Turkey opens part of real estate market to Chinese nationals

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-8-24 11:05:12

A new Turkish real estate law, which was approved by President Abdullah Gul recently, conditionally opens real estate market to Chinese nationals, an attorney said on Thursday.

Compare to opening real estate market to individuals of 89 nationalities previously, the new law authorizes individuals of 183 nationalities to purchase real estate in Turkey.

Berk Cektir, an attorney from Turkish law firm Yingke, told Xinhua that Chinese nationals need to ask a permission from Turkish Interior Ministry before acquiring real estate in the country, a move will boost Chinese investment in Turkey.

According to the law, Chinese citizens can buy houses in Turkey for residence purpose only, but still are restricted from buying Turkish land.

The law marks the biggest opening in Turkey's real estate market to foreign investors, said former Vice President of the government's Privatization Administration, Suleyman Yasar, adding that it is designed to make Turkey more accessible to foreign investment and make Istanbul a global city.

Expecting more than 300 billion US dollars foreign investment in real estate, Turkish property markets anticipate dramatic increase of investment from China, Europe and the Gulf states.

Meanwhile, Cektir said the new law increases the limit on the size of land that the authorized foreign buyers can purchase from 2.5 hectares of vacant land to 30 hectares. If the buyers want to purchase more than 60 hectares of land, they will need a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning.

Also, the new law enables authorized foreign investors to purchase unconstructed properties. Buyers just need to provide plans for the construction on the land and submit the plan to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning within two years, according to Cektir.

If the ministry approves the project, it will be sent to the local land registry office, which will monitor the project.

Chinese investors need valid passport, Turkish residence permit, income statement and recent identity photos before acquiring real estate and they also need to apply to the local land registry office, according to the lawyer.

The application could be made in person or through legal representatives. The land registry office will check the limit on the purchase and after checking, the land registry will complete the transaction and grant the property with investor's name.

Turkey's economy has witnessed booming growth in recent years. It experienced a GDP growth rate of 8.9 percent in 2010 and 8.5 percent in 2011. It expects 6.7 percent average GDP growth from 2011 to 2017.

However, there is a high risk of earthquakes in Turkey, particularly Marmara region which is the major drawback of real estate purchase in Turkey that investors should take into consideration.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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