Anyone looking at property for sale in Istanbul is assured of a vibrant real estate market with plenty of choice and mass potential for long-term investment. Istanbul is experiencing an urban transformation that is thrusting new, modern homes into the eyes of buyers all around the world and making it one of the most sought-after destinations in the world.
An abundance of luxury, budget, off plan and key ready properties also means buyers can afford to be specific, choosy and find precisely what they are looking for.
Despite no longer being the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is still the centre of everything and anything. As the largest city in the country, with a population of 15 million people, efforts in recent years to modernise and upgrade the metropolis to the likes of counterparts in other countries such as New York and London are beginning to pay off.
With many of the city hotspots lacking space for transformation, the modernisation is occurring in neighbourhoods on the outskirts, allowing buyers to tap into the benefits of city life but at a lower price.
Of course, for real estate investors, much of the hype focuses on Istanbul’s mega projects of which the new Istanbul airport in the Arnavutkoy district has garnered much attention. When the airport is fully operational and running, it will be the largest aviation transport hub for tourism and business in the world.
Another mega project leading investors to speculate is the Istanbul Kanal project on the European side of Istanbul.
For domestic and foreign buyers, it is all good news as the government is throwing their weight behind the recent modernisation drive of Istanbul’s real estate market. Domestic buyers with an ever-growing capita per income are finding credit easier to obtain than ever before.
Foreign buyers can also cash in on a favourable exchange rate, interest-free long-term payment plans and government incentives including citizenship, reduced vat and tighter buying procedures.
Naturally, as Turkey’s largest city, prices of property for sale in Istanbul vary dramatically depending on the location, infrastructure and existing neighbourhood reputations.
Istanbul property on the Bosphorus is highly sought after, but their prices are some of the most expensive in Turkey, leading some owners, especially of the historical mansions known as Yalis to only disclose selling price once the buyer has proved their financial net worth.
However, for the rest of us, prices start at an average of £60,000 and go upwards to the millionaire villas.
Neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city centres, both new and old, are growing in population count thanks to new, modern housing complexes emphasising the best of Turkish and international architectural styles but also offering lucrative long-term returns on investment, especially for properties bought off plan.
Most are changing the face of social communities in Istanbul because of shared communal facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, landscaped gardens, and kid’s playgrounds. A few districts are also receiving more attention than others.
Sitting on the European side of Istanbul, Beylikduzu was for many years, a favoured destination of the upper circles of the Ottoman empire. It continues that trend today with a growing number of middle-class citizens choosing it as their home because of the seaside ambience and scenic green areas.
The wave of interest in recent years has put it on the map as one of the most desirable and locations to buy property in Istanbul for permanent residence. The luxury Atakoy marina, mass of shopping malls, and wide choice of transport links, by road, air and sea can also be credited with attracting buyers looking for rental returns.
Esenyurt, also on the European side of Istanbul is another area receiving mass interest from property buyers. Developers and construction firms have focused a lot on this area, and the result is a mass of new, modern homes built with a residential ambience.
Those homes are also surprisingly well priced considering the close distance to the centre of Istanbul. Five universities also make it a favourite area for rentals. Esenyurt is one hour’s drive from the new Istanbul third airport, and in the opposite direction, it takes the same time to reach Sultanahmet square, the touristic centre of Istanbul.
For many years, Sancaktepe, on the Asian side of Istanbul has remained a quiet player of the Istanbul property market, yet a wealth of new housing projects is gaining the attention of buyers, who want the benefits of city living, but don’t want to be in the heart of the action. The district includes a large forested area and leisure community facilities within new housing projects make it particularly appealing to families.
Property owners are just 15 minutes’ drive from Sabiha Gokcen airport that connects with other destinations in the world through frequent flight schedules. The Ferry ports of Uskudar and Kadikoy, one of the quickest and convenient ways to reach European Istanbul are also a 50 minutes’ drive away.
Kucukcekmece on the European side of Istanbul has been a favourite suburb for many years, but its claim to fame is the lake and abundance of historical ruins which attract world-renowned historians.
The excellent value of price per square meter is one reason Kucukcekmece lures in Istanbul property buyers, but the ideal location is also enticing. The touristic centre of Sultanahmet is just 35 minutes away, while the vast variety of shopping and nightlife choices in Beyoglu is 45 minutes away.
The Mall of Istanbul, one of the most popular shopping centres in the whole of Turkey, is 20 minutes’ drive away, but there are also smaller outlets closer to home. The New Istanbul Kanal project, due to go through Kucukcekmece lake upon completion is also attracting real estate investors.
Sisli is one of the more prominent districts of the European side of Istanbul. As a hub of trade and shopping, it is like a mini city within itself, but should residents hamper after the real thing, the Beyoglu district that is the heart of new Istanbul is just 20 minutes’ drive away.
The area encompasses the smaller and equally famous neighbourhood of Nisanti, one of the most prestigious areas in Istanbul. Abdi Ipekci street within Nisanti, is an exclusive shopping district, well known all over Turkey as the most expensive rental community. However, buyers with a lower budget will find other more affordable neighbourhoods still offer the luxurious lifestyle that Sisli is known for.
Kagithane, another area experiencing an urban transformation doesn’t offer the benefits of seaside living because of its inland location, but it receives an equal amount of attention from potential Istanbul property buyers because of its close links to transport, shopping, education and nightlife.
