How to Buy Property in Turkey as a Foreigner

Who can buy property in Turkey?

Citizens of most EU countries, the United States, Canada, and other countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa can freely purchase properties in Turkey. Citizenship by investment is also possible.

Foreign nationals also face restrictions on acquiring properties within municipal areas with less than 2000 registered inhabitants (article 87 of the Village Act). Foreigners are also not allowed to purchase properties in the confines of military zones (Military Prohibited and Security Areas Act).

Do the research

Before you start looking at properties, it´s important to do your research and understand the Turkish real estate market. This includes factors such as the location, price range, and type of property you´re interested in. Additionally, make sure to check the reviews and background of the real estate agency you decide to work with. Having a good agent as your partner will help you avoid potential problems due to language barriers and find the best deals on the market. 

Some areas to consider:

  • Istanbul (Average rental yield 5.65%) -  The largest city in Turkey and one of the most populous cities in the world. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Istanbul is a major center of commerce, culture, and tourism. Real estate in Istanbul is very diverse and can cater to a wide range of budgets. There are luxury apartments and villas in the city center, as well as more affordable options in the suburbs. 
  • Ankara (Average rental yield 4.92%) - The capital of Turkey. It is located in the central Anatolia region of the country. Ankara is a major center of politics, education, and industry. Real estate in Ankara is generally more affordable than in Istanbul. There are a number of new developments in the city, as well as older apartments and villas. The most popular areas are close to the city center, e.g Çankaya.
  • Antalya (Average rental yield 6.12%) - Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its beaches, historical sites, and natural beauty.Properties in Antalya are very popular with foreign buyers, thanks to the city´s beautiful beaches and mild climate. There are a number of luxury resorts and apartments in the city center. Naturally, the most in-demand locations are close to the sea.
  • Bursa (Average rental yield 5.97%) - It is the fourth largest city in Turkey. Bursa is known for its historical landmarks, including the Ulu Camii (Great Mosque) and the Green Tomb. If you´re looking for more affordable real estate, Bursa might be the way to go with a 3-bedroom apartment setting you back on average USD$100,000
  • Izmir (Average rental yield 5.36%) - Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey, located on the Aegean coast. The Mediterranean climate is very inviting amongst foreign investors with potentially very high yields for studio apartments.

Where to find properties online:

Visit Turkey and the properties

Once you have completed your initial research about regions and properties online, it is strongly advised to visit the properties in person to familiarise yourself with the neighborhood and its surroundings. Also, seeing something in person will definitely give you a better overview of the property as a whole.

Make an offer

Once you´ve found a property you like, you can make an offer to the seller. The offer should be in writing and include the price, terms of payment, and any other conditions. If you have an excellent relationship with your agent, they will probably be of much help to get the best price possible for you.

Sign the contract, finalize the purchase

A 10% to 25% deposit is usually needed during the initial stage of property acquisition, i.e., upon signing of the purchase contract. Make sure to seek trustworthy legal help in this phase to avoid any potential scams and pitfalls.

Having a solicitor to do the conveyancing is not a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended. Notarisation of all property sales to foreign nationals by a government-authorized interpreter is, however, a legal requirement. Moreover, it is possible for the solicitor to act upon a power of attorney to complete the purchase process in case you are unable to physically be in Turkey at the time of the transaction. 

Once the contracts have been signed, the solicitor will check that all changes and titles are registered to your name. The final step is registering your Turkish title deed (TAPU) in the Land Registry. This can be done after all other documents have been completed and filed.

The whole process from finding the perfect property to finalizing the deal usually takes anywhere from 2-4 months.

What are the costs like when purchasing a property in Turkey?

Transaction Costs

    Who Pays?
Property Transfer Tax 4.00% buyer
Notary Fees 0.10% - 0.20% buyer
Legal Fees 0.50% buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 3.00% buyer
Costs paid by the buyer 7.60% - 7.70%
Costs paid by the seller 0.00%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 7.60% - 7.70%
Source: Global Property Guide

Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table

The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property - lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc.

Notary Fees
Notary fees and related costs are around 0.10% to 0.20% of the property value.

Property Transfer Tax
Transfer tax is levied at a flat rate of 4.00% on the sales price of the property or the market value of the property, whichever is higher.

Transfer taxes are actually split evenly between the buyer (2%) and the seller (2%) but in practice, the buyer pays for the transfer tax.

Real Estate Agent´s Fee
A real estate agent´s commission is typically 3.00% of the purchase price and is paid by the buyer. Real estate agencies do not include VAT in their commission.

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