Foreign Property Sales In Turkey See Record Jumps In 2014, Fuelled By Gulf Buyers

The Turkish property market has lost none of its appeal to foreign investors in 2014, after figures from Turkey’s Finance Ministry showed that purchases by overseas investors increased by 42 percent year-on-year in the first four months of the year.

Turkish Government figures released in June showed that foreigners bought $1.26 billion worth of real estate in Turkey between January and April, representing $367 million more than the $893 million clocked up in the same period of 2013. Foreign purchases for the whole of 2013 amounted to $3 billion, a 15 per cent rise on 2012, the year laws were changed to make it easier for foreign nationals in general, including those from the Middle East, to own property in Turkey.

“Significantly, real estate accounted for nearly a quarter of Turkey’s total foreign direct investment between January and April, which was a hefty $5.1 billion” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “And this total figure was up to for the period too, by a staggering 46 percent.” 

Much of the increased investment activity can be attributed to the snowballing interest from the Gulf nations, with Turkey’s Cultural and Tourism Office recording a surge in visitors from this region in the first four months of 2014.

In particular, there were large jumps in the number of visitors from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, namely 46 percent, 40 percent and 28 percent respectively compared to the same period in 2013.

The GCC, which also includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman, currently generates five percent of Turkey’s tourism revenues, which totaled $32.3 billion in 2013, according to Turkey’s official statistics agency Türksat. Istanbul remains the main attraction for GCC visitors, but Antalya, Bodrum and Bursa are drawing an increasing number of Middle Eastern visitors and property-buyers.

To encourage its Gulf tourist market, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry opened an Arabic-language website in late 2012. Meanwhile, the choice of flights between GCC countries and Turkey has grown further in 2014.

Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines now flies direct to Dubai five times a week from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen – this service was just thrice-weekly when it launched less than two years ago. In May this year, Turkish Airlines added three extra flights to its regular weekly schedule to Abu Dhabi for the summer.

In October 2013, Saudi Arabian Airways upped its service between Saudi Arabia and Istanbul Ataturk to 18 weekly flights, comprising seven flights between Istanbul and both Jeddah and Riyadh. This year also saw Jazeera Airways launch a new route between Kuwait City and Istanbul Ataturk, as well as Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines begin a new service connecting Kuwait with Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen. While in May, Qatar Airways launched a new four-times-a-week service to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen from Doha.

Spot Blue International Property is one of the UK’s leading Turkish property agencies, with hundreds of properties regularly listed and updated on its website, As well as helping developers promote their projects to the UK and other foreign markets, features properties for sale by private individuals. Spot Blue only promotes property of developers that pass its due diligence assessment. It also specializes in matching buyers with suitable properties and operates in all major resorts in Turkey. The company’s high profile in the UK means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions.

For more information and to browse properties for sale in Istanbul and key resorts across Turkey, visit

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