Longer stay permits to woo Arab asset buyers
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The length of residence permits are linked with asset sales to Arab buyers, says a local sector organization.Arabs are willing to buy residences in Turkey if the residence permit permissions given to foreigners are extended, according to the chairman of the Real Estate Investors’ Association of Arab Countries and Turkic States, Abdullah Çiftçi.
Turkey has not attracted the expected number of foreigners over the nine-month period since the reciprocity law entered into force, Çiftçi said.
According to him, many Arabs want to buy residences in Turkey, but are dissuaded by the limited residence permits. “The residence permit given to foreigners lasts only three months in Turkey, but Arabs want to have longer residence permit periods. They want to settle and work here,” Çiftçi said.
He also said the reciprocity law, which has eased real estate purchases for foreigners, should be introduced to Arab counties in a more effective way. According to Çiftçi, the works conducted by the Prime Ministry’s Promotion Fund generally target investors, while Turkey’s residential sector only lures Arabs individually.
Çiftçi said Arabs had a considerable potential with regard to the residential sector, adding that promotion campaigns targeting individuals should be increased. As Turkey has recently started being a popular destination for immigrants, it is necessary to establish new institutions that will help and support immigrants, Çiftçi said.
“It is crucial to continue the regulations that attract Arabs to Turkey. If the problems are solved, about 30,000 residences will be probably sold this year. There is a strong potential. Turkey has a residence stock consisting of about one million residences,” he said.
“If the state coordinates it well, Istanbul will be a center of finance, health and tourism. However, it entirely depends on the reorganization of residence permit periods and reciprocity law,” he added.
Çiftçi also said the Black Sea region and the northwestern province of Bursa might be other centers of attraction for Arabs, as they cover plenty of green areas.
“[Arabs] desire green [areas] and snow. Bursa has both plenty of green areas and Uludağ [which is a snowy mountain]. Houses should be built around Uludağ for Arab families,” he said.