Best cities to buy property in Turkey with prices

The foreign demand in Turkish properties has significantly increased in the last 2 years, and there are multiple reasons for that, including softened property prices (due to the lira fall against the dollar) and decreased price of the Golden Visa Program (which makes $250,000 now). Buyers from different countries head to Turkey to invest into real estate, to move there or to get a holiday home that will be available throughout the year. The most popular cities among foreigners to buy home are Istanbul (44,3% share of foreigners investing into real estate) and Antalya (21,2% share). According to Turkstat, 4,192 properties were sold to foreigners in July 2019. In comparison to the same period of the last year we see an increase in 46,7%. The champion is Istanbul with 1,903 sales, followed by Ankara and Bursa with 249 and 217 sales accordingly.

Commenting on the Real Estate Data of TURKSTAT in July, Aylin Daylan, chairman of the Endeksa.com Marketing and Sales Group, stated that overall property sales in July 2019 increased by 66,6% in comparison to June and decreased by 17,5% compared to July 2018. But now we see that it doesn’t affect interest in Turkish real estate from non-residents. He adds that they expect to see growing numbers in property sales until the end of 2019, taking into account reduced interest rate.

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Let's look at Istanbul first. Capital of first the Byzantine and then the Ottoman empire, even though it's no longer the capital city it's still Turkey's most buzzing metropolis with a population of 14 million. The average price for Istanbul’s apartment is €63,000. Big developments have put a big focus on on-site amenities and deliver good rental potential, though the market may be oversupplied, so be careful where you invest. Yields are also low compared to investments elsewhere, at 2% to 4%, the average return on investment period is 19 years.

Good choice for property investors

If you're looking for yield Antalya could be a better bet; you can get 7% or so here, depending on your choice of property. It's a very popular city with relatively cheap property prices. As the second most popular tourist destination in Turkey, it can deliver reliable income from holiday lets, and there are plenty of management companies which can make your life easier.

Antalya (together with nearby Alanya) attracts many nationalities, including Russians, Brits and Germans, so it's not dependent on any one source of buyers or tourists. It has a large expat population, and the city centre - unlike many smaller towns on the coast - is open for business all year. Mild winters make Antalya a great place to live year round, and it has great transport connections.

Outside the centre, you might consider neighbourhoods like Belek for golf, Side for its fishing-village atmosphere, or Lara Beach, Konyaalti, and Mahmutlar for a more laid back lifestyle.

Bursa - destination for bargain hunters

A city that's not well known to Europeans but has proven very popular with Middle Eastern buyers is Bursa. If you're more interested in historic sites and mountains than beaches, it offers fascinating Ottoman buildings, thermal baths, green parks and gardens, and it's close to Uludag where you can go skiing. Properties here remain cheap - starting at just $25,000 - with everything from city centre apartments to farmhouses. But the building of the new Osmangazi bridge has brought commuting times to Istanbul down to just over an hour, so prices are likely to rise over the medium term.

Tourist destinations

Another value for money destination is Fethiye, which is well sited for both mountain and beach lovers. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, and smaller villages like Uzumlu offer you a chance to get into the mountains and see a more traditional Turkish lifestyle.

Apartments in the centre of the city start around €36,000, often with amenities such as swimming pools, cafes, and gyms. Further out, neighbourhoods like Calis Beach offer villas from around €180,000, with private pools and lush gardens; Hisaronu is more of a party and nightlife town, while Ovacik is rather quieter but still with good facilities and price tags from €135,000 upwards.

Fethiye has a large expat population, and it's a hub for the whole Riviera with excellent transport links. Be aware though that some suburbs and villages pretty much close down for the winter, so as always, if you're looking for an all-year-round home, make sure you buy in the centre or that you've checked that businesses will be open all year.

If you're looking for a bargain, Altinkum/Didim is well worth considering. Its nickname of 'Little Britain' is a bit misleading - some areas do have a very touristy feel with all-day Full English Breakfast and Irish pubs, but head for Didim and you'll find traditional lokantas where you can eat Turkish food, as well as the ruins of a temple to Apollo. Make sure, then, that you pick the neighbourhood that suits your tastes.

There's a good rental market, and investors can get rental yields of 5-7% here - possibly more for seafront locations.

Finest coastal areas

If you want real luxury coastal properties you're best off looking at Kalkan. You won't find much here going for less than €99,000 or so, and luxury villas are more common than apartments, with prices generally around the €900K mark. Komurluk and Kisla are particularly sought after, quite secluded areas, and you can find really contemporary, architect-designed properties with high quality fit and finish.

If you can afford the investment, Kalkan can give great rental returns; some agents have suggested as much as 10% is achievable.

Finally, Bodrum is one of Turkey's finest coastal areas. It has always attracted Turkish second home owners as well as foreign tourists, and it's a fascinating place for history buffs with its ancient ruins and castle, as well as a great beach and marina resort. Because Bodrum is a peninsula, you're never far from the sea. It's also a city that has kept much of its traditional feel - houses are all low rise, with no skyscraper apartment blocks, and they are all painted white (in fact, that's now become a requirement for planning permission!)

The downside to all this is that you'll pay prices 50-60% higher than in Fethiye. However, reasonably priced properties do exist in Bodrum, even alongside the millionaire's villas in Yalikavak where the Palmarina super yacht berths attact celebs and business owners alike.

As so often, key to getting your dream property is to choose the right area, whether that's in the centre of Bodrum city, or one of the outlying towns and villages. If you want to get away from it all, head for Gumusluk, with its secluded bay; Gumbet is for watersports fans; or if you fancy all year round life in Bodrum, choose Bitez, with olive and citrus groves. Meanwhile, Golturkbuku is the most high end, exclusive area.

Be wise and do not rush with property purchase

As you can see property choice in Turkey will highly depend on the goal. E.g. investors should decide which destination to head to – busy cities or coastal towns, each of them has advantages – regular income from all year long rentals or summer rent-roll with opportunity to spend your own vacations in the property. Those who move to Turkey should first select the lifestyle and connection to expat communities if required.

House prices in Turkey are still very competitive in comparison to other countries like Spain or Portugal, but since international demand for Turkish properties is growing you might face unexpectedly high prices – there will be always locals who want to earn more from “know nothing” foreigner. Thus, you need someone who could help you in the process to advise on market peculiarities and ways to negotiate both the price and conditions. And of course, you need someone who speaks Turkish, it is really a must for anyone who is going to buy property in Turkey.

As always, check property offers from multiple agencies, compare their prices, all additional fees and conditions and make the right choice. For the moment it’s one of the few markets with high potential far from real estate stagnancy and crisis.