NEWS Foreign Investment in Istanbul

Interest in Turkish real estate has surged in 2013 and the outlook is positive for 2014 with all the indicators pointing to increased demand from both foreign and domestic buyers.

The latest global property index from one of the international real estate firm shows that property prices in Turkey increased by 12.5% in 2013 and Turkey has outperformed the rest of Europe. Russian and Arabian buyers have led to rise in interest from abroad, according to Turkey one of the property specialist firm.For the three months to the end of November 2013, it saw visits to its website increase by 24% compared to the same period in 2012. The number of Arabian visitors increased by 164% year on year, while visitors from Russia were up by 113%. Other enquiries have come from the UK, France, the Netherlands and the United States. ‘Istanbul in particular has attracted interest from Gulf and Russian investors this year. There are buy to let opportunities springing up in the booming suburbs in areas such as Halkali, Beylikduzu, Bahcesehir and Erenkoy, and the availability of chic second homes in more central fashionable districts on either side of the Bosphorus,’ said the company director. ‘Also, if they're buying for lifestyle purposes, then Bodrum on the Mediterranean Coast and other marina resorts on the Bodrum peninsula are also popular spots, thanks to the selection of smart, private villas on offer there,’ he added.

The largest group of Gulf investors in Turkey today comes from Saudi Arabia, from where a group of delegates attended the Turkish-Gulf Real Estate Congress and Exhibition in Istanbul in December. The event highlighted the strengthening alliance between Saudis and other Arab nations, and the Turkish property sector, and included the unveiling of a new package of joint real estate ventures worth a total $5billion. Also this month, a leading real estate firm in the Gulf announced it has committed to real estate investments in Turkey worth AED200 million, approximately £33milion. ‘Istanbul has led Turkey's property market in 2013 and I believe will continue to do so in 2014.

International investors like it not only for its capital gain prospects and buy to let opportunities, but also because it operates in multiple currencies, including US dollars, euros, Sterling and the local Turkish lira. Furthermore, this year the Turkish lira has lost value against most major currencies, making it a cheaper currency in which to buy for foreigners,’ The country’s booming economy also makes it an attractive prospect for real estate investors. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 4.4% in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year, exceeding forecasts of 4.05% and increasing 0.9% compared to the previous quarter. It is this strong economy, low unemployment and more relaxed property laws that are attracting overseas buyers according to one of the other agent . ‘Turkey's economic growth has actually exceeded expectations this year. With unemployment low and the populations of cities like Istanbul having greater spending power, we are seeing a rise in demand for property from domestic as well as overseas buyers who are encouraged by relaxed property laws,’ said the company director .

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