Can Foreigners Buy Property in Istanbul? Your Ultimate Guide

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Interest in buying property in Turkey, especially in its cultural and economic hub, Istanbul, has surged among foreigners in recent years. This uptick is partly due to attractive Turkish property prices, the potential for property investment growth, and the option for Turkish citizenship by investment. Buying a house in Turkey presents an enticing opportunity for many, from those seeking a new home to investors aiming to capitalize on the vibrant Istanbul property market. Understanding the nuances of how to buy property in Turkey and the legal requirements involved is crucial for foreigners aiming to navigate this promising yet complex market.

This article serves as your ultimate guide to buy property in Turkey, specifically focusing on Istanbul. It will cover the legal requirements for foreigners wishing to buy house in Turkey, the step-by-step process of acquiring property, financing options available for buying home in Turkey, and the various costs and fees involved. Additionally, the benefits of property investment in Turkey and how it can lead to Turkish citizenship by investment will be discussed. Whether you’re interested in buying an apartment in Turkey or securing a spot in the vibrant Istanbul property scene, this guide provides the essential details to make informed decisions and maximize your investment.

Understanding the Turkish Property Market

The Turkish property market has experienced significant fluctuations recently, characterized by a mix of soaring prices and a notable decrease in sales to foreign buyers. In 2023, there was a sharp decline in home sales to foreigners by 48.1% compared to the previous year, with only 35,005 units sold. This downturn is attributed to several factors including the substantial rise in property prices when calculated in dollars, perceived earthquake risks, and stricter regulations regarding citizenship acquisition through investment. The minimum investment requirement for citizenship rose from $250,000 to $400,000 in 2022, which has also impacted foreign interest.

Despite these challenges, the market’s value is expected to climb, reaching an estimated $7.81 trillion by 2024 and continuing to grow until 2028. This growth is underpinned by a resurgence in the Turkish economy, with a projected GDP growth of 3%, and investor-friendly initiatives such as reduced property taxes which enhance the appeal of the real estate sector in Turkey.

Istanbul remains a focal point for real estate investment, both for domestic and international investors. The city is divided into numerous districts, each offering unique advantages and opportunities for property buyers. Here are some of the top neighborhoods for real estate investment in Istanbul:

  1. Besiktas District: Known for its central location and historical significance, Besiktas is highly sought after. It features landmarks like Taksim Square and Dolmabahce Palace, contributing to its high demand.
  2. Kadikoy District: Situated on the Asian side, Kadikoy is appealing due to its diverse real estate offerings and significant infrastructure developments, making it a prime location for investors.
  3. Beyoglu District: This area is popular among young professionals and tourists, known for its vibrant atmosphere and cultural attractions like Istiklal Avenue.
  4. Uskudar District: Located along the scenic Bosphorus strait, Uskudar offers beautiful views and a strong demand for residential properties.
  5. Sisli District: Sisli is an upscale area known for its high-rise buildings and proximity to major business centers, making it an attractive option for investment.

Each of these districts has seen varying rates of price increases, with the overall trend in Istanbul showing a moderate rise in property prices by 3.3% when adjusted for inflation in 2023. Despite the recent slowdown in foreign purchases, Istanbul continues to attract significant attention from investors, particularly from countries like Russia, Iran, and Iraq, who were the most active foreign buyers in the early months of 2024.

For more you may want to visit our Istanbul Real Estate web page!

Necessary Permits and Documentation

Foreigners interested in buying property in Istanbul must navigate a series of legal requirements to ensure a smooth transaction. Initially, one must obtain a Foreigner Identity Number, issued by the TNP Foreigners’ Department. This number is essential for all legal transactions involving foreigners in Turkey.

Subsequently, acquiring a Tax Identification Number from any tax office in Turkey is mandatory. This number is crucial for opening a bank account in Turkey, which is necessary for managing financial transactions related to the property purchase, including the deposit and balance payments, as well as annual tax obligations.

The process continues with the application for a military check to confirm that the desired property is not located in a strategic or military zone. This verification, which typically takes up to 30 days, is a critical step to ensure the legality of the purchase.

Once these initial steps are completed, a valuation report of the property must be conducted by an authorized company. This report assesses the property’s value in Turkish Lira and is essential for the land registry’s approval of the transaction.

