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Property in Istanbul: Sit up and Take Notice

June 29, 2011Article by Ray Withers

Property in Istanbul — with a little help from a lot of sources — has gotten everyone sitting up and taking notice of its world-beating investment potential. It is hard to know whether to start with the glowing reports from investment companies, or the reasons behind those reports.

Of the latest news, arguably the most significant report was the Emerging Trends in European Real Estate report by Pricewaterhousecoopers, which is based on a survey of investors, fund managers from investment funds, real estate investment trusts, asset management firms throughout Europe. In it Istanbul was named the best property investment prospect in Europe for the second year running, winning the category for development opportunities and acquisitions, and coming second for existing investments.

In the report investors highlighted the massive growth in the Istanbul population, both in the numbers and in their affluence, combined with the shortage of quality properties to satisfy demand. They said that despite the construction boom of late, that developers simply cannot build as fast as demand is growing, and that there could be a housing shortage of up to 250,000 units.

One of the biggest attractions of property in Istanbul is the price. All this prestige, all this demand and you can buy a 2 bedroom apartment in upcoming districts near the beach and city centre for less than £60,000, and that is stylish modern apartments in a well equipped complex including leisure facilities.

Hardly surprising the property laid out above is already sold. It was being marketed by Property Frontiers, director of the firm David Cox said:

“Istanbul has really taken off and we are seeing its popularity with investors at every level soaring. One of the biggest problems the market faces is the fact that it is still relatively unregulated, and there is huge potential for investors to get caught out on developments that do not have the proper planning permission or other legal requirements haven’t been met.

“This is one of the things we focus on, and the next development we will be bringing online, like all those that went before will have been carefully checked to insure our investors are making a safe and sound investment, as well as a potentially very lucrative one.”

One thing that an investment needs, but that isn’t always at the forefront of investors minds is a reliable exit strategy. Istanbul’s exit strategy is based on the strengths above and therefore very reliable. A population growing in affluence and in numbers, and — here’s the kicker — with growing access to mortgage finance. With the Turkish mortgage market growing at 20-25 percent per year according to the central bank, investors can almost be assured of solid domestic demand when they want to sell.


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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