Turkish land 'safe haven' against volatile markets
By Steve Binge

Turkish land 'safe haven' against volatile markets

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Turkish land could be a safe haven for investors in today's volatile financial markets, according to one expert. Julian Walker, director at property specialist Spot Blue, claims Turkish property is becoming an ever more attractive illiquid asset at a time when pension pots and financial accounts aren't performing well. Land is a particularly attractive option for many, enabling buyers to construct a property to their own specifications. For second homeowners, this can be an attractive long-term proposition.

"We're seeing a consistent demand for land in 2013," Mr Walker said. "Currently, we have a client in the process of buying an 800-square-metre plot in Belek for around €110,000 (£94,128 approximately), giving the option of building a desirable private villa, or sitting on the plot and waiting to see if its value rises."

Opportunities to buy land aren't just available in rural areas either, with large-scale urban investment taking place constantly on the edge of popular resorts - good news for those looking to tap into the holiday let market.

The Turkish real estate outlook is certainly a positive one. Knight Frank's Global House Price Index named the country as enjoying the seventh highest property value increase globally in 2012 at 11.5 per cent. This is higher than any other European country. Price per square metre currently stands at €2,905, according to figures from the Global Property Guide. Monthly rents are €1,468 on average, bringing yields of 5.05 per cent.

The removal of Turkey's reciprocity law last May has only helped matters, pulling in a greater number of Middle Eastern buyers. "Many of these have long-term investment interests [in Turkey]," Mr Walker explained, adding that they are seeking property in "rapidly developing suburbs of Istanbul". Residential demand for property is increasing rapidly in the city and looks to only rise further. Istanbul is emerging as a global financial hub and if it secures the 2020 Olympics, investment levels in the country will soar.

However, buyers still have to be cautious and remember that local building rules dictate how much of a plot can be built on. When it comes to smaller residential plots, this is usually 15-20 per cent. Nonetheless, smaller plots in and around the centre of a resort may allow anywhere between 30 and 100 per cent of the plot size.

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