Greeks, Bulgarians buying properties in Edirne
People from Bulgaria and Greece, drawn by favorable exchange rates, are buying properties in the northwestern Turkish border province of Edirne.
Edirne has been luring shoppers from neighboring countries for some time, but now Bulgarian and Greek citizens are exploring opportunities in the province’s real estate market as the depreciation of the Turkish Lira makes home prices relatively cheaper for them to buy.
“Greeks citizens of Turkish descent are purchasing a lot of properties here. Let’s say, we used to sell them two or three homes a year in the past, now they are buying 10 houses,” said Serhat Çeker, the head of the Edirne Real Estate Consultants’ Association.
Demand from Bulgarians is also on the rise, Çeker said, adding that Bulgarians prefer homes in the quiet countryside.
“Many Bulgarians want to buy property in Edirne, but red tape complicates the situation for those who do not have dual citizenship,” he added.
If they are a Bulgarian citizen only, they can buy properties in the neighboring province of Tekirdağ or in the district of Çorlu but not in Edirne, he explained.
“Those from Greece see this as an investment opportunity. They are buying five or six one-bedroom apartments and are leasing them out.”
Erhan Koç, a real estate consultant, expects home sales to Bulgarian and Greek citizens to continue to rise.
“The Bulgarian currency Lev has gained value against the Turkish Lira, there are many Bulgarians in the market looking for homes to buy,” he said.
Koç also noted that more than half of the summer houses in the Saros Bay have already been rented by Greek and Bulgarian citizens.
[HH] Influx of shoppers
Meanwhile, thousands of people from Bulgaria flocked to Edirne on the weekend for Christmas and New Year’s Eve shopping, with cars lining up at the Kapıkule border gate in long queues.
“There are no vacant rooms at the hotels in Edirne until New Year’s Eve…Hotels in the province have a total of 2,500 beds… and all rooms are booked by Bulgarians,” said Gökhan Balta, the head of the local chapter of the Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB).
Bulgarians visited the shopping centers, supermarkets and open markets to buy all kind of goods.
“I did some New Year’s Eve shopping. But I also bought a coat, shoes and delight,” said Şükrü Genç, a Bulgarian citizen.
Sabri Angelov said he traveled to Edirne with his family to buy clothes and overnight sightseeing. “Goods and products here are cheaper and better quality,” he said.