Saturday, May 3, 2008

Title deeds problems solved

THE revision of the Title Deed laws has passed a major hurdle, giving hope that Parliament will vote on it soon.

The revisions of two aspects of the title deeds laws affecting foreigners was cleared to go before Parliament after they were accepted by Parliament’s Justice Commission last Friday.

The main changes will see the amount of land that foreigners can buy will be worked out on a district basis – ie Didim – instead of previously on a province basis – such as Aydin.

They will be allowed to buy a percentage of the available building land in the district where as previously it was a percentage based on land in the province, which included mountains, rivers and agriculture land.

The suspension of Tapus came into force after a challenge in the Constitution Court two weeks to two elements of the title deeds laws. To enable the changes toi be passed by Parliament, the issuing of title deeds had to be frozen while this was dealt with.

Now that the laws have been accepted by the Justice Commission, there are hopes that the laws will be swiftly accepted by Parliament before it breaks up for a three-month recess.

This would then allow the Land Registry to make the necessary changes and for title deeds to be given to be issued again.

No time-frame has yet been indicated by Parliament when the laws will be considered.

Foreigners buying property in Turkey

The recent increase in the number of foreigners buying houses in Turkey reveals a profile of ‘home owner tourists’ in the country. Among all foreign tourists who visited Turkey for vacation in the first quarter of the year, 14 percent stayed in their own houses. 40 percnent stayed at hotels, hostels and guesthouses while 32.4 percent stayed with friends or relatives

A rapid increase in the number of immovable property purchased by foreigners in Turkey in recent years has given rise to many “home owner tourists” in the country. Figures suggest that many foreign tourists visiting Turkey on holiday choose to own a house in the country.

Figures by Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reveal that 14.1 percent of foreign tourists who visited Turkey on holiday stayed in their own houses. While 40 percent of foreign tourists stayed at hotels, hostels or guesthouses during the same period, 32.4 percent stayed with friends or relatives. Again in the same period, 9.8 percent of all foreign visitors stayed in rented houses.

On the other hand, among Turkish citizens who came to Turkey from abroad for holiday, 62.5 percent, an estimation based on the number of overnight stays, stayed in their own houses. According to the same figures, 27.5 percent of Turks living in abroad stayed with friends or relatives. The percentage of those who stayed in hotels, hostels or guesthouses was 5.6 percent.

In the same period, 32.4 percent of Turkish nationals and foreign visitors in total stayed in their own houses, while 30.6 stayed in a friend's or a relative's house. The percentage of those who stayed in hotels, hostels and guesthouses was 27.7 percent. Only 6.7 percent stayed in rental houses.

On the other hand, foreigners that visit Turkey for vacation stayed in the country only for 10 days while Turkish nationals stayed for 23 days. Average stay, taking into account the total number of visitors, was 12.7 days in the same period.

According to figures by General Directorate of Title Deeds, a total of 73, 103 foreign nationals bought a total of 63, 085 immovable property in Turkey so far. Foreigners mostly choose resort towns like Muğla and Antalya. The largest share of immovable property purchasing in Turkey belongs to Germans, British and Greeks.

Rate of university graduate tourists 36 percent

About 36 percent of foreign tourists visiting Turkey in the first three months of the year are graduates of university or college. The rate among Turkish nationals (who live in abroad) visiting Turkey remained at the level of 22.2 percent. Out of foreign national tourists, 31.9 are graduates of high school, 13.7 are graduates of secondary education and 11 percent has masters and doctoral degrees.

As for Turkish national tourists visiting Turkey in the first three months of the year, 30.1 percent were high school graduates, 11.3 were secondary school graduates, 27.5 percent were primary school graduates, and only 5.3 percent were masters and doctoral degree holders. Among them, 3.5 percent did not hold a school diploma.

Out of 2,795,813 foreign tourists who visited Turkey in the first quarter of the year, 63.7 percent were in the mid-income range. The percentage of foreign tourists from high income groups was 17.5 percent while 13.8 percent was comprised of those from lower income groups. As little as 3 percent were from very low income groups while 2.1 percent of them were from very high income groups. Among Turkish national visitors, 66 percent belonged to middle income groups. The percentage of high-income Turkish national tourists was 15.7 percent while that of low income Turkish national tourists was 14.8 percent. The percentage of those from very low income group was 1.9 percent while the rate of those from upper income groups was 1.5 percent.

Professionals ranks first

TÜİK figures also show that 20.5 percent of foreign tourists visiting Turkey in the first three months of the year were professionals. On the other hand, 18.7 percent of them were business owners, lawmakers and top-level managers. The percentage of those who work in bureaus or customer service was 7.7 percent, those who work as sales persons was 7.4 percent, and those who work in assistant professional positions was 6.6 percent.

The percentage those who work in jobs that do not require any qualifications was 6.2 percent while 4.9 percent was made up of artists, 3 percent were facility and machine operators and assemblers, 1.5 percent were qualified agricultural workers, cattle breeders, hunters and forestry workers, and 0.9 percent were of members of the armed forces. Other occupation groups made up the remaining 22.4 percent.