Despite the beautiful coastline of Turkey and the affordability of its holiday properties, the lengthy purchase process for foreigners has historically put off some buyers.
Until now, foreign nationals buying property or land in Turkey have had to apply for military clearance – a check to ensure that the land upon which the property sits is not located in a military zone (foreign nationals can't purchase land and property in zones declared as military zones).
This process, from submission of clearance application to receiving the clearance, generally takes around 6-8 weeks, during which time the buyer can't register title to property.
This delay has not been ideal for buyers because it makes mortgages more difficult to obtain, throw up exchange rate fluctuations, and also raises security issues between the time the reservation deposit is lodged and the time when the buyer legally becomes the owner of the property.
But this is now changing.
A recent revision to the Turkish real estate registration process for foreign nationals purchasing property in Turkey will cut the time it takes to obtain title deeds (TAPU) to just one day.
“Instead of each foreign buyer making a separate military application for each and every land and/or property they purchase in Turkey irrespective of where they are located, the revision looks at the essence of 'parcel clearance' and suggests that if a parcel has previously been cleared for a foreign buyer, then it stands to be clear for all future foreign buyers,” says Durmus Ozgen
“Simply put, it moves the clearance from the foreign buyer to the very parcel (land plot) that the property is located on.”
Effective as of 14 October 2013, no military clearance will be required for land and properties, whose parcels have previously been cleared (as explained above) after 5 May 2011. He says that this long awaited amendment to the law regarding foreign nationals’ purchasing property will increase the appeal of Turkish real estate globally and make the market far more transparent.
“It will open up new opportunities for foreign investors to participate in property auctions, bank repossessions and similar distressed sales that currently almost fully block them out due to their inability to obtain legal ownership straight away.
“To give an example - say Mr. X purchases an apartment or a villa in a complex that is located on a parcel of land and obtains his military clearance, then that parcel (and all properties built on it) will be deemed as cleared for all foreign buyers to come.
“If there are say 100 units in the complex, then only one military clearance will be sufficient. Once the land is cleared as 'non military zone' then foreign buyers will be able to register title deed to their new homes in just one day exactly the same as Turkish nationals do.”
Simply put it will make it much easier to buy property in Turkey. It will remove unnecessary protocols (and associated costs) that some buyers are advised to follow in order to safeguard sizeable holding deposits prior to obtaining legal title. It will make it easier for banks and other lenders to survey properties being acquired and provide finance on the spot.