Transcontinental Turkey is a cultural melting pot, famous for its both oriental and European origins, as well as its bazaars, carpets, hammams, and cuisine. Straddling the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia and a portion of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe, Turkey is brimming with dynamic vacation destinations, but what if the holiday never had to end?
With all of its sizzling beach towns and iconic cities, not to mention the year-round Mediterannean sun, moving to Turkey, or better yet, getting your hands on a holiday home here, is a no-brainer. In fact, with enough research, some reserved cash, and plenty of perseverance, you could just build your own property from the ground up.
So how much does it cost to build a villa in Turkey? That’s what our guide is here to find out. From the style to the location, and right down to your rights as a foreigner, everything you need to know about building your dream home in Turkey is below. Let’s get into it.
How much does it cost to build a villa in Turkey?
The allure of Turkey is undeniable: endless coastline, historic ruins, soaring mountains, and truly unique culture. Choosing to holiday here is easy, but it also comes as no surprise that thousands of ex-pats decide to make a permanent move to Turkey every year, with more than 1.5 million foreigners calling the transcontinental nation home.
Swapping the rat race for year-round sun, good infrastructure, and high quality of life, the low cost of living is just an added bonus. The most popular areas in Turkey for ex-pats are Instanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, but with the uncomplicated process for acquiring a work or residence permit, and the affordable property prices, foreigners settle all over Turkey, and building a home is more popular than ever.
Like anywhere in the world, the cost of building a home in Turkey depends on a lot of factors. The location, the style, the plot, and the builders and contractors you choose to work with can all have a dramatic impact on the final costs of your project. However, there are some calculations you can use to start setting a realistic budget.
Making calculations per square meter when working with contractors will help you realize if you’re getting a good deal or not. However, it’s also important to know that, although Turkey is a notoriously cheap country, prices can change all the time. The Turkish Lira is at an all-time low, having crashed at the beginning of 2022, but the construction cost index still increased by around 40 percent between 2021 and 2022, with materials increasing by around 50 percent and labor by 20 percent. All these areas are subject to further increases every year that you should take into consideration before setting your budget.
That said, the average cost per square meter for construction in Turkey is around 1,500TL ($80) in 2022, while the cost of land varies more depending on the area, but starts from 65,000TL ($3,500) in very rural spots, and averages at around 1,000,000TL ($50,000) in small cities and 3,700,000TL ($200,000) in sough-after coastal locations, depending on the size of the plot.
Since foreigners cannot buy rural land outside of municipalities in Turkey, it is safe to say you’d need at least 1,800,000TL ($95,000) to start building in a reasonably desirable location in Turkey, with design, construction, land, and materials included.
Buying Land in Turkey: The Small Print
All sorts of factors come into play when buying land in Turkey. While it’s relatively easy as a foreigner to do so, lots of things can affect the cost of your build. Distance from the street, proximity to amenities, access to roads, and social opportunities all affect land prices, not to mention the region of Turkey you choose.
The most desirable land, and therefore most expensive – but also the most worth investing in – will be within relatively easy reach from schools and hospitals with good social opportunities or holiday appeal. The quality of land ie the soil can also affect the materials you can use to build. The land is the canvas for your build, so choosing correctly is very important.
The price for a 700-meter square plot with sea views in a peaceful area could start from just $50,000 in small towns on Turkey’s coast, but this can go up to around $400,000 for the land of the same size in popular areas like Bodrum or Antalya, and go up to as much as $9,000,000 for very large plots of land in the same regions, with enough space to build luxury hotels.
You could buy a 400 square meter plot, with building permission, in somewhere like Gocek with views of the marina for around $200,000, while 2,000 square meters of land for development on the outskirts of Instanbul could also go for just $300,000 – the variation is huge. Remember, a 400 square meter plot doesn’t mean a 400 square meter property, especially in more rural settings. It’s common to save a lot of the plot for garden and outdoor space.
Moreover, foreigners can quite easily buy land as long as it’s located within the borders of a municipality and outside of military zones ie. in a populated town, and register the land under their own name. This makes the process of building much easier and safer than in some lusted holiday destinations, like Bali for example, where many ex-pats build their dream villas at record low costs, but never actually get to procure the land that it is on, rather renting from the local government for decades at a time.
To acquire the title of the land owner, you must submit an application to the local Land Registry Office in the area in which the plot is located. You have to do this after you’ve bought the land and provide all documents concerning the full purchase of the land. There’s always the chance your request could be rejected, but usually, the only reason for this is if the land is not within a permitted area, so make sure you do all necessary checks. After the Land Registry Office has done their checks, they’ll transfer the title.
Bear in mind, a 1.5 percent duty for the buyer and seller is collected during the purchase of any land or property in Turkey. There is also an annual property tax collected by local municipal governments at 0.3 percent for private buildings, but newly built properties are exempt from this for five years.
