Times are changing in this fast-moving, exotic city, invest now to catch the best of expected boom, says Liz Rowlinson
Straddling two continents, its sky-line studded with minarets and sky-scrapers, Istanbul is not for the first time, undergoing something of a renaissance.
The recent arrival of Harvey Nichols and Easyjet has helped turn to city into fashionable weekend destination.
And now, along with ancient bazaars and sleek new emporiums of Channel and Zara, estate agents are springing into life.
Although Turkey's overseas property market is established in the better known coastal resorts - there are already 13,000 British owners there - Istanbul will appeal to a different kind of buyer.
What's more, in two or three years there's going to be massive shortage of property. According to specialist Cameron Deggin, of Property Turkey for Sale, this will push up prices 'big time'.Mortgages have been available to Turks only since May 2006, but there isn?t the infrastructure to process them, he says.
There are just 170 surveyors in the country, so it?s going to take 18 months before the large-scale take-up. But Turks can now afford to buy property and many are moving to Istanbul. 'We are getting a lot of customers who are worried about a property crash in Spain, who are selling up and looking at Turkey' says, Cameron Deggin