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A Year On and Istanbul is Still Booming

July 7, 2011Article by Ray Withers


My second visit to the thriving metropolis of Istanbul in just over a year proved to be yet another constructive trip. I spent another 48 hours in Istanbul and luckily I made it home on schedule, unlike last time when I was stranded there for more than 10 days because of volcanic ash! It did however provide me with the opportunity to have a good look around and get to know Istanbul.

The city has not lost any of its charm for me and continues to establish itself as a prosperous world business centre with many global companies opening up offices and distribution centres there. It is such a varied and large city but still never gives the impression that it sprawls nor does it ever feel overcrowded.

Istanbul has proved particularly popular with European investors seeking a city buy to let investment but the demand from locals for both investment property and as first time buyers is still continuing at a fast pace. There are plenty of new projects both in the centre and in the suburb of Beylikduzu, however there is still no frenzied overbuilding as was evident in say Dubai or southern Spain in the past. I was delighted to see several projects that I had sourced on my first visit were now complete and being readied for first occupancy. Beylikduzu in particular had really developed in just over a year and had really established itself as Istanbul’s western suburb.

My second favourite thing in Istanbul – the Metrobus – has begun its final construction phase out through the centre of Beylikduzu which will allow residents and visitors to the suburb to travel to and from the centre of Istanbul in just over 25 minutes. The Metrobus is essentially a dedicated contra-flow located in the centre of the E-5 dual carriageway. It is separated by the public traffic by central reservations on each side and large air conditioning buses run every couple of minutes and stop at stations every 500m to 1km. This serves as an ingenious and cost effective infrastructure development that is really making a difference to the communities and businesses that it serves.

My favourite thing in Istanbul has to be the food, especially the delicious kebabs. It was a treat to sample real kebabs again and I recommend anyone visiting to try this local delicacy.

In conclusion, our research backed up by my recent visit has identified Beylikduzu, Bahcesehir in the west and carefully selected new builds in central Istanbul districts including Levant, Maslak and Sultan Mehmet as locations which are sure to provide investors with asset classes with varied investment levels and profiles.

So I am not reminiscing anymore! I am busy finalising some more investment opportunities ready and waiting to meet the investor demand for European city buy to lets!


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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