Istanbul property market overview by New York Times 15 December 2011

  Date posted: 11th of May 2012

An article published in the New York Times on 15 December 2011 looks at the Istanbul market, prime location Bosporus real estate in Istanbul compared to much more affordable suburban Istanbul offered to investors for their growth potentials.

According to Istanbul experts, the stable Turkish economy and increasing appeal of Istanbul as a bridge between the West and the East is attracting the wealthy from all over the world and certainly from within the Turkish market itself.  As a result homes in prime location Istanbul have seen a major increase in prices over the past 5 years. The hills of Bosporus are attracting up to USD 18,000 per square metre, whereas waterfront yalis (waterfront mansions on the Bosporus, generally historic buildings on Bosporus, Istanbul) may command up to USD 30,000 per square metre and more.

The rising trend in the market seems to be luxury high rise apartments, including prime locations. These offer exceptionally comprehensive facilities within easy reach of the city"s financial and cultural heart. There are, however, those who do not wish to live in high rises and who are after more authentic, historic houses in the old town of Istanbul.  Most of these require renovations and the trend is becoming more and more wide-spread. Having said that, it is rather difficult to find viable options on the market as renovated, for most owners tend to prefer to sit on their assets and not sell, at least for the time being. Renovation in Istanbul is tipped as a viable investment strategy.

There are a good number of affordable high rise apartments on the market too, particularly on the outskirts, the suburban towns. These start from as low as USD 1,500 per square metre, which is significantly lower than central locations.  According to Cameron Deggin of London based Place Overseas, a company specialising in Turkish property, investors should purchase very selectively into these suburban towns for growth promises may not always materialise as promised. According to Mr. Deggin, Istanbul prime location is the only viable investment strategy for Istanbul investors.  Those with low level investment budgets should look elsewhere where their return on investment is likely to be much higher in the medium to long term.

The article also looked at main foreign buyer profiles in Istanbul. Accordingly, 60% of buyers are now from the Middle East with 40% being European, American and others. The purchase process in Turkey is likely to be changed very soon in 2012 making it easier for all nationalities to purchase in Istanbul and Turkey in general. This is expected to increase the influx of foreign buyers even further. 

To read the full article published on 15 December by the New York Times, please click on Istanbul property market New York Times