In a constantly changing world, the question of preserving and multiplying one’s own funds has become especially relevant. Experienced investors prefer to buy real estate in countries where the market is most active. In 2023, some of the most popular destinations were real estate markets in Poland and Turkey. CEO of Homium International Real Estate Agency Arthur Brasilevsky is sure that this trend will only continue, and prices for apartments in major cities of these countries should only grow.

The real estate market in each country is unique in its own way and has a number of peculiarities. Inexperienced buyer is unlikely to navigate on their own in the unknown market of a country. That is why we asked for advice from an expert on the global real estate market, the CEO of Homium International Real Estate Agency Arthur Brasilevsky. 

Homium is a group of companies specializing in the sale of foreign real estate for Ukrainians and worldwide. For many years, Homium Real Estate Agency has been a reliable guide for buyers and sellers in the global real estate market. The company also provides a full range of services for property management after the purchase.

Turkish Real Estate Market

The real estate market in Turkey in the past few years is developing by leaps and bounds: Just in 2 years, the demand for real estate in the resort cities — Alanya and Antalya — has grown several times. Turkey has become home to people from all over the world. According to official data, last year in Turkey with valid residence permits lived about 1.3 million foreigners. The majority are in Istanbul (about 706 thousand foreigners), but in second place is Antalya where about 158 thousand foreign residents lived, and 5 more cities. 

— There is a number of important reasons for such popularity of Turkey, but the main is the war in Ukraine and the increase in demand for real estate on the Mediterranean coast among both the Ukrainians and among Russians and Belarusians, explained Artur Brazilevsky. — Plus, do not forget about the obvious advantages of Turkey, such as a great climate, a unique nature, which combines mountains and sea, low taxes on income (only about 10%), and a relatively inexpensive cost of living. Of course, it is also worth considering the endless flow of tourists, which does not stop almost all year round. Revenues from tourism make up a significant part of the country’s GDP.

And, while tourists prefer to rent homes, the majority of foreign residents are increasingly inclined to buy their own real estate, preferring it to long-term rental. That is why the demand for real estate by the sea continues to grow and so do the prices.

At the beginning of February 2023, Turkey was hit by the strongest earthquake in the country in recent times. And, of course, for a while buyers and sellers «froze» in anticipation: no one knew what would happen next. However, after literally 2-3 weeks deals were back on the market in those cities in Turkey that were not affected by the earthquake: Alanya and Antalya. If we look at the seismic hazard map we can see that the most popular among tourists cities are quiet areas. This is confirmed by the tragic events that took place. This is why the demand for real estate in coastal cities has not dropped but only increased in early 2023.

Because of the high interest among foreign investors real estate market in Turkey is literally «boiling». Of all the countries where people from the former Soviet Union prefer to buy real estate, Turkey has risen in price more than anyone else. Very often Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians buy real estate here but Iranians and Iraqis are no less active.

Antalya Old Town

Turkey, Antalya

Demand greatly exceeds supply because developers simply do not have time to build so much new housing. According to official data, the number of properties sold to foreigners recently increased by 15.2%. But here we should take into account that the statistics take into account all cities in the country, not just resorts — Mersin, Antalya, and Alanya. If we consider only the most popular destinations in Turkey, the sale of real estate to foreigners has increased by at least 50%. Last year in Antalya, almost 22,000 real estate transactions with the participation of foreign buyers were registered which is only 3,000 less than in Istanbul. I think that 2023 will break some records in the real estate market in Turkey. 

Such demand has also provoked a rise in real estate prices. In some regions of the country, the cost of real estate rose by 120% per year. This made it almost impossible to buy real estate for the local population, and the authorities literally «closed» the most popular areas of Turkey to obtain a primary residence permit. This means that foreigners can still buy real estate there, but registering and living there is impossible. According to the authorities, such a measure of influence will help stabilize the real estate market in the country and send foreign monetary assets to other parts of Turkey. In my experience, I can say that even the closure of certain areas in order to obtain a primary residence permit didn’t manage to slow down the market, and demand continues to grow. And there is every reason to believe that such tendencies will continue.

Another important factor that «adds fuel to the fire» of prices is the active development of the country’s infrastructure. More and more schools, clinics, kindergartens, sports fields, relaxation areas, and beauty salons are being built in Turkey. It is also worth mentioning the construction of the country’s second largest airport, which is planned to be completed in time for the presidential elections in 2023.

«Now the cost per square meter in some new buildings starts at $2000»

— What is the minimum threshold to enter the investment property market in Turkey?

— I would define investment real estate as properties that stably bring income to their owners. There are two options for earning income: passive — when the buyer buys an apartment in a new building at the construction stage and waits for its rise in price after the commissioning of the house, and active — when the buyer plans to rent the property out in the short or long term. In my opinion, Antalya, Alanya, and Mersin are the most interesting places to invest in. 

If we talk about the return on investment (ROI) in Turkey, according to official statistics, in major cities it is 5.5%, but in Antalya and Alanya it reaches 9% per year. The thing is that the cost of renting an apartment in these cities starts from €50 per day or €500-700 per month. For more or less good apartments of 1+1 type, you have to pay about €800-1000 per month. 

Of course, the cost of buying investment housing has also increased: if a year ago an apartment type 1 +1 on the coast cost around € 50,000, now this amount certainly doubled. Now the cost of a square meter in a new building starts at $ 2,000. 