Sitting next to the well-known Besiktas district, many buyers are professional workers based in the nearby business hub district of Levant. Kagithane is just one hour away from the new Istanbul airport, 20 minutes away from the shopping and nightlife hub of Taksim and Beyoglu and well located for transport links across to Asian Istanbul.
Buyers of property in Istanbul are sometimes undecided as to whether the Asian or European side will suit them and the answer depends on your lifestyle choice and habits. Many working expats prefer homes on the European side which holds business districts like Levant and Maslak.
People looking for a buy-to-let investment from tourism like the neighbourhoods surrounding the old Istanbul centre of Sultanahmet. The European side also offers everything and anything regarding nightlife, shopping and excellent transport links.
Having said that, despite keeping a low-key ambience for many years, interest is growing in the Asian side of Istanbul. Uskudar and Kadikoy are already proven hubs especially for ferry transport links across to the European side, but the outskirt districts are likewise, undergoing an urban transformation.
Families love the residential ambience, and universities districts attract a younger population, and regarding shopping and nightlife, it offers suitable and just as exciting alternatives to European Istanbul.
Our advice to potential property buyers in Istanbul, who are undecided as to the exact location, they wish to buy in, is to visit on a viewing trip in which you can experience and see for yourself, exactly what the European and Asian sides of Istanbul have to offer you. Get in contact to arrange this.
Naturally, given the modernisation efforts of Istanbul’s real estate market, off plan properties are the latest attraction, especially gaining interest from Middle Eastern nationalities. The most significant advantage of buying off plan is that by committing before the property can be seen, you are tapping into before market prices and in some cases, this is a lucrative and instant saving.
Developers also offer structured payment plans with 0% interest on off plan property in Istanbul, and at each stage of the construction, we email our buyers with photos and updates on their investment.
The other distinct advantage is being able to tailor the layout and design of your off-plan home to your liking, whether it is changing the colour of floor tiles, adding laminate flooring or in the first stages of construction making changes to the layout.
Spot Blue only works with established developers who legally abide by all building regulations and adhere to payment plans protecting the buyer’s investment. Some of the developers also offer property rental management services for investors looking for a buy-to-let income.
Naturally given Istanbul’s reputation as a hub of business, finance and economy, commercial property is also in high demand. Traditional business districts like Levant are already bursting with commercial buildings, and businesses are now looking for modern premises in other regions like Kagithane with lower property prices.
Most commercial property also features facilities a company needs such as reception centres, staff restaurants, meeting rooms, car parking, security and some even include onsite gyms.
Our property portfolio has a wide range of 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom apartments and villas for sale in Istanbul. Including luxury and budget property, we are also able to send specific details through to you via email. Just fill in the enquiry form attached to each property listing.
Otherwise, if you would like to speak to a sales representative via phone or in person, use the chat feature to the right or contact us here. As experts in the real estate market of Turkey, we also give further local information on neighbourhoods and advice for foreigners on buying property in Istanbul.
Facts about Istanbul
Telephone area code for Europe side +90 212
Telephone area code for Asian side +90 216
Area size 1,539 km²
Latitude / Longitude 41.0082° N, 28.9784° E
Population (approx) 15.5 million
Information about Istanbul
• Istanbul is located in the Marmara region in the North West part of Turkey.
• Istanbul is situated on the Bosphorus Strait between the Black and Marmara Seas and divides Europe from Asia.
• Istanbul’s Bosphorus, is a narrow, naturally formed strait and an international major waterway in north western Turkey.
• Istanbul is commonly known as where East meets West.
• Istanbul has 3 International Airports.
• Istanbul’s Port was opened in 1900 and is a passenger terminal for cruise liners, in the Beyo?lu district.
• Istanbul was once the capital of Turkey.
• Istanbul’s commercial and historical centre lies on the European side and around a third of its population lives on the Asian side.
• Istanbul has a population of around 15.5.million full time residents.
• Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey.
• Istanbul is the 5th largest city in the world (populous).
• Istanbul has also been known as Byzantium, Constantinople and Stamboul.
• Istanbul played host to 7 million foreign visitors in 2017.
• Istanbul’s main religion practised is Islam.
• Istanbul became part of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 when its founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the president from 1923 until his death in 1938.
• Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace was built in the 15th century and today it is a museum.
• Istanbul’s Sultan Ahmet Mosque is a historic mosque it’s also known as the Blue Mosque and it opened in 1616.
• Istanbul’s Blue Mosque was once a church, then a mosque now it is a museum, although men still kneel to pray there.
• Istanbul has 3 Archaeology Museums that are of great importance. They are The Archaeological Museum, Museum of the Ancient Orient and Museum of Islamic Art.
• Istanbul’s Military Museum depicts 1000 years of Turkish military history.
• Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia was once a Greek Orthodox Christian Cathedral, then an Ottoman mosque and today a museum.
• Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered markets in the world. With over 4,000 shops covering 61 streets, it daily attracts between 250,000 – 400,000 visitors.
• Istanbul’s Taksim Square is the hub for designer shopping and nightlife with numerous restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres.
• Istanbul is home to hundreds of waterside Mansions, some date back hundreds of years.
• Istanbul property for sale is highly sought after for those wanting a vibrant city lifestyle.