Turkey has always been good value for money, but these days, it has more to offer the British second-homeowner, and the top end of the market is blossoming. White-washed stucco houses, with infinity pools, hammams and citrus gardens, are springing up in areas such as Göcek, Kalkan and the Bodrum Peninsula and they sell for up to £6 million. ‘The purchase price has moved up,’ says Julian Walker of Spot Blue, a specialist in Turkish property. ‘People are now buying bigger properties.’

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said that Turkey overtook Spain last year as the most popular overseas destination for UK tourists, and overall tourism has risen 14% to 24 million visitors, according to the Turkish tourist office. And, as Turkey isn’t yet part of the Eurozone, property is more affordable for sterling-based buyers than in France or Italy, and the cost of living is 60% less than the UK.

The Financial Times recently voted Turkey into the top 10 investments for 2009, with particular attention paid to the Altinkum and Bodrum areas, and Assetz lists it as one of the best investment spots of 2010. ‘The Turkish property market offers a variety of options for both tourists and buy-to-let investors hoping to exploit the market,’ says Rhiannon Williamson of Assetz. ‘At its simplest, it offers hot weather and plenty of good clean beaches. On the other hand, the country has a rich history that’s worth more than a passing glance.’

Turkish News Provider Hurijet is anticipating a property boom in 2010. Mr Walker is less bullish, but expects prices to rise steadily over the next few years. ‘A lot of people from Britain haven’t visited Turkey before and are anxious about it. But once they see how much beautiful, open space there is, they understand its potential.’

The olive-green hills, white houses, bougainvillea and bright turquoise sea come as a surprise to many visitors, according to James Dearsley of Atlas International, a Turkish property agency. ‘In parts of the Bodrum peninsula, there are bars on stilts like you find in the Maldives, where you can watch the sunset. The country is completely underrated if you’ve got any money to spend.’

The top end of the property market is fuelled by buyers from northern Europe, who favour the large, detached houses surrounded by gardens in picturesque areas such as Kalkan and Göcek, costing from about £275,000. It’s not unreasonable, says Mr Walker, to expect a rental yield of between 6% and 10% a year from your apartment or villa in Turkey. A detached two-bedroom villa with a pool in an exclusive part of the country rents out from £600 per week, half as much as an average villa in the South of France, although rooms, balconies, gardens and pools all tend to be bigger.

Nick Barnes, an independent property research analyst, believes Altinkum, Belek and the less developed areas around Bodrum and Didum will be the focus of growth for the next few years. Property prices are also rising in the south-west of the country around Alanya, and in the hilltop towns of Urla and Milas, due to increased interest from buyers from mainland Europe.  

Deutsche Bank predicts a growth of between 5% and 6% consistently over the next 10-15 years. ‘There are plenty of other buyers apart from the British in the market, which suggests prices in Turkey will remain stable,’ adds Mr Walker. ‘It wasn’t drawn into mass development on such a large scale as other developing countries. The Turks are proper market traders-we could probably learn
a thing or two from them.’

Hot tips: buying in Turkey

There are limits on foreign buyers you can’t buy land of strategic, religious or cultural importance
Buy well-built property in a picturesque location, preferably where Turks are buying

There’s still the occasional horror story. Use a British lawyer, and consider buying a built property rather than one off-plan

At present, if you sell your Turkish property within the first five years of your ownership, there’s a 15% sliding-scale property capital-gains tax due on any profit. After five years, it’s capital-gains free. Tax paid to the Turkish government will be offset in the UK due to the Reciprocal Taxation agreement between Turkey and the UK

Flight access is improving each year. You can fly from a number of British airports to Bodrum, Antalya, Dalaman, Izmir or Istanbul, but air routes vary depending on whether it’s low or high season

Hotspots: where to buy

* Altinkum

Altinkum is at the cheaper end of the market, but parts of it have avoided mass development. The Altinkum Didim Yatch Marina will be the second- largest marina in Europe, with a capacity to hold more than 1,000 yachts. For £50,000, you can buy a two-bedroom duplex close to the marina. Only 24 miles from Bodrum airport

* Antalya

Tom Jones and Mariah Carey performed at this once-budget resort earlier this summer. The city, on the Mediterranean coast, is surrounded by mountains, and has an airport. Belek is popular with the country’s jetset, with more than 30 four- and five-star hotels. It’s also being developed into a golf centre, which the government hopes will rival the Algarve in Portugal

* Bodrum peninsula

Parts of the Bodrum peninsula in south-west Turkey have been over-developed, but in other areas, there’s still open green space, secluded bays and pretty fishing villages, as well as a cosmopolitan nightlife, restaurants and shops

  • Yalikavak (above) is popular with wealthy families from Istanbul, which creates a stable market. Here, Savills are selling a newly built house (below right), perched on the mountainside, for £5.9 million. It has open-plan interiors and indoor and outdoor pools. Quintessentially Estates are selling a small development (below) close to Yalikavak. There are 13 villas left, with views over the Aegean sea, use of a tennis court and golf course, and a concierge; prices start at £170,000
  • Atlas International are selling a villa in Akbuk, 45 minutes from Bodrum airport, for €220,000. It’s close to beautiful local beaches and a white-stucco village
  • Seaview Regency is a stylish development of three-bedroom villas (above right) costing from £175,000 in Gündogan, 15 minutes from Bodrum centre. The villas overlook gardens, and one of the peninsula’s only sandy beaches is nearby. For sale through Cumberland Properties

* Göcek

Celebrities flock to Göcek on the south coast, known for world-class yachting, boutique hotels,
private beaches and fjords. Spot Blue is selling a development of detached houses on Göcek Marina, from £1,211,555. The houses, which are within walking distance of the sea and 30 minutes from Dalaman airport, have four bedrooms, moorings, and sun terraces. At a lower price bracket, the company is selling apartments adjacent to the sea for £317,149, with three bedrooms, open-plan living rooms and access to a communal pool and gardens

* Fethiye

Fethiye is a pretty town on Mount Mendos, surrounded by a turquoise bay and coastline dotted with tea gardens. A house on Solvalye Island, five minutes by boat from Fethiye Bay, is for sale for £996,754 through Spot Blue. It has sea views and is surrounded by gardens. There are summer and winter living rooms, terraces, a maid’s room and five bedrooms

* Kalkan
The historic town of Kalkan is one of the most beautiful locations along the Lycian coast, with unspoiled beaches, crystal-clear sea, and historic buildings. Here, Spot Blue is selling a four-bedroom house, with a separate guest apartment, a pool, terraces and views of the bay, for £495,000

Contacts

Atlas International (01306 879899; www.atlasinternational.com)

Spot Blue (020-8339 6036; www.spotblue.co.uk)

Savills (020-7016 3740; www.savills.co.uk/abroad)

Quintessentially Estates (0845 224 3658; www.quintessentiallyestates.com)

Cumberland (020-7586 7179; www.cumberland-properties.com)