perfectly located.
Hotel investments have also increased considerably in 2015 with the Turkish government pouring investment into its hospitality sector to meet swelling visitor numbers, particularly in Istanbul. There has also been a rise in investment from the Middle East this year with buyers focusing on buy to let opportunities in Istanbul's up and coming suburbs.
Despite geo-political tensions, Turkey's real estate market has improved significantly this year, supported by rising tourism and increased affluence. The introduction of the golden visa scheme will further incentivise buyers from non-EU countries seeking the advantages of European residency.