Finally, the buyer and seller must sign the official title deeds (Tapu) at the Land Registry Directorate, which transfers ownership. This step also involves the completion of the payment transactions for the property.

Restrictions and Limitations

Foreigners can buy and sell residential and commercial real estate in Turkey with relatively few restrictions. However, there are significant limitations regarding the location and type of properties foreigners are allowed to own. For instance, properties cannot exceed 30 hectares in total area and must not constitute more than ten percent of a district’s total area. Additionally, properties located in military zones are off-limits for foreign ownership.

The reciprocity principle also plays a crucial role; foreigners can only purchase property in Turkey if Turkish citizens are permitted to buy property in the foreigner’s home country without restrictions.

Furthermore, foreign individuals and entities are restricted in their ability to engage in certain business sectors, such as media, where foreign ownership cannot exceed 50 percent, and maritime activities, which are reserved for Turkish nationals.

For foreign corporations, property acquisition is possible under specific conditions set by Turkish law, particularly if the foreign investors hold significant shares or have the right to assign or remove managers.

These legal frameworks ensure that while the Turkish property market is accessible to foreigners, it also safeguards national and economic interests.

The Step-by-Step Process to Buying Property

Finding a Property

When embarking on a property search in Turkey, potential buyers should start by researching the market. Utilizing popular Turkish real estate websites such as,,, and can provide valuable insights into the available properties and market trends. Local real estate agents and investment migration consultants can also assist in this phase, directing buyers to suitable properties that meet specific investment or residency requirements.

Making an Offer

Once a suitable property is identified, the next step is to negotiate the purchase price and terms. This is typically facilitated by a real estate agent who can guide buyers through the negotiation process, ensuring that they secure favorable terms. After agreeing on the price, a small reservation deposit is made, marking the buyer’s commitment to the property purchase. This deposit is generally non-refundable if the buyer decides not to proceed with the purchase.

The legal aspect of buying property in Turkey involves several key steps:

  1. Appointing a Solicitor: It is crucial to appoint an independent, trusted, and qualified solicitor to handle the legalities of the transaction. Buyers will need to provide their ID or passport, and if applicable, a residence permit.
  2. Property Valuation: An independent appraiser is entrusted to conduct a property valuation, which usually takes three to four days. This assessment is vital for confirming the property’s market value and is a requirement for proceeding with the purchase.
  3. Notary Fees and Title Deed Transfer: Buyers must pay the required notary fees to finalize the property transfer. The solicitor will help in obtaining a Tapu, the equivalent of a title deed in Turkey, which confirms ownership. The Tapu should be examined and then registered at the local land registry office in accordance with Turkish law.

By following these steps, buyers can navigate the complexities of the Turkish real estate market and successfully purchase a property in Turkey.

Financing Your Property

Mortgage Options for Foreigners

When considering purchasing property in Istanbul, one of the primary methods of financing is through obtaining a mortgage. Foreigners are eligible for mortgages in Turkey, and many banks offer attractive terms to international buyers. Here’s a detailed look at what potential property owners need to know:

  1. Eligibility and Requirements: Foreigners can apply for mortgages just like Turkish citizens. Applicants need a valid passport, proof of income, tax documentation if they are tax residents in Turkey, and sometimes proof of residency. The application process also involves a property valuation by an authorized entity to confirm the value of the property.
  2. Loan-to-Value (LTV) Ratios: Most Turkish banks offer a maximum LTV ratio of 70%, meaning the bank would cover up to 70% of the property’s value, while the buyer needs to provide the remaining 30% as a down payment. However, some banks might offer slightly less, around 65%, depending on various factors including the applicant’s financial status and the property’s location.
  3. Interest Rates: Mortgage interest rates in Turkey can vary significantly, generally ranging from 6% to 15% annually. These rates can be influenced by factors such as the loan amount, repayment period, and the currency in which the loan is taken. Loans in stable currencies like USD or EUR might offer more favorable rates compared to those in Turkish Lira due to less currency fluctuation risk.
  4. Repayment Terms: The repayment period for mortgages in Turkey typically does not exceed 20 years, and it is essential for buyers to ensure that their monthly payments do not exceed 45% of their monthly income. This affordability test is crucial to maintain financial stability.
  5. Bank Options: Several Turkish banks, including Ziraat Bankasi, Garanti Bankasi, and Türkiye Is Bankasi, are known for their mortgage offerings to foreigners. It’s advisable to compare different banks and choose one that offers the best terms based on individual financial circumstances.

