Istanbul’s rising financial status to bolster Turkey’s bullish market in 2015

The Turkish real estate sector enters 2015 with high expectations thanks to the market ending 2014 with plenty of momentum and continuing signs of interest from foreign buyers.

As December came to a close Turkey’s property sector was on course to completing a record-breaking year in terms of housing purchases by foreigners, which saw a hike of 59 per cent year-on-year for the first 11 months of 2014, passing the 17,000 mark.

In value terms, foreign property purchases in Turkey in 2014 are way ahead of 2013. Worth $3 billion for the whole of 2013, recent statistics from the Central Bank of Turkey show that foreign direct investments in the form of property purchases had surpassed $3.5 billion even by the end of October 2014.

A closer look at the figures reveals there was an average of 1,500 foreign transactions each month between January and November. Provinces most popular with foreign buyers are Antalya at number one, followed by Istanbul and Aydin.

Looking ahead to 2015, Istanbul will remain especially attractive to investors from the Middle East, with smaller numbers of European and American buyers also tapping into the market. Two and three-bedroom apartments on modern developments in upcoming districts like Bahcesehir will remain popular, where typical spends are £100,000-£150,000.

Istanbul’s appeal to international businesses – and in turn investors – should receive a further boost in 2015, thanks to the city being ranked 47th in the 2014 Global Financial Centres Index, up from the 72nd in 2009. This climb up the ladder is largely due to the Turkish Government’s Istanbul International Finance Center Project, which was launched in 2009 with the aim of making the Atasehir district of Istanbul an international financial hub. Expected to reach 25th place in the Global Financial Centres Index, compiled by the London-based consultancy firm Z/Yen, by 2018, Istanbul holds immense potential for accumulation and distribution of regional financial resources.

Elsewhere, coastal resorts in Antalya likely to attract foreign buyers in 2015 include Kalkan, Alanya, Side and Belek, especially if more international flights begin to arrive at Gazipasa Airport. Proof of the Antalya growing appeal, the number of tourists visiting the province between January and July 2014 rose by 3.63 per cent compared to 2013, reaching a total of 6.735 million, according to the Antalya Culture and Tourism Provincial Directorate. Russians and Germans are the two largest groups of foreign visitors to Antalya.

Meanwhile in Aydin, resorts that appeal to foreigners include Altinkum, Akbuk and Kusadasi. And on the Bodrum Peninsula, and in particular the chic marina resort of Yalikavak, will draw more high-end purchasers, including the international jet set, while Fethiye can expect to grow its status as a family friendly resort with fantastic beaches and a vibrant lifestyle.

Going forward, property prices in Turkey will continue to match – and often better – other overseas tourist destinations in terms of value for money. However, a real bonus of the country that is expected to continue is the very cheap way of life for expats compared to typical Eurozone countries, thanks in part to the weakness of the Turkish lira.