Property Buyer's Guide to the Turkish Mediterranean
An established package holiday destination, Turkey has recently emerged as one of the hottest new property spots in the Mediterranean. Good beaches, great scenery and prices much lower than the region’s more established property markets, like Spain and France, have encouraged huge excitement from holiday home buyers. Despite a difficult year in 2005,Tukrish when the country’s property laws were re-drafted leaving thousands of property transactions frozen for over 6 months, the future looks exciting. New golf courses and marinas, better roads and expanded airports, are adding to the country’s appeal, while the possibility of EU membership in the not-too-distant-future, also bodes well for those investing in Turkish property. The rental market is starting to develop in the main resorts, such as Bodrum, Altinkum, Fethiye, Kalkan, Side and Alanya, with short-term and holiday lets arranged through tour operators, management agents or one of the many new rental websites. However, as a word of caution, remember that in an increasingly crowded marketplace, you need to carefully choose your property in order to achieve reliable rental returns.
So where are Turkish Riviera’s most popular places to buy? “We decided to buy a villa in Fethiye because it is a proper town and doesn’t close down in the winter,” says Tim Goodman, who moved out from Newcastle with his wife Jenny in 2004. “We love our new life, although it took us a while to get used to some things, like the crazy Turkish driving and the summer heat!” Tim and Jenny have also found it frustrating not to be able to speak to their Turkish neighbours, so they recently started language lessons twice a week. “Turkish people are so friendly and welcoming, but we wanted to be able to have a conversation,” explains Jenny. “It is also useful to have some simple phrases when you have someone working on the house.” Belek is Turkey’s foremost golfing centre, with no less than 6 international standard courses.
A 20-minute drive from the city of Antalya and airport, the resort has a long stretch of golden sand too. Not surprisingly, Belek is a property hot-spot, with over 35 new developments in the area. Do your research carefully, as not all are offering value for money. Check the details of each development and compare facilities, the size of units and building specifications. Prices start from £119,000 for a three-bedroom semi-detached villa or £145,000 for a detached property bought off-plan. “Belek is a really exciting area because of the golf and easy access to the airport,” says Taylan Gundeslioglu, owner of Letsgototurkey construction and estate agency. “But only recently have good quality properties become available.” Once a Roman slave market, the resort of Side has white sand beaches and some impressive ancient remains, including an amphitheatre and the evocative waterside colonnade of the Temple of Apollo. Due to its archaeological importance, development is strictly controlled around the resort itself, but there are numerous villa and apartment complexes nearby. A two-bedroom apartment typically costs from £55,000-£80,000.
Alanya is one of the Mediterranean’s hottest property spots thanks to its Blue Flag beaches, excellent leisure facilities and entertainment. The sea-girt castle – built by the Selcuk Turks – is another popular attraction. The local property market is dominated by apartments, which start from about £65,000 for a two-bedroom unit near the centre of town. But a 15-minute bus ride away to Mahmutlar and prices drop to under £50,000 for a similar size place on a new complex with good facilities.