Land purchase in Turkey is one of the most profitable types of property investment as long as you do your due diligence properly. There is no doubt that property is one of the most popular investment tools all around the world and Turkey is no exception to the rule. Land investment is not a profitable tool only for developers, but also private investors and cooperatives. At the end of the day, a completed residential or commercial property can be profitable as well and maybe a safer haven in some cases, especially for the end-users but development always promises more.
At the end of the day, developers themselves are buying the land, handling the construction costs, and then sell it to the end-user with their profit margin within the price. There is no doubt that real estate has always and will always be a promising investment tool in Turkey, except for some exceptional, short-temporary periods and land has been one of the most popular property investment types of all times.
Land Purchase in Turkey ; A Promise Or Honey Trap?
Every land has its feature of building permit. At the end of the day, the state has to protect its urban plans and cannot allow a building permit for a fifty-story skyscraper on farming land or such an inconvenient area. There is no doubt that urban planning may change according to the zeitgeist and need of the city or town, but such elevations are usually done on grand neighborhoods and existing buildings instead of individual lands.
Surely there can always be exceptions to the rule but these are usually lands that require huge amounts of investment and are supported by local or national authority, as happens all around the world. To sum up, don’t be a big dreamer for your humble land investment’s return without checking on it in detail.
Land Types; What Can Be Built On Which Types of Lands?
There are several types of building permits for the types of developments that can be built on the lands. It can be residential, commercial, tourism, health, agricultural land, or industrial. Residential buildings may include retail shops on the entrance floor but this must also be approved by the local municipality before starting the construction. FAR permits in residential lands may or may not be limited to the height of the neighboring buildings, which is also a feature that needs to be checked.
Land Purchase in Turkey – Commercial Lands
Commercial lands usually offer office buildings which are called “plazas” in Turkey, which is a misused word on its own, but it has landed on the language. These buildings also offer retail areas on one or more floors. Therefore, retail use is always permitted but offices need to be checked.
Land Purchase in Turkey – Residential Lands
There is another type of land which is a hybrid of residential and comer lands, which offer both offices and residential units, some even shopping centers.
Land Purchase in Turkey – Tourism Lands
Tourism lands offer the development of hotels, resorts, or sometimes more humble hospitality options. Those can be both, in city centers or holiday areas, as can be expected. Just keep in mind that all shores of all seas in Turkey are open to the public and to put this in practice there must be a minimum of 50 meters between your construction and the sea. Even that area of the land can only be used to be built for leisure units such as restaurants, gym, spa, etc… and your hotel or resort needs to be further back.
Some tourism lands can be divided into two if a project to be developed includes a residential segment as well. But unlike mix-use lands in residential & commercial, those need to stay as two different lands because tourism building permit is almost three times residential. Therefore if residential units are to be built according to tourism permits, those can never have proper ownership status.
No reason to mention the fact that health lands are reserved for hospitals; but there is a small catch, commercial lands can be taken into consideration for the development of health centers.
Land Purchase in Turkey – Agricultural Land
Agricultural lands are reserved for agriculture and stock raising, as defined by name. But this does not mean that you cannot build anything on the land. Warehouses and other types of buildings to be used for production are naturally allowed within limitations, but also, who can say no to a cute farmhouse? Therefore a small portion of agricultural land is available for residential development.
Land Purchase in Turkey – Industrial Lands
Industrial lands are reserved for production plants such as factories or smaller workshops or storage units. Some and larger of these are reserved for Organised Industrial Zones which provide some advantages to their occupiers. Partial purchase of lands in organized industrial zones is also possible.
Can foreigners buy land in Turkey?
Yes. Lands of all types and sizes can be bought, developed, or leased by foreigners, as they can buy other real estate forms like flats, residences, houses, offices, buildings, and retail stores. However, they should be aware of some limitations during the purchase.
Some locations are restricted from foreigners’ purchases. Those are usually around major military or such governmental facilities. Therefore you will need to wait min. one month period for such security checks. Don’t get us wrong, it is not you being checked, it is “if the property is available for being sold to a foreigner”. This check can take longer inland applications due to bureaucracy.
- Necessary permits should be obtained before the transaction. Because authorities would like to be sure that certain percentages are not exceeded by foreigners.
- The buyer should declare an undertaking that such land shall not be sold in three years starting from the date of transfer in the land registry if a purchase is being done with citizenship purpose. However, this is a must not only for land buyers but for all potential buyers who would like to apply for Turkish citizenship.
- In the case of agricultural land, the buyer is obliged to cultivate the land and should not leave it blank. This cultivation may either be directly or indirectly via leasing it to third parties.
- In the case of urban land, the buyer should start to construction of a building no later than 2 years from the date of transfer of the title.