The Second Home Market in Alanya - What for 2018?

So – as 2017 comes to a close, what for Alanya’s second home market in 2018?

We all know that the primary second home market has its fundamentals firmly ensconced within the tourism sector – indeed, if the tourists stop coming, then so do the second home buyers. After a pretty torrid 2016, the tourism market hit back strongly in 2017, with visitor numbers some 25% above its ‘annus horribilus’!.

Historically, the second home market in Alanya has been sustained by those countries that first discovered it as a tourist resort – as a result, the majority contingent of its foreign owners comprise those that herald from northern and western Europe (these include Brits, Scandinavians, Germans and the Dutch). However, in recent years, due primarily to a shift in tourism marketing, we have seen a major sea change in those that are adopting Alanya as both their preferred holiday destination and the place in which to own a second home. Nowadays, Alanya is not only the single most important tourist resort in Turkey (in terms of revenue generated) but also the No. 1 choice for foreign property buyers.

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All of this, is down, in no small part, to the savvy shown by the tourism industry in looking further afield for its customers – 2018 is likely to see a huge influx of tourists from new markets such as China, Indonesia and India.

Going back to the tourism / second home relationship, it is an undeniable fact that second home ownership (amongst foreigners) increases roughly in line with the number of visiting tourists – as tourist numbers increase, then so does the number of second home owners. In the last year, however, we have seen a contradiction in this relationship –  in 2014, Turkey welcomed a record number of 36.8 million tourists and in that same year, nearly 19.000 foreigners purchased a second home. By the close of 2017, we expect that Turkey will have welcomed around 31.4 million tourists and second home purchases to be around the 21.500 mark. So, whilst tourism figures between these years show a differentiation of 15%, the property sales to foreigners figures show a differentiation of just 10%.

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So – whilst foreign purchase of property has been down (in real terms), if we look at the incoming tourist / number of purchases dynamic, then the second home market is in relatively rude health! It is also interesting to note that this year, for the first time, more foreigners have purchased property in the Antalya province (including Alanya), than those that have purchased in Istanbul!

So – assuming they (the tourists) come, will they buy? – in short, i believe the answer is a fim yes!

Prior to April 2012, the ‘Law of Reciprocity’ meant that citizens from 81 countries were allow to by property in Turkey – after this time, upon the abolition of this Law, this increased to 186 countries – according to my latest information, there are now only 6 countries worldwide whose citizens can not buy property in Turkey!

Alanya is now accountable for 10% of all Turkish tourism revenue – every $1 spent by a tourist in Turkey is spent in Alanya – as a result, Alanya has the highest bed capacity of all the coastal resorts in Turkey. Given the relationship between tourist visitors and second home owners, it should come as no surprise that Alanya’s foreign property owners number around 45.000, accounting for 1 in 5 of all foreign property purchases in Turkey.

So – why Alanya, both as a tourist and second home destination? Up until the mid 90’s, Alanya was pretty much like any another Turkish coastal resort, with its economy reliant primarily on fishing and agriculture. At around this time, a number of savvy ‘go-getters’ realised that much could be made of this sleepy coastal resort nestled between the Mediterranean sea and the Taurus mountains. To cut a long story short, this was the beginning of the making of Alanya as it is today – a whole host of property and tourism professionals came together to commence a journey that has culminated in Alanya being the Turkish resort destination of choice both for holiday makers and second home owners.

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It is interesting that the negativity that sits with Turkey (as both a tourism destination and a second home choice) lies primarily with those nations that first embraced Turkey both as a place to stay and a place to buy. Certainly, for those ‘new’ markets to whom Turkey is being heavily promoted (not least the Middle East), Turkey remains a ‘safe’ haven – to illustrate, the top 3 buyers of Turkish property for the last 3 years have been Iraqis, Saudis and Kuwaitis. Whilst these 3 countries account for 25% of all property purchased (by foreigners) in 2017, it is noteworthy that, despite ongoing negative perceptions, our European neighbours continue to buy. If you were to look at the Top 10 buying nations for this year, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Russia all make the list!

The negativity (about Turkey) seems to be somewhat misplaced. Certainly, asking around those clients that have purchased in Alanya through Elite Group, none have ever thought twice about their decision to purchase – this includes a certain Swedish woman that enjoyed no less than 12 overseas inspection trips before deciding to buy a home in Alanya!

So – why Alanya? From a personal perspective, i happened upon Alanya quite by accident, having had only been to Turkey once before i arrived here. My wife and i embarked upon a visit in 2005 as a guest of Elite Group and like so many others before (and after us) we decided to buy a home here. We moved here permanently 3 years after this initial purchase and have not looked back – certainly, we now consider Alanya as our home – i think the 4 dogs and 2 cats would agree! So – whilst the Aegean coastal resorts such as Bodrum, Marmaris and Kusadasi may be more well known amongst those less travelled, i believe Alanya can more than hold its own against these (seemingly) fashionista destinations.

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At Elite Group, within our Inspection Trip program, we welcome around 200 new guests every year (this does not include those clients referred to us by additional partners such as local agents and tour operators). As part of this Inspection Trip, we spend a day enjoying the sights and sounds of Alanya. I can honestly say (after 9 years) that i have yet to encounter a guest that does not fall in love with Alanya. After all, what’s not to like? – we can offer the sparkling Mediterranean sea, wide sandy beaches, the backdrop of the Taurus mountains, boutique shopping, first class healthcare facilities, world famous Turkish cuisine, humbling hospitality and a pace of life to suit all – in addition, 5 star facilities and second homes (of a price and quality) that puts other overseas destinations to shame!

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So, what for 2018? – at present, it is looking good. A number of major tour operators (as previously reported) have announced significant increase in demand for Turkey – these include TUI (Europe), Thomas Cook and Jet2 (UK), Corendon (Benelux countries) and FTI Group (Germany). In addition, a number of Scandinavian airlines (including SAS) have announced an increase in the number of flights for next year, to both Antalya and Alanya-Gazipaşa airports.

Many tourism insiders have stated that they expect a return to the form that we experienced in 2015, with a possibility that we could also eclipse 2014 figures - this, combined with ongoing incentives in those new markets mentioned previously, means that the tourism industry and, by default, the second home market, will make 2018 a Happy New Year!

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