Niches in the Istanbul property market

In a previous blog, I touched upon the opportunities for Istanbul property owners to let out their properties on a short term basis to the ever increasing number of tourists. This has been a niche market where investors have been able to use their human capital and sweat to produce better than average returns, and in many cases, set up small operations that provide enough income to justify their putting a full time effort into it.

Of course, in property markets that are expanding, such as Istanbul, there area lot of alternatives that perhaps investors may want to turn their attention to. Below are just a few that I want to draw attention to.

1-the summer home market within driving distance of Istanbul seems to be getting increasingly more attention. Areas such as Lake Sapanca seem to creating a lot of buzz, particularly with Arab investors. Seen as a lush and temperate alternative to their native lands where summers are barely livable, Sapanca offers villas at affordable prices ( ) and large enough to house the sometimes very large families. There is no doubt that this trend will continue and that land values in this area will rise, as well as touristic ventures of all forms.

Serene beauty

Serene beauty

I would not put it in the undiscovered category, but there really is so much potential for 5 star hotels, residences, spas and  business focussing on wellness trends. It is hard to see the downside of this area, being naturally beautiful and just a two hour drive from Istanbul. Typically, Turks with some wealth have always chosen the coastal areas for a second home.

2 hours from Istanbul

2 hours from Istanbul

However, a new set of wealthy class is seeking convenient getaways from the city that can be accessed year round on weekends. In a future blog, I will try to uncover some land deals for potential investors, as this seems the way to go. A ten year horizon could yield incredible returns.


2- Time shares. This is really so new here that it is hard to give much information, other than to say that this would certainly be an interesting angle for investors to explore, both from an owner of a time share to a developer of purpose-built time shares. As Istanbul’s role as business and tourist hub continues, more demand from wealthy business people and frequently returning tourists will swell. There is a new development on a largish scale in the Esenler area that is, again, being marketed to Arab buyers. This is a large, corporate-style time share, but one would imagine that smaller, more bