Istanbul surge as buyers eat up Turkey after Christmas
Istanbul property prices are surging as buyers remain hungry for Turkey after Christmas.
Values of prime houses in the Turkish capital are rising, according to figures released by Castle Research. "Strong demand for apartments" has driven up prices, says the Turkey Real Estate Investment Outlook 2012 report, with developments proving increasingly popular over the past nine years: in 2003, off plan properties were selling for US $1,500 per square metre; now, those figures have skyrocketed, with real estate fetching $10,000 per square metre.
"No matter how you analyse it, those price increases represent significant market strength," Castle told OPP, adding that the data only represents that top end of the market.
Indeed, Turkey is starting the year in a position of strength, as international buyers keep up their taste for Turkey's property, ready to either resell for profit or rent out and capitalise on the market's buy-to-let demand. Even Turkish companies are making a move toward the capital's real estate, adds Castle, where rates of return are now "higher than they earn on their bank deposits".
Visitors are getting greedy for Turkey, too, with tourism figures also heating up. According to Xinhuanet, the country's Culture and Tourism Minister predicted last week that they will welcome 32.5 million tourists in the coming year. As foreigners keep gobbling up accommodation, it is no surprise that the economy is expected to continue expanding, albeit at a slower rate, with 4 per cent growth forecast by the government for 2012, following last year's boom of 7.5 per cent.
Turkey's coast is seeing the highest number of tourists, becoming stuffed with real estate developments ripe for consumption. This glut of feasting has led to some resale values declining due to an overcrowded plate, but investors that bought before 2005 "are enjoying solid gains", Castle finds, while current buyers can still find rental yields of 5 per cent in popular hotspots.
Meanwhile, in the capital, apartment blocks are seeing rents jump by up to 10 per cent per year, with gross yields firmly in double figures. There was a decline last year in UK and North European buyers biting at Turkey's real estate, but Castle's report reveals that there is a "steady interest [from British and Scandinavian investors] at the upper-middle price bracket, and also from young professional British buyers at the low end of the market."
Christmas may be over, but as Turkey remains piping hot at the beginning of 2012, investor appetites are set to get even stronger.