The Eastern Black Sea region in Turkey has seen massive growth in the number of foreign property buyers over the past 12 months.

Those from overseas bought 2,842 houses in 2017, an increase of 155% on the previous year, according to data obtained from the Trabzon Land Registry Regional Directorate. This unprecedented rise is linked to the Turkish government’s previous announcement of plans to boost overseas investment in property markets back in 2016.

Turkish citizenship is now being offered to those from abroad who buy real estate worth $1 million, make a fixed capital investment of at least $2m, keep at least $3m in a bank account for at least three years or create at least 100 jobs in the country.

Overseas buyers are also exempt from paying the 18% VAT when investing in real estate. The exemption also applies to Turks who have lived and worked abroad for more than six months.

Foreigners and overseas Turkish residents must pay in foreign currency, and not sell properties for at least one year after acquisition, to avoid VAT on the purchase of their first house or office in Turkey.

These changes have had a big impact on a number of areas in Turkey, particularly Trabzon, Artvin, Rize, Gümüşhane, Bayburt and Giresun which are proving the most popular housing markets in the region among foreigners.

Citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Azerbaijan make up the majority of overseas buyers in Turkey.

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