Alternative Financing Methods

Apart from traditional mortgages, there are other financing options available for foreigners wishing to purchase property in Istanbul:

  1. Developer Financing: Many property developers in Istanbul offer customized financing solutions, especially for new-build or off-plan properties. These plans often require a down payment of 30-35% of the property’s price, with the balance spread over several years, sometimes without interest.
  2. Home Equity Loans: For those who already own property in their home country, securing a home equity loan can be a viable option. This allows buyers to leverage the equity of their existing property to finance the purchase in Turkey.
  3. Private Loans: Borrowing from private sources such as family or friends is another alternative. This option can provide more flexible repayment terms, but it’s crucial to have formal agreements in place to avoid future disputes.
  4. Remortgaging Existing Properties: Some buyers opt to remortgage a property they own in their home country. This provides them with the necessary funds to purchase property in Turkey outright, offering a straightforward way to finance the investment without tying the loan to the Turkish property.

By exploring these mortgage and financing options, foreigners can effectively plan and secure the necessary funds to invest in Istanbul’s real estate market, making the process of buying property as smooth and efficient as possible.

Costs and Fees Involved

When purchasing property in Istanbul, understanding the associated costs and fees is crucial for budgeting correctly and avoiding surprises. This section outlines both the initial purchase costs and the ongoing expenses associated with property ownership in Turkey.

Purchase Costs

1. Stamp Duty

Also known as the property buying tax, Stamp Duty is a significant expense during the property acquisition process. It is calculated at 4% of the assessed value of the property, which typically is about 60% of the purchase price. This fee is due upon the registration of the property title deed in the buyer’s name. For off-plan properties, this fee is payable once the construction is complete.

2. Legal Fees

Legal fees in Turkey vary depending on the complexity of the transaction. Generally, a real estate solicitor’s services will cost between €1,200 and €1,800. These fees cover the legal aspects of the property transaction and are payable upon signing the property purchase contract.

3. Agency Fees

In Turkey, a standard real estate agency fee is 2% of the property’s purchase price. Buyers should be cautious of agencies charging significantly higher or lower fees, as this could affect the overall cost of the property indirectly.

4. Additional Costs

Miscellaneous paperwork and approvals typically amount to around €500. These are essential for completing the property purchase process and include various administrative fees.

5. Value Added Tax (VAT) Exemption

Since 2017, foreign buyers are exempt from VAT on their first property purchase in Turkey, provided the transaction is conducted in foreign currency and the property is not sold within 12 months.

Ongoing Costs

1. Property Taxes

Turkish property taxes are relatively low compared to other European countries. Annually, property owners in Turkey pay about 0.2% of the property’s value in big cities and 0.1% in smaller cities.

2. Maintenance Fees

In residential complexes, a monthly fee known as ‘Aidat’ covers maintenance and services such as swimming pools, gyms, and playgrounds. The fee varies but is generally between 1 to 9 Turkish Lira per square meter.

3. DASK Insurance

Mandatory earthquake and natural disaster insurance, known as DASK, is required for all property owners in Turkey. This insurance is reasonably priced and is essential for protecting your investment against natural calamities.

4. Utilities

Setting up utilities such as electricity, water, and gas involves a one-time registration fee, which averages around $500. This fee is necessary for connecting these services to your property.

Understanding these costs and fees will help potential buyers of Istanbul property to plan their finances effectively and ensure a smooth property acquisition process.

If you want to find a local real estate agent to handle all the legal and technical sides of real estate purchase you visit our contact us page or reach out on Instagram.

Benefits of Buying Property in Istanbul

Investment Opportunities

Istanbul’s real estate market offers a plethora of investment opportunities that cater to a wide range of budgets and preferences. From luxury waterfront properties in districts like Besiktas and Sariyer to more affordable, up-and-coming areas such as Beylikduzu and Esenyurt, the diversity in property options is extensive. Investors can choose from high-end residential units, commercial real estate, and even land investments on the outskirts of the city, poised for future growth.

