Kuwait to the rescue? Turkey’s new property market plans aimed at wooing investors
The Kuwait Finance House hosted a Turkish Real Estate Forum to highlight investment opportunities and discuss legislation governing it at the Sheraton Hotel from 28-29 April. Turkish Minister of Finance Mehmet Simsek, who opened the exhibition, remarked that Kuwait Finance House Turkey (KFH-Turkey) was a key partner in the economic development of Turkey and a significant player in the Turkish market for over 25 years. He also commented that KFH-Turkey had managed to withstand the “Currency Crisis” of the 90s and had succeeded in underscoring ties between the GCC and Turkey. He also noted that KFH-Turkey’s equity outpaces USD 1 billion where it started with a capital of USD 10 million and affirmed that Turkey, welcomes Kuwaitis, whether as tourists or investors, offering them privileges and facilities.
In recent years, Turkey has witnessed a surge in high investment from the Gulf Region. The exhibition has been organised to provide a platform for interested Kuwaiti parties to meet representatives of leading real estate companies and learn of their exclusive projects. Simsek explaining that the real estate forum plays a significant role in enhancing cooperation between private sectors of both countries. He stressed the importance of Turkey for investors, as it provides the best facilities coupled with resilient legislation. He added that the government ratified several procedures in terms of investment and real estate development where they ensure a solid platform for achieving growth and expansion in these fields in the upcoming period, in addition to providing a healthy environment for investors.
The law governing purchase of Turkish property by foreign nationals was previously predicated on a reciprocity clause wherein citizens of countries whose governments allowed Turkish nationals to purchase real estate in their country, were allowed to purchase real estate in Turkey. With the reciprocity requirement in property sales to foreigners abolished, the new law, raises the area that can be sold to a foreigner from 2.5 hectares to 30, on the condition that a project had been set up. After the regulation passed into law, with certain legal restrictions, foreigners can purchase immovable properties anywhere in Turkey. There are however no residency laws in place for foreign property owners.
KFH CEO Mohammad Al-Omar shared that the Turkish Real Estate Forum is a significant product for Kuwaiti nationals and investors and that the KFH has succeeded, in collaboration with Turcapital Holding Company, the Turkish Iskan Company, and KFH-Turkey, to consolidate 15 high profile real estate companies in Turkey where they enjoy confidence and credibility, in addition to their huge projects and remarkable achievements. Furthermore, Al-Omar highlighted the importance of the forum as it coincides with the increasing demand for real estate in Turkey, as one of the rewarding investments, since Turkey witnesses profound economic growth. He went on to say that KFH-Turkey has become a safe haven for investors, since it enjoys good reputation, experience and confidence in the Turkish market, not to mention its wide network of branches that consists of up to 270 branches, and strong financial performance.
Al-Omar shared that the forum includes a bouquet of distinguished experts and consultants in the field of real estate evaluation, which is considered to be a good opportunity to all those who wish to benefit from the Turkish economic growth and development, especially the real estate development, since it is considered to be a vital indicator of the stability of the Turkish economy. The event, organised by JNR Fairs and CPR Communications Consortium, is supported by Kuwait Finance House along with TURKAPITAL Holding, Iskan Gayrimenkul A.S., Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank Inc., Neova Insurance, Mutlu Advocacy Partnership and Autoland Fleet Leasing Services.
While the real estate demand in Europe has slumped and led to a decline in housing prices, according to the Turkish Statistics Institution (TÜ_K), apartment housing prices in Turkey increased by 18% in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to the same period in 2010, pointing to the country’s growth potential. The Turkish Statistics Institution also notes increases in the number of residential building licenses within the last 10 years. According to Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BKSA) data the number of residential credits given in the last five years was TRY 38.90 billion in 2008 and TRY 86.04 billion in 2012. The Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOK_) has built over 580 thousand housings within the last ten years, investing approximately TRY 50 billion within the last ten year period.
The organizers shared that Turkey’s real estate sector offers great deals for investors with the population factors that are parallel to its developing economic numbers. The country’s increasing commercial activity at the regions which are busy in terms of industry and transportation, has created a burgeoning demand of workplace and housing needs.
The exhibitor profile ranges from large-scale housing construction companies to skyscrapers and residential and corporate towers. Tuncay Asci of Astas Holding, an exclusive five star category level residence developer, shared that their projects include Kempinski Residences Astoria which opened in 2007, Bellevue Residences managed by Kempinski which opened in 2008, Macka Residences featuring interior design by Armani Casa and managed by Kempinski which opened in 2012. In 2010, Astas ventured towards an exclusive resprt destination creating the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum.
Alpay Cepni, of Vadistanbul, highlighted the ambitious project being constructed in three phases over 1,200,000 sqm with a living center and recreational areas, offices, shopping complexes, cafes and hotels with unique concepts as well as a private metro running through it, connected to the city’s metro network.
Murat Tamer, Turkish Ambassador to Kuwait, expressed his pleasure towards the forum, and praised its concept. He asked Kuwaitis to visit Turkey as investors or tourists; especially that both countries have unique historic relationships between their people and the political leadership. The ambassador called for expanding relationships to include the fields of economy, trading, and collaboration.
By Cinatra Fernandes
Arab Times Staff
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