To summarize, the minimum threshold of entry into the Turkish real estate investment market, I would define as € 100-120,000 in the primary market and € 120-140,000 in the secondary market. For that amount of money, it would be an apartment type 1 +1 in a resort area in a complex built on the concept of a five-star hotel (with a swimming pool, a sauna, a gym, and other bonuses).

— What does a foreigner need to buy a property in Turkey?

— There are no special conditions for the purchase of real estate in Turkey for foreigners. All that is needed is a basic package of documents and a reliable agency that will check all documents and conduct a deal on a turnkey basis. In most cases, even the personal presence of the buyer is not a prerequisite. 

By the way, the purchase of real estate can be the basis for obtaining a residence permit or even citizenship — today this issue is more relevant than ever. The amount to get citizenship for investment must be at least $400 thousand. 

When addressing «TurkHome» there are no additional conditions for the buyer. And in general, if you want to make a profitable and safe purchase of the real estate in Turkey contact the agency «TurkHome», which is part of a group of companies Homium. And the commission for buyers is 0%. The company also provides post-sale property management services.

panoramic view of the city of Wroclaw

Poland, Wroclaw

Real Estate Market in Poland

At the beginning of 2023, the results of the last year in the Polish real estate market were summed up: the cost of real estate rose by at least 10% (and in some cities, this figure reached 13%).

At the same time, it is impossible to say that the past year was an easy one for the country’s economy: high inflation, rising prices for vital goods, falling real incomes, and rising interest rates on mortgages. However, according to the forecast of the European Union, the Polish economy in 2023-2024 will show steady growth. Inflation is expected to decline gradually, which means that real incomes will rise. It is planned that already in one year or a year and a half the inflation rate will not rise above 5%, and the country’s GDP will grow by 2.6%.

— The real estate market in Poland is now at the peak of popularity among Ukrainian and Belarusian buyers. Moreover, here we are talking not only about investment real estate but also about simply buying a home for yourself. As a result, despite such inflation and high interest rates on mortgages, thanks to significant political support, low unemployment, and people from neighboring countries, the real estate market in Poland in 2023, active as ever, — said Arthur Brasilevsky. 

The cost of real estate in Poland has been growing steadily for many years in a row. Over the last 5 years, apartment and house prices in Warsaw have risen by an average of 10-15%, in Krakow and Wroclaw — by about 10%, and in Lodz, close to Warsaw — by about 7-8%. As a result, a 1 +1 apartment in the capital costs now about €138,000. It will be a new building, fully prepared to repair. On the secondary market, an apartment of 45 square meters will cost at least €170,000. In the popular areas of the capital real estate is even more expensive — for a studio apartment of 33 sq.m. in central and adjacent areas have to pay not less than € 155,000.

Townhouses are very popular in the capital of Poland and are often built in the nearest suburbs of Warsaw. It is possible to buy a townhouse of 120 sq.m. with its own plot of land on 3-4 acres for about €175,000. It is, again, a new building, completely ready for finishing. If you want to buy ready-to-move-in housing, the cost of such a townhouse will start from €240,000.

«Carefully selected investment project will allow you to reach an income of 8% per year»

— How profitable is investment real estate in Poland?

— In my opinion, even taking into account the high interest rates on mortgages, the purchase of investment property in Poland is very profitable. Firstly, because the cost of rental accommodation in major cities of the country has increased by at least 30-40%, and often the monthly payments of tenants fully cover the monthly payment on the loan of the property owner. Return on investment (ROI) in Poland in large cities a few years ago was about 5% per annum, but now you can already count on 7%. And an accurately chosen investment project will make it possible to reach 8% per year, and that is without taking into account the growth of the price of the real estate itself. 

Secondly, not so long ago, Poland announced a bill that would allow young families to buy their first property with a mortgage at 2% annually. The adoption of this bill is planned for the summer of 2023. Clear conditions for participation in the program haven’t been announced yet, but we can already say that the adoption of such a law would lead to another surge in demand in the property market. This, of course, will entail a new round of price increases for apartments and houses, both on the primary and secondary markets. 

That is why I believe that buying real estate in Poland now is the most profitable investment for a foreign buyer.

— What is the minimum threshold to enter the investment property market?

— In my opinion, to buy an investment property in such Polish cities as Krakow, Poznan or Wroclaw, you need at least €80,000. If we are talking about Warsaw, it is worth adding 30% to that price. 

— What does a foreigner need to provide in order to buy property in Poland?

— In Poland, there are peculiarities of the market, and they just relate to the purchase of the real estate by foreigners. If a foreigner wants to buy an apartment in Poland, he will need only a basic package of documents and a reliable agency that will check all documents and conduct a deal on a «turnkey» basis. If the buyer wants to buy a house (with an adjoining plot of land), he will need a special permit from the Interior Ministry for such a purchase. This was not much of a problem, but now due to the high demand in the real estate market the process of waiting for such permission can take a year or more — sellers don’t want to wait for so long.

Another case is the border and coastal cities, for example, Gdansk. A foreigner in Gdańsk will need a permit from the Ministry of the Interior to buy any real estate, and this makes it impossible to buy property here.

If you contact «PolHome» there won’t be any additional conditions for the buyer. And in general, if you want profitable and safe-to-buy real estate in Poland — contact the agency «PolHome», which is part of a group of companies Homium. The company also provides post-sale property management services.