There is a buzz around the next, overseas property hotspot, with Turkey and Istanbul getting a fair number of mentions. So what are Property Venture’s top ten reasons why this might be so?
1) World Profile
As far as Istanbul is concerned, it is in a prime position to exploit the balance of power shift in the World over the next 10-15 years. We already sense and know, that power is shifting to countries like; China and India, in addition, the world’s population is shifting from the countryside to the city and there is a proliferation of smaller households, all of which shape the future property world.
Istanbul, as a city of tomorrow, enters the top 25 city rankings for 2025 on a number of dimensions: as a city whose average, annual, household income will be over $20,000, whose population will be youthful ( high proportion below 15 years of age), sizeable (already over 10m),* in spite of it not being the capital of Turkey (Ankara is). Istanbul is a 21st Century City and Newsweek claimed it to be “one of the coolest cities in the world.” It is a stunning and varied city and most definitely worth a visit.
With this strong earning-power and household proliferation, comes demand for housing and property-related goods and services. It also attracts businesses to set up in the city, thereby attracting workers and further investment.
Istanbul, a city steeped in tradition and heritage dating from the Ottoman Empire (when it was Constantinople), has attracted visitors through the ages. It occupies a unique spot, where East meets West, where Europe meets Asia, divided only by the Bosphorus river.
Istanbul, European Capital of Culture 2010, has plenty to offer tourists and culture-lovers: Topkapi Palace, (residence of the Ottoman sultans) the 1400 year old church, Haghia Sophia and the 17th century Blue Mosque (same stone masons as Taj Mahal).
Turkey is resplendent in universities, c.166 in Turkey, with the largest number in Istanbul, where there are 42 universities and five vocational schools. While Turkey has a total student population of 3.8 million, (remote as well as physical students) Istanbul is at the heart of academic life, accounting for about 10% of the student population
Istanbul has plenty of direct flights so is easy to get to. BA and Easyjet fly from London and major European cities to Istanbul. BA has better coverage of the UK’s regional cities to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines also have Istanbul flights.
There is currently a new metro (M4) being constructed with new stations which will also extend to Sabiha Gokcen airport. The Marmaray Tunnel (a rail tunnel under the Bosphorous) is being built to connect Asian and European-side metro stations and is to enter service, with latest estimates at 2012. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the property prices in this area. Istanbul has a railway, metrobus, tramway and a short underground metro.
Istanbul is a large city, so it can experience a range of sub-climates. The Bosphorus Strait and surroundings are dominated by the Mediterrranean climate (dry summers and mild and rainy winters) but to the north there is a Black Sea climate (more rainy). The overall average temperature in Istanbul, is a mild 14.1 °C (57 °F).
9) Property Market
From a property perspective Istanbul is an exciting market to consider, yields can be as high as 7%-10%.
Price Waterhouse Coopers consider there is a housing shortfall of 250,000 units per annum in Istanbul. Property demand is significant, given the fact that over 10 million already reside in a city, which does not have the existing stock of property to cater for its growth.
A proposed relaxation of rules around non-Turkish nationals buying property, is likely to create a $10 billion property market, spurred by sales to Arabs. Already sales to foreigners reached $2.5bn in 2010, up 40% on 2009.
10) Low entry price point
Property in Istanbul can start as low as £24,000 for a 1 bed apartment in the suburbs, so those unable to get a foothold on the property ladder in the UK, might want to think about buying a property in Istanbul as an investment and becoming a first-time-overseas-buyer.
So, a burgeoning economy, strong university faculties, a wealth of culture, a promising property market and easily accessible. Where does Istanbul fit in your foreign property investment plan?
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Featured or Mentioned in: The Sunday Times, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Express, Daily Express, The Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, The Independent on Sunday, The Independent, Evening Standard-Homes & Property, Homes Magazine, Property Wire, International Estate Agent Today, Property Overseas Today, Overseas Property Professional, HSBC Liquid Magazine, easyJet Magazine, London Homes & Property, A Place in the Sun, Buy Association
NB. * Based on McKinsey research of over 2,000 citiesTags: European property, First Time Overseas Buyer, foreign buy-to-let, investment property, Istanbul, Overseas Buying process, Property ladder