News: Turkish Delight for UK investors

Mon, 19 Nov 07

UK airlines are having a huge impact on the Turkey property market...


Antalya International Airport ranked as the second busiest terminal on the Mediterranean coastline in 2006 and 14th in the world in July 2007, with more than 10 million and almost 2.5 million international passengers, respectively, using the airport, According to ACI (Airport Council International) statistics...


As the leading tourist destination in Turkey - 40% of all tourists that fly to the country disembark at Antalya, it is no surprise that both British Airways and bmi are introducing flights to the city early in 2008. The effects on Turkey’s and particularly Antalya’s property market can only be positive, according to accountancy firm KPMG.

In a recent interview with Travel Daily News, KPMG spokesperson, Andrea Sartori, said that airlines offering more frequent and affordable travel to a wider range of destinations, naturally impact on the popularity of certain countries. Turkey is already reaping the positive rewards that such a growth in the aviation industry can facilitate.


Tourism on the rise


Tourist figures are on the rise with the resultant increase in tourist spend – up 8.6% in the third quarter of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006 (Source: Turkish Statistics Institute). But with the country’s exquisite landscape, high quality hotels & recreational facilities as well as ‘high standard, low cost’ medical amenities, the surface of the tourism industry hasn’t even been scratched.

Local official, Volkan Simsek, chairman of the Professional Hotel Managers Association, stated that Turkey has the capacity to develop into one of the top five holiday destinations in the world, in terms of visitor numbers and the revenue generated by the industry. ‘Turkey has the ability to earn $40 billion p.a from tourism, more than twice what it's making currently,’ said Mr Simsek.

This prediction is far from ‘pie in the sky’. The WTO already ranked Turkey eighth in the world in 2005 with tourism income of $18.2 billion, the fastest growth rate in the world that year.

As more airlines follow the route of BA and bmi, introducing flights from Gatwick as well as regional airports, Turkey will not only realise its tourism potential, but its property industry will continue on its already buoyant journey, attracting both second home buyers and investors.

Beautiful, historic city


Alanya, a beautiful, historic, yet cosmopolitan city 130km from Antalya is witness to such an assertion. Currently overseas visitors fly to Antalya before journeying to this popular family resort on the Turkish Riviera, but from the middle of 2008, the airport at Gazipasa – a mere 33km from Alanya – will be operating an international service, with a capacity of up to 500,000 passengers (Source: TAV Airports Holding).


Almost as soon as this news broke, local property developers reported a marked increase in the number of enquiries for both holiday homes and investment properties, a positive message to UK agents, who have recorded a downturn in other overseas markets.

Sean Gillic, Managing Director of TPI Turkish Property Invest, arguably the most established development operation in the area is adamant that the true impact of the news hasn’t even started to be felt. ‘While certain canny investors are already buying up property, we anticipate a heightened surge of activity once the airport opens.


Compared to many other popular holiday destinations, property in Alanya is inexpensive, with prices for a two bed apartment averaging at €80,000. Once people are here, holidaying in a safe, beautiful environment with a vast array of facilities, more often than not, thoughts tend to the possibility of buying. These prices make those thoughts a reality.’

Gillic, who develops and markets a range of residential and commercial properties along the Riviera, is confident that with the evidence of Alanya, similar effects will be felt in Antalya and its neighbouring environs.
Golfing paradise

The area is already popular with the international golfing fraternity, scuba divers, skiers and those with a passion for outdoor pursuits. Whilst Belek, a 20-minute car ride from the airport, already offers 11 championship golf courses, playable year-round, with an additional two due for completion next year, it is possible in March and April to spend the mornings skiing in the Toros Mountains and the afternoons swimming in the warm, crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Such variety has already attracted a fair share of foreign investment with 23% of Antalya’s real estate owned by overseas buyers (Source: Today’s Zaman). Increased flights and increased numbers of tourists – there were more than 200,000 visitors from England from Jan-Oct 2007 (source: www.altso.gov.tr) - is anticipated to impact on this percentage, driving the growth of investment and the potential of the property market.

All year round flights to Antalya are available from the UK departing from Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Stansted.

BA will fly to Antalya 3 times a week from 10th April 2008.


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