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Ten reasons to invest in Turkey

Rhiannon Williamson, from offshore investment firm Shelter Offshore, offers 10 top reasons, why canny property investors are looking at Turkey.

Anyone who has visited the stunning Turkish Riviera will have no need of the information in this article - because Turkey is a destination that sells itself upon arrival. From the first “hello”, or rather “merhaba”, the majority of visitors to resorts such as Dalaman, Bodrum, Izmir, Side or Antalya are transfixed by the unique combination of incredible landscapes, fabulous climate, fascinating history and welcoming people. This is probably why, according to The Observer newspaper, some 17,000 Brits have already chosen Turkey as their overseas nation of choice, when it comes to buying a property abroad. These 17,000 have focused on the Southern Turkish coastline which hugs the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas, because they know they can enjoy long sunny days from April to November, and also enjoy a nation that is rapidly advancing in terms of its appeal. To service these homebuyers and the increasing numbers of tourism arrivals, new flight operators are joining the ranks and there has been a sharp increase in both the frequency and number of flights to Turkey’s Riviera from Europe and the UK since 2006.

New property developments in Turkey are also stepping up to offer the canny consumer something better in the way of both choice and quality, and so if you’re considering buying a second, retirement or permanent home abroad, here are the top 10 reasons why you should be considering Turkey in 2008.

1.) Turkey has learned from Spain’s mistakes - Town planners in locations such as Bodrum are acutely aware of the incredible architecture that history has bequeathed them and the inimitable landscapes that nature has bestowed upon them. As a direct result of this, unlike in certain parts of Spain where beachfronts have been ruined by questionable high-rise architecture, Turkey’s town planners are restricting the height and density of construction. This means the beautiful Turkish Riviera will be protected for generations to come.

2) Property prices in Turkey are affordable - Despite seeing property price appreciation since 2004, prices for real estate in Turkey remain affordable because demand has only been so intense and the rate of construction has so far kept up with demand. As greater awareness of the attraction of Turkey prevails, tourism arrivals increase, the ease of buying develops and demand creeps up, so an intensification of the rate at which property prices will increase is expected.

3.) Tourism in Turkey is growing - According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, both business and personal travel and tourism activity is expected to grow significantly between now and 2016 in line with government expenditure into the travel and tourism industry and the wider international promotion of Turkey. This bodes well for anyone considering buying property in Turkey for investment purposes specifically - and of course, it means that there is likely to be growing demand from this increased base of visitor over the longer term for homes to buy in Turkey - as this year’s tourist is often next year’s home buyer. This is good news for anyone buying in Turkey. Why? Because at some point down the line there may come a time when they want to exit the market and sell their home. With greater demand for property for sale, a profitable resale is much more likely.

4) Turkey has attracted quality international developers - From UK-based BraemoreGemini to Dubai’s Emaar Properties, Turkey is attracting the leading developers of the world which not only proves the viability of the market in investment terms, but it means as a consumer, a home buyer will have a choice of high quality property to choose from.

5) Mortgages and insurance are available in Turkey - The Turkish government is determined to nurture their property market and as a result they are gradually implementing significantly important legislation to ensure the market remains as open and competitive as possible. To this end mortgages are now available in Turkey and what’s more, the improvements in legislation and the quality of the house builders now constructing in Turkey has brought international insurers to the market to offer home and contents packages to buyers - so secure are they in the Turkish build quality nowadays. This gives buyers more options in terms of financing and more security in terms of committing to a purchase.

6) Long term EU prospect looks promising - Turkey is slowly but surely working towards EU entry. They have much to do to meet all the criteria laid out for entry, but the main thing is that the authorities and the majority of the people are behind accession. Improvements in everything from human rights to basic infrastructure are being made all the time - and as a part of this improvement program, all is being done to make property laws comparable with those in European Union member states - this again gives buyers confidence and security in the market.

7) Inward public and private investment is increasing - Business is the first to realize what pending EU entry means to a nation’s economy, which is why significant international private investment is now flowing into Turkey. Companies are expanding in the region, other businesses are establishing operations and headquarters in Turkey and corporations are positioning themselves in Turkey’s market well ahead of EU acceptance as they know this will put them in the best place to profit the second Turkey gets the nod from the EU. This private level of investment is boosting the economy, it is providing jobs and it is making Turkey a land of opportunity. In addition, the government is plugging millions into the improvement of infrastructure especially in the Turkish Riviera region. All of this is a value added bonus to anyone, who buys a property in Turkey in 2008.

8) The cost of living in Turkey is low - Turkey has an incredibly low cost of living for day-to-day essentials such as the food that we eat and the energy that our homes consume. This is because prices have to be kept at a level the local consumer can afford. Those who move to Turkey from a Western background and take with them an income in the form of a pension perhaps, will find that they can live like kings and queens in Turkey.

9) Quality healthcare is available at affordable prices - Whilst there is little in the way of free public health care available in Turkey for overseas visitors and expatriates, the quality and affordability of private care is exceptionally high. Doctors are often internationally trained and experienced so many of them can speak English and/or German, they use the latest equipment and yet charge Turkish prices. Anyone considering a relocation is wise to get private medical insurance - but because Turkey’s healthcare is affordable, so is the insurance. This is a bonus for those considering buying property in Turkey to live in at least semi-permanently…it gives a nice secure feeling that should one fall ill, one will be very well taken care of.

10) The climate, the atmosphere, the people, the cuisine and the views. - Need we say more? (999today. UK)