Well, the Turkish government has done it again – they have put the breaks on the property market in Turkey right at the start of the summer season when prices and interest levels were both expected to rise.  Because of a hold up in a law change, Turkish property market is going through difficulties –  no title deeds are being issued to foreign purchasers and those who bought last year and expect to take full possession and complete legal ownership of their properties this summer are being prevented from doing so.

Naturally this is causing waves of panic to surge through the industry – no matter what smiling estate agents may say to the contrary.  It’s not that any of them are worried the law change won’t go ahead, it’s that they are concerned this hurdle will be one too many in the way of rare and valued buyers and that they will head elsewhere.  Trying times again for Turkish property then…which is a real shame.

The Turkish property sector has so much going for it.  It is undervalued, it is becoming more highly prized, the infrastructure supporting the development of the real estate market in many resorts is being heavily invested into and interest levels have risen significantly among would-be buyers from far and wide.  Knight Frank, rather modestly at the time, predicted 10 -15% gains in market prices in 2008 earlier this year, and the vast majority of the industry was convinced that gains would vastly outstrip these predicted figures.  And then along came the Turkish government…

It is SO frustrating that in a nation of people fighting so hard to advance their economy and improve their lives that the government is so slow, so restrictive and just so blooming short sighted.  Yes the law change is valid – it is going to restrict foreign ownership within communities and regions to 10% – but why on earth cripple and possibly irrevocably damage an emerging industry that is bringing foreign direct investment to the country as well as long term income generation potential?

There are so few foreign buyers of property out there at the moment that Turkey should be doing everything in its power to enable the real estate industry and make the buying process safe and transparent, simple and secure for overseas buyers.  Instead, developers are having to tell those who have bought that they have not been ripped off and that they will be able to take legal ownership of their properties – probably – some day soon.  And they are having to try and convince interested buyers that all is perfectly safe and fine in Turkey, that this situation is nothing new, nothing to worry about.

However, the fact that the situation is nothing new is exactly WHY buyers should be worried.  Why risk investing in a country when you may never ever get your title deeds?  Why bother investing in a nation where the government cares little about you, why bother looking at property in Turkey when you can buy the same elsewhere and be assured you’re buying in a country where your rights as a foreign buyer are the same as a local buyer and where you are much more likely to see a property at the end of the purchase transaction than a red faced developer with a long list of excuses.  Nice one Turkey…nice one.