Turkish demand for property in Barcelona is rising fast as Erdogan increases his grip on power at home.
Straight after last Sunday’s disputed referendum that President Erdogan will use to turn Turkey into a more Islamic and authoritarian state I noticed surge in the number of Turks downloading my Spanish Golden Visa guide, written in collaboration with leading lawyers.
Having lived in Istanbul for several years as a young teenager, and visited several times since, I know the city quiet well, and remember it and my Turkish friends with great affection. Educated, liberal, secular Turks are some of the most sophisticated people I know.
Erdogan has been taking Turkey down an increasingly authoritarian and religious path for some time now, but things have really come to a head with the failed coup, the subsequent vicious clampdown, and then the referendum. I can imagine that many sophisticated Turks feel increasing nervous about their future in Turkey. A Spanish Golden Visa offers them an insurance policy should things get worse, plus a property investment that makes sense at this stage in the market cycle.
I asked around and found that others have also seen a big increase in Turkish demand for property in Spain, and Barcelona in particular.
“We’ve been very active with Turkish clients since summer last year,” says Alex Vaughan, a founding Director of Barcelona-based estate agency Lucas Fox. “The clients we have are buying residential property in the range €500,000 to €1.5m, mainly in Barcelona city but we are seeing growing interest in Madrid and Valencia, and more or less 50% of them are taking the golden visa. So far this year sales to Turkish clients account for about 7.5% of our Barcelona business, so it is definitely the fastest growing group by nationality. The referendum result is likely to increase the amount of interest from Turkey.”
Having lived in both cities, I’ve always thought that Barcelona and Istanbul have many attractive things in common, like a seafront, good climate, wonderful food, rich heritage and lovely architecture. If I had to leave Istanbul, but wanted to live somewhere offering a similar quality of life, then I would head for Barcelona. Which is what, it seems, an increasing number of Turks are doing.