  1. High Capital Appreciation: Real estate in Istanbul has shown a consistent upward trend in value, outpacing inflation and providing investors with substantial returns over time. The strategic location and ongoing urban development projects enhance the potential for capital appreciation.
  2. Rental Yield Potential: With its status as a top tourist destination and a major business hub, Istanbul offers strong rental markets. Whether for short-term vacation rentals or long-term leases, property owners can enjoy lucrative rental yields, especially in central areas close to major attractions and business districts.
  3. Government Incentives: The Turkish government has implemented several initiatives to attract foreign investment into the real estate sector, including the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program. This program allows investors to obtain Turkish citizenship by purchasing property worth a minimum of $400,000, appealing to those looking for dual citizenship opportunities.

Lifestyle Advantages

Living in Istanbul offers a unique blend of modern comforts and rich history. The city’s vibrant cultural scene, combined with its beautiful landscapes and strategic location, makes it an attractive place for both investors and expatriates.

  1. Cultural and Historical Richness: Istanbul is steeped in history, with landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar that offer residents and visitors a glimpse into its illustrious past. The city’s architecture is a mix of ancient and modern, reflecting its role as a bridge between the East and the West.
  2. Dynamic Urban Life: Known for its lively streets, culinary diversity, and bustling markets, Istanbul offers an energetic lifestyle. The city is famous for its vibrant nightlife, diverse culinary offerings, and rich arts scene, hosting numerous festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions throughout the year.
  3. Natural Beauty and Recreation: Positioned by the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul offers stunning sea views and ample opportunities for boating and fishing. The city is also close to several green spaces and forests, providing residents with places to enjoy outdoor activities and relax.
  4. Community and Hospitality: Istanbul is known for its warm hospitality and friendly community. Newcomers often find it easy to integrate into society thanks to the welcoming nature of the local people and the city’s diverse expatriate communities.

By investing in Istanbul’s property market, individuals not only benefit financially but also gain the opportunity to experience living in one of the world’s most dynamic and historically rich cities. The blend of investment potential and lifestyle advantages makes Istanbul a preferred destination for property buyers globally.

Also see our page on Turkish Citizenship by Investment


Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the vibrant landscape of Istanbul’s real estate market, demystifying the process of property acquisition for foreigners and shedding light on the legal frameworks, financial opportunities, and potential for significant investment returns. The allure of Istanbul, with its unique blend of ancient history and modern development, presents an enticing proposition for those looking to immerse themselves in a dynamic urban culture or to capitalize on the burgeoning investment opportunities. From understanding market trends to navigating the complexities of legal requirements and financing options, this comprehensive exploration aims to equip potential buyers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions in one of the world’s most historically rich and economically vibrant cities.

Investing in Istanbul’s real estate is not merely a financial decision but a step towards engaging with a city that offers a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. Whether you are drawn to the potential for high capital appreciation, the vibrant lifestyle, or the allure of Turkish citizenship, Istanbul promises opportunities that are worth exploring further. For those ready to take the next step toward securing their place in this dynamic metropolis, reaching out for professional advice is essential. Contact us to discuss how we can assist in making your investment journey in Istanbul as seamless and profitable as possible. With the right guidance and insights, the journey to owning property in Istanbul can be both exciting and rewarding, marking the beginning of a new chapter filled with opportunities.


1. Are foreigners allowed to purchase property in Istanbul?

Yes, foreigners can purchase property in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey. This investment can also enable them to obtain a residence permit or Turkish citizenship. Specifically, in Istanbul or other major cities like Antalya, the property must be valued at a minimum of $75,000 to qualify for a residence permit.

2. Can acquiring property in Turkey qualify you for residency?

Absolutely. Foreigners can gain permanent residency in Turkey through various avenues, one of which includes investing in real estate with a value of at least $75,000. Other methods include continuing education in Turkey, obtaining a work visa, marriage, or establishing a company within the country.

3. What are the latest regulations for purchasing property in Turkey as a foreigner?

The current Turkish laws stipulate that foreigners must adhere to specific conditions when buying property: the property should not exceed 30 hectares in total area, it should not constitute more than ten percent of the land area in any district, and it must not be situated within military zones.

4. Is it advisable to buy property in Istanbul as a foreigner?

Indeed, purchasing property in Istanbul is considered a wise investment for foreigners. The city’s real estate market is attractive due to its relatively affordable prices compared to other major global cities, a diverse range of property types, appealing rental income potential, and excellent geographical positioning with strong global connections.

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