UK citizens who have been considering the idea of buying a property in Turkey should accelerate their plans and start looking now – thanks to an extremely favourable exchange rate.
A political corruption scandal in the country, which has been ongoing since December 17, had led to the Turkish lira (which had been doing well in recent times) being devalued to a historically low rate meaning that UK and other EU citizens would see their pound and Euro go much further were they to purchase a Turkey property within the next few weeks – or at least until the value of the lira starts to rise once more.
Turkey’s Growth Still on Target
Meanwhile, as far as the rest of the economy is concerned Turkey continues to outclass the majority of its European neighbours with a growth rate of four per cent for 2013 – far outstripping the average global growth which came in at around 3.2 per cent.
The country’s Turkish Minister of Finance, Mehmet Simsek announced at a press conference in Ankara earlier this week that Turkey’s deficit was 18.4 billion lira (equivalent to $8.3 billion). Income for last year, he went on, was 389.4 billion lira compared to 407.9 billion lira in spending.
Around 23 per cent of tax income went on education, the Minister said, and 20 per cent on health services.
Swapping Sterling for Turkish Lira
If you have decided to look for a Turkey property to invest then, of course, you’ll need to think about getting currency. Turkey banknotes are currently available in terms of 5, 10, 20 and 50, 100 and 200 lira denominations. Like back in Britain, there is also a 1 lira coin. Only notes dated from 2009 onwards are legal. Notes printed before this won’t be accepted in shops or other commercial establishments (although they can be exchanged via the Turkish Central Bank).
It’s not a good idea to go around carrying 50, 100 or 200 lira notes in Turkey as retailers and bar owners can rarely give change for these. Instead, when you’re swapping sterling for Turkish lira, ask for it in small denominations such as 5, 10 and 20 notes.
Meanwhile, be prepared to hang on to your lira for longer than you perhaps think. That’s because bargaining is commonplace in Turkey – and not just at market stalls. Many establishments are open to this practice, from eating establishments to places to stay for the night. Once you get over your initial shyness and awkwardness it can actually be quite fun. Just remember to offer low initially so that you’ll have plenty of bargaining power as the bartering heats up. Walking away can offer prompt the retailer to reduce their offer. Try it – it often works.
Our Advice and Expertise
Here at Oceanwide Properties we’re happy to chat to you about any of the above and have a wide selection of villas and apartments to look through if you are indeed intending to come to Turkey with the intention of looking at investing in a Turkey property. Indeed, why not allow us to be your guide?