The Turkish property market is expecting to see some big changes this year which will have a large impact on property purchasers from the Arab world, according to The National.

In 2002, the Turkish government changed the law allowing foreign investors to enter the property market with only some restrictions, which excited investors from all over the world. Some of those restrictions were lifted in 2005 allowing foreign buyers to purchase property in Turkey.

However, the 2002 change in the law only allowed foreign buyers to purchase property on a reciprocity basis. This meant that investors could only buy property in Turkey if their country of residence allowed Turkish investors to buy in that country.

The good news is that this law is about to change. The Turkish government is currently discussing abolishing the reciprocity law so all foreign investors can purchase a property in Turkey.

This is great news for Arab investors, who are currently not allowed to buy property in Turkey. This has been a huge obstruction to foreign investment, especially at a time when Turkey is becoming a popular destination for Arabs.

Since the Arab Spring, more Arabs have been choosing Turkey as it is deemed safer than other Arab countries. Traditionally Arabs tend to only go on holiday and buy property in other Muslim countries, but since the Arab Spring they are choosing safer locations with Turkey being at the top of their list.

The increased Arab tourism is great news for Turkey’s economy and the Turkish prime minister recently agreed visa-free travel deals with Libya, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon to raise Turkey’s influence in the Arab world.

The changes have come at a perfect time for Turkey and the country is now looking forward to Turkish property being in high demand.

Whilst property prices in many markets are still suppressed due to the global financial crisis, property prices in Turkey increased by 6.3 percent in 2011. The only other countries that performed well were Hong Kong and France.

Turkish property will be in further demand after the announcement that foreign buyers will also be able to purchase more property than is currently allowed.

Buyers have been restricted to purchasing one 2.5 hectare plot without the need for permission from local authorities. Now under a new law the maximum plot size will increase to 30 ha, which is great news for investors and Turkey’s property sector.

Source: The National