Turkish Citizenship Acquisition Through Real Estate Investment Funds
When acquiring Turkish citizenship, investors generally tend to use a bank deposit (TL equivalent of USD 500.000) or real estate investment (USD 400.000). However, there is another alternative: Real Estate Investment Funds.
Real estate investments and bank deposits are the most frequently used investment types when acquiring Turkish citizenship by investment. However, the real estate investment funds stand as a profitable and safer alternative in some respects.
Foreign investors may acquire Turkish citizenship by investing in real estate investment funds worth at least USD 500.000.
Real Estate Investment Funds have significant advantages compared to real estate investments and bank deposits.
2. What is a real estate investment fund?
In a real estate investment fund, the fund’s manager gathers capital from many investors and creates a real estate investment portfolio. These funds are regulated by the Turkish Capital Markets Authority. The investors own a share in the fund, or in a simpler way, a share in the fund’s real estate portfolio.
3. Advantages of investing real estate investment funds
3.1. Highly regulated and monitored market
Portfolio and Real Estate Management Companies could start a Real Estate Fund with the surveillance and inspection of the Turkish Capital Markets Authority. The Capital Markets Authority constantly monitors the fund’s activities.
The real estate in the fund’s portfolio is appraised by government-accredited appraisal experts at the time of acquisition and at periodic intervals.
3.2. No legal restriction for any nationals to invest
Certain nationals are prohibited from purchasing real estate in Turkey, such as Syrian citizens. Further, the purchase of real estate by some nationals is subject to the permission of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, there is no restriction for any nationality to invest in the real estate funds.
3.3. Investments increase generally in parallel with the real estate prices
Bank deposits for citizenship applications must be in Turkish Lira. Investors may use the forex-protected deposits, where the government guarantees the account holder the higher of the interest promised by the bank or the deposited amount’s USD equivalent. These accounts, however, have a maximum duration of 12 months. Therefore, this scheme does not eliminate the risk of TRY depreciation against USD after the first year.
Real Estate Investment Fund’s value, on the other hand, is depended on its real estate portfolio. As the real estate market is highly dependant on USD and commodity prices, the investment’s risk of loss due to a devaluation in Turkish Lira is low.
3.4. Minimised legal and financial risks compared to owning real estate.
Owning real estate comes with costs: finding, acquiring, managing, and maintaining individual properties are costly and owners may encounter wide variety of legal risks. The reals estate funds, however, minimise these risks and costs.
3.5. No title deed fees.
In Turkey, purchasing a real estate is subject to a 4% tax (title deed fee), payable at the time of acquisition. This, however, does not exist for investing in real estate investment funds.
3.6. No real estate agent commission.
The real estate agents are entitled to up to a 6% commission. This, however, does not exist for investing in real estate investment funds.
4. Disadvantages of investing real estate investment funds:
4.1. Annual management fees.
The investors pay an annual management fee to the fund’s management company. This can be a fixed amount or a percentage over the investment amount. Depending on the fund type, the management varies from TRY 1.100 to 2% of the investment amount.
4.2. Shares can be sold only at certain times.
The investor who wishes to sell its funds may have to wait for the selling periods determined by the fund management company. It is generally at twice a year.
CONCLUSION: Investors, who wish to apply for Turkish citizenship are recommended to also consider real estate investment funds as an alternative.
The text above is for information purposes and is not a legal advice or investment recommendation.