During the overseas property boom EU accession present or near-future was one of the main determinant factors in whether or not foreigners would buy property in a given emerging market. Indeed, EU accession can be attributed almost solely to property booms in several countries including Bulgaria, Poland and Estonia.
Those countries benefited from being in the accession process, while at the same time it was a huge hindrance for Turkey. For those countries accession negotiations seemed like a mere formality while for Turkey they have always been a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. So, while Turkey became increasingly popular with lifestyle buyers, in the booming overseas property investment market it continually lost out to countries with a safer track towards EU accession.
But that was then and this is now. Then the EU looked strong economically and the Euro looked like a feat of economic and monetary magic, now it looks like a house of cards after it has toppled. Then, Turkey was one of many countries in Europe seeing solid economic growth and a property boom, now Turkey is not only one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, but it is one of the few countries seeing any growth and also one of the most stable — it’s public debt levels are also at the bottom of the EU spectrum.
In short: then EU accession was something to be sought after, now it could be seen as a curse rather than a gift. It is ironic that when Turkey could take EU accession or leave it, the EU seems to be pulling out all the stops to make it happen.
There is one thing that we have forgot. The Turkish government, the AK Party continues to be one of the biggest proponents of EU accession. And had it not been for their striving to achieve it, it is unlikely that we would be looking at such a strong and stable Turkey as we currently are.
Should Turkey give up on accession it could lead to a slippery slope back into darker times. So, while property investors currently aren’t focussing on the likelihood of accession when deciding to invest in Turkish property, we should all hope that Turkey stays on the path towards it.