Demand for luxury residences in upmarket districts of Istanbul continues to rise, fuelled by buyers from the Middle East who are also attracted by investment opportunities. Luxury developments in the city’s growing suburbs are proving particularly popular.
In March 2014 alone, foreigners bought 478 properties in Istanbul, out of a nationwide total of 1,362, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. Istanbul accounted for 20% of all property transactions in Turkey during March.
Evidence suggests that districts such as Bebek and Nisantasi on the European side of the city, and Bagdat Street on the Asian side are helping to drive foreign sales, as they attract an increasing number of wealthy citizens from the Gulf nations.
Sales to foreigners are being further boosted by Middle Eastern investors targeting buy to let opportunities in residential developments in the suburban districts.
Istanbul’s property market has been boosted by a series of infrastructure projects set in motion by the government including a new mega airport and improved transport links between the Asian and European sides of the city, as well as an extension of the underground.
In addition, $50billion has been committed to redeveloping entire districts to ensure all buildings are earthquake proof. Construction is currently Turkey’s biggest industry sector.
Growth in Istanbul’s real estate market is unmatched by European markets, most of which remain depressed, and price growth is occurring at similar levels to London. ‘Typical buy to let investments are in the $150,000 to $200,000 bracket,’ explained Walker.
‘The market is moving quickly though. Our representative in Istanbul reports that new apartments in prime areas of Beylikduzu that were on the market six months ago for $80,000 should be worth in excess of $100,000 once the development is completed later in the year,’ he added.
Complementing Istanbul’s growing status amongst the international jet set is its increasing appeal to tourists. The city was voted the best place to visit in the world in this year’s TripAdvisor Awards, while 35 million people visited the country as a whole last year, a 10% increase over 2012, according to the country’s Culture and Tourism Ministry.