JANE SLADE talks to Adil Yaman of Universal21, the leading property agency in South-West Istanbul, about the investment opportunities there
JS: What does 2015 hold for the property market in Istanbul?
AY: “The market is being forced to grow due to rapid migration and expansion of the local population and as more foreigners see the investment potential.
“Outside Istanbul’s central business district prices are still sustainably cheaper compared to other European cities such as Prague, Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia.
“Istanbul has a ready-made market for rental management as there is such a huge influx of students each year and a lot of transitional employees whilst there is also very little progress in respect of campuses because the cost of land is prohibitive.
JS: How can you ensure that the rental market will remain buoyant?
AY: “The high percentage of young people in terms of the overall demographic will ensure that the rental market remains buoyant and with the new airport and canal developments in the close vicinity of Beylikdüzü, continued demand and growth is ensured.
“The spectacular changes since the Arab Spring is making Middle Eastern buyers look at Istanbul as a safe haven and we expect a rapid growth in this area of our business.
“We are also seeing the beneficial effects of the new capital gains tax in the UK and this, together with some of the issues surrounding the student market, is starting to drive traffic to Istanbul. The government’s plans to increase the international student market by 500 per cent in the next decade will also naturally assist this growth.”
JS: With Istanbul tourism at an all-time high, what would be your top tip for an investor currently looking at the options available in the market?
AY: “Do not buy in tourist areas as the prices are far too high and yields low. Deal with a good rental management company which has the same values as yourself and look to studios and one-bedroom units for high growth potential and higher yields if you are looking purely at investment as larger properties do not give the same returns.
“The essence of investment in property is always location, location, location! Buy close to major shopping centres, near metro links and all necessary local amenities as most people in Istanbul do not want a car because it is too expensive to tax, buy and insure.
“Petrol is very expensive, roads are congested and young people prefer to walk or use public transport to get around. They prefer to spend their money on renting a fully furnished apartment in a good residential development.
“It is always a challenge for any foreigner to buy overseas and as a company we understand the concerns and lack of familiarity with local laws and customs so take care of all of this for our clients.
“We make sure we walk our clients through the buying process step by step and we are there afterwards 24/7. Universal21 understands the fundamentals of investment and client care and we see a sale as an opportunity to build a long term relationship based on trust and confidence in our ability to deliver.”
For more information visit www.universal.com /0203 287 8700