The city of Istanbul is booming, as construction sites are springing up all over the place. One such project is the Zorlu Centre, a $2.5 billion site that includes luxury boutiques and a Raffles Hotel. Almost half of the 1.5 million Dollar-a-piece apartments have already been snapped up by wealthy Europeans, Americans and Arabs.
Istanbul is quickly becoming one of the more desirable cities in the world, and some are placing it on par with Paris, London and Moscow. There are at least 10 more projects like Zorlu springing up around the city centre, and a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey ranked Istanbul as being the best European real estate investment destination for this year.
In 1980 Istanbul had 4 million residents, now it has closer to 14 million and income per capita has increased from $4,000 to $10,000 since 2002. Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan used to be mayor of Istanbul and has big ambitions and plans for the city and Turkey as a whole, with construction featuring heavy in these plans.
The construction sector grew at an annual rate of 17% in 2010 and 11% in 2011, and its expansion has helped spread wealth throughout the economy and allowed Turkey to begin diversifying trade into other countries. This is particularly important because of the problems in Turkey's main trading partner the EU. If Erdogan's big plans including a third airport, and a new super-canal to replace the Bosporus come to fruition we can expect more big news from the Turkish construction sector, and hopefully (big hope) the economy as well.