Foreigners are permitted to rent or resell any property they build in Turkey and transfer proceeds outside the country. Different regulations may apply if you’re building property for business purposes such as a hotel or restaurant.
Building Costs by Style in Turkey
There are a few different ways to design your house in Turkey. You might choose to work with an architect if you’re not skilled in designing yourself, which will incur extra costs, but the style you choose to build in and therefore the materials you use, also vary greatly in price.
Construction costs are usually separated by materials and then divided further into five classes of quality. For example, stone houses are very traditional in Turkey and very low cost to build. A detached house of 100 square meters, on a plot measuring 120 square meters, could come to just 140TL ($7.50) per square meter to build in a very simple design, totaling 14,000TL ($750), and around 450TL ($25) in a more complex style, totaling just ($2500). However, it’s very uncommon for modern houses to be built in this way, especially for foreigners wanting to own a holiday villa.
Brick houses are the next up the chain, costing around 150TL ($8) per square meter for a simple build, and 1,500TL ($80) per square meter for luxury features. Wooden houses are popular and vary depending on the type of wood chosen, but they can cost around 225TL ($12) per square meter on average, and up to 3,500TL ($200) for first-class wood and extra design features.
Concrete houses in their simplest form start from around 350TL ($20) per square meter and go up to 2,700TL ($150) per square meter for luxury builds, and simple steel construction starts from 500TL ($30) per square meter and can cost over 4,200TL ($230) per square meter for a luxury build.
If you’re not a property developer or architect yourself, hiring a property manager is a good idea. A going rate for a decent architect in Turkey is between 5 and 10 percent of the build price or just 70-80TL ($4-5) per hour. Compared to the western world, these prices are very low and definitely worth putting aside some of your budget for.
Importing Prefabricated Houses in Turkey
We know that all these material costs can be confusing, especially when there are pros and cons to every house style you could choose, but what if we told you the hard work could be done for you?
Well, one popular way of building a property in Turkey, especially for foreigners who might not get to spend long periods of time on the developing build site, is to actually use a prefabricated home and bring it onto a plot of land. Prefabricated houses can be built in a shorter time and are often more economical, reducing design costs and importation of separate materials.
Prefabricated homes might mean less flexibility, as many are pre-designed, (although often with changeable features) but they are easily moved, disassembled, and assembled wherever you want them. It could be as easy as choosing one from a catalog and ordering it as soon as your planning permission is granted, speeding up your build process considerably.
Prefabricated houses in Turkey average between 200,000TL ($11,000) and 600,000 TL ($32,500), depending on the style. Exterior cladding also has an effect on cost. Extra siding is essential in colder regions of Turkey, but cladding can reduce extra costs for heating and cooling.
For an idea of the size of house you could buy prefabricated in Turkey in 2022, check out the list below:
|House in Square Meters||Rooms||Price (TRY)||Price (USD)|
|50 m2||2 to 3||200,000||$11,000|
|75 m2||2 to 3||250,000||$13,500|
|100 m2||2 to 4||340,000||$18,500|
|120 m2||3 to 4||400,000||$22,000|
|150 m2||4 to 5||550,000||$30,000|
|160 m2||4 to 5||630,000||$34,000|
Can foreigners build property in Turkey?
One thing that makes Turkey such a desirable place to build property is its flexible rules around foreigners owning and selling land in the country. There are more restrictions to buying in rural villages where land prices can dip extremely low, as land has to be situated within the boundaries of a municipality. However, most foreigners are permitted to buy municipal land in their own names in Turkey, to a staggering limit of 30 hectares (300,000 square meters).
How much does it cost to build a villa with a pool in Turkey?
The cost of putting a pool in your back garden in Turkey depends on a few things, like the type of ground where you want the pool to go, and the size of the swimming pool. On average, you should expect to pay a minimum of 90,000TL ($5,000) for a small plunge pool measuring around 16 square meters, including excavation, concrete reinforcement, tiling, pumps, lights, and surroundings.
This comes to around 180,000TL ($10,000) for an average-sized pool of around 24 square meters (6m x 4m x 1.35m in depth). The average maintenance costs for a pool in Turkey are also around 700TL ($40) a month.
Is property a good investment in Turkey?
Turkey’s property market can be a lucrative investment with low starting costs to get on board, potentially high returns, and advantages over countries like Cyprus or Spain which have already seen huge booms in property prices. The economy can be volatile in Turkey and the market is subject to crashes, but that’s why property should be seen as a long-term investment and there’s a high chance it will pay off in a few decades.
Do I need to pay council tax in Turkey?
As a foreigner, you are entitled to pay council tax on any property you own, build, or live in Turkey. The price is the same for Turkish citizens and ex-pats but it varies by region. You can visit the municipal building in your town to pay or make payments through the official government websites in Turkey.