In The Pink

As with many good properties in the center of Istanbul, my association with this property has gone back a long way. I always referred to it as the pink corner building, in honor of the pink facade, which distinctly stands out in this Beyoglu neighborhood. It’s also very prominent in that it stands out as being higher than the surrounding buildings, giving it a majestic appearance, endowing the property with some of the best city views.
At over 100 years old, it has a history of its own, witnessing the transformation of the neighborhood as a bustling hive of Armenian, Jewish and Greek owners through to the period of decay which started in the fifties and carried on well into the eighties, at which time the incipient signs of a turnaround began to appear.

The.....Pink House!

The…..Pink Corner Building!

Just up the road and overlooking the lively Sunday Market and not more than 100 meters from the Fish Market (Balik Pazar), this was always destined to be an area that would be restored to its former importance, due to its centrality.
My first dealings with this Istanbul property were when an acquaintance of mine passed away (well-known and much-respected photographer, Mehmet Gulbiz, may he rest in peace) and one of his relatives asked me what they should do with his flat on the top floor. It was a small, rather run-down apartment, but it had enormous potential, with an amazing rap-around balcony. The family retained ownership, and it is being rented out by a client.

Classic Ottoman

Classic Ottoman

The property in these photos is on the fourth floor and it is the product of a painstaking restoration by a talented Ukrainian lady named Katerina. She bought this Beyoglu property at a good price and spent a fair bit to restore the original flooring, doors and iron work. She added an Italian-tiled washroom and a modern, functional open kitchen by converting one of the bedrooms. She joined the two windows in the living room into one larger one to maximize the view. The flat has been tastefully decorated and furnished in an historic Ottoman style and is now being used as a short term let that generates 120-140 euro nightly.

The city view

The city view

Katerina is very pleased with her investment and is now looking for her next project!

Take a look -


The Neighbourhood Watch – Galata

Galata is one of the magical neighborhoods of Istanbul that conjures up a mystical past. The Galata Tower, in fact, is arguably the most iconic of symbols in this city that is resplendent with them. Its stocky, tough yet elegant stature gives testament to the city’s durable character. Built by the Genoese in 1348, it has withstood numerous earthquakes, fires and so forth. Although little of what remains from the Constantinople area still stands today, Galata has managed to retain an oddly gothic feel, with narrow winding streets and plenty of lung-busting hills.
Those medieval streets

Those medieval streets

It has also become a center for fashion, architecture and design with many smart and sleek offices peppered throughout.   It pushes the boundaries with some of the highest Istanbul property prices with inimitable names such as Dogan apartment, the I-Pera projects, Kamondo Han, and Galata A.S. to mention only a few. An area that 10 years ago was plagued by wandering groups of glue sniffers (tinerci) and plenty of trash, has now almost completely transformed into a very frequented tourist area and an address of the fashionista and legions of Istanbul hipsters, artists, and musicians. Galata is home to many famous actors, designers and alternative artists. Increasingly, it has become a place where the Istanbulu elite have weekend pads.


Perched at the corner of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorous, it is not hard to see why the Genovese booked this spot for their famous lookout tower. In many ways, it is the gateway both geographically and culturally to the city, both then and now. It also retains its commercial feel, as a place where lots of to and fro on prices is exchanged in the music shops on Galipdede St.

Just a few years ago, it was a struggle to find a decent restaurant, whereas nowadays there is a chic café on every corner and many good restaurants, including the Kiva and Enginar restaurants, which specialize in Turkish food.  Try the Nardis Jazz  Club for a chilled out night.

Galata is now superbly connected with the rest of the city in terms of transport. Utilizing the new Sishane line, you can go all the way out to Sariyer at the north of the Bosphorous and in future it will be extended South with a connecting link to the airport. The Tunel line connects you to the Galata Bridge, where you can carry on with the tram until the airport. It also has easy walking access to the old town and evening walks over the Golden Horn mingling with the fishermen on the Galata Bridge are a very cool past time.The Location

The Location

The Galataport project, which is still a few years away, promises to add further shine and star power to the area, with its plan to offer the multitude of services and attractions necessary to keep the mega-liner crews and passengers entertained.

Although many of the buildings and properties of Galata still require refurbishment, when one considers that the real estate in this neighborhood was practically untouched by this trend all but 10 years ago, the pace of change is frankly staggering and shows little signs of abating. It leaves little doubt that this will become one of the most well-known tourist areas within the next 10 years and will become an almost household name such as Montmartre, Soho, or Las Ramblas.

Kiva Restaurant

Given this trajectory it is quite predictable that real estate prices have risen dramatically in the past years and seem set to move upwards, albeit at probably a more subdued speed. As there’s not much scope to create more building stock in these areas we expect to see a similar capital growth progression as Cihangir with possibly a 5-7% per annum property price inflation. Rental returns are good but not eyepopping coming in at approx 6-8%, though short term holiday lets can be much better if done well.

One of Lilimonts slick offerings!

One of Lilimont’s offerings

Currently, for the in-demand Galata properties, one could expect to pay a minimum of 2000 Euro/ sqm and go well upwards of that for anything with a view. The highest square meter price I have on record is about 8000 Euro/ sqm for a property with a lift, stunning views and an inspired architect’s interior finish.

The rents follow suit, with nicely finished Galata properties of between 60-80 sqm costing a minimum of 1000 Euros monthly with peak prices for a very high end Bosphorous View Penthouse reaching 5000 Euros. Expect a good average sized 2/3 bed apartment to cost 1500 – 1800 euros per month.

If you fancy a Galata pad, get in touch with me -