Turkey is ahead in the Med

  Date posted: 18th of September 2009

With its 5,000-mile coastline, hot summers and mild winters, affordable standard of living and fascinating history, Turkey has all the necessary ingredients of a perfect second home location.

Kas Off Plan Stone Villas, 4 detached villas One downside, however, has been the quality of the building and too much unattractive low-end development in resorts. Now there are signs that some developers are becoming more discriminating and estate agents are looking beyond the standard fare to broaden the appeal to a more discerning and adventurous British buyer.

With Turkish asking prices still considerably less than the inflated and overdeveloped Euro-zone coastline and with less exposure to bad loans because of an immature mortgage market there is room for Turkey to become more ambitious, says Cameron Deggin of Place Overseas, which markets properties all over the country

There is an increased number of higher end properties being brought by British buyers and they tend to be buying as much for lifestyle reasons as investment, says Deggin.

We probably sell around 200 units a year in Turkey. Before the middle of 2008 there wouldn't have been more than two or three properties over £200,000. This year we must have sold eight or nine for more than £400,000. People are coming to get a waterfront, infinity views and large plots, and prices less than half those of elsewhere in Europe. The Hill development, just outside Alanya, being sold in the UK by Chesterton Humberts, is a good example of the new breed of development.

It is being built by Koray, a company with a good reputation in Turkey, and international property investment company DPI. They hope to raise the perception of what Turkey has to offer in terms of build quality, says Andrew Hawkins of Chesterton Humberts. It is a gated development of 44 apartments from studios to three-bedroom penthouses, with air conditioning, marble floors and a communal pool. Every apartment has views of the beach about 500 metres away.

A key aspect for buyer confidence is that irrespective of off-plan sales, The Hill will be finished over the next year. Alanya is 90 minutes drive from Antalya airport, but Gazipasa airport 20 minutes away is due to be upgraded for international traffic by the end of this year. The area is also popular with Turkish buyers who want second homes, according to Hawkins. The British have traditionally pioneered second-home areas around Europe, and Kas (pronounced Cash) is a lesser-known area with great British appeal, says Deggin.

On a peninsula in the southwest, it is around two hours from Dalaman airport and attracts those wanting peaceful, family friendly locations and beautiful views. It is very bohemian, with lots of artists and musicians a community who want to be away from the crowds.

A new marina is under way and is expected to be completed in a few years. It will attract a high calibre of visitor, but I don't think it will spoil the area, says Deggin.

Kas will never be mass market. There is not a lot of land for large-scale development go back from the sea and you hit the mountains.

Place Overseas has apartments in the area from £80,000 and three to four-bedroom villas from around £300,000. It is marketing an off-plan development of four stone-built villas with private pools and large gardens.

There'll be no more than 30 villas in total over a large area, says Deggin.
Prices start at £200,000 for a three-bedroom home. Financial adviser Lester Harvey, 44, sold his apartment near Marbella four years ago and opted for a self-build on the peninsula for his wife, Jo, and two small daughters.

I wanted something bigger, and I couldn't afford that in Marbella. I came to Turkey, did the well-known areas like Bodrum, but Kas was really special. The surrounding area is absolutely beautiful.

With the help of Deggin, he found a plot and took a year to build a three-bedroom, two-bathroom villa complete with infinity pool for £300,000. Rental income is around £1,500 a month between April and October 'which more than covers the expenses. And life down here is very cheap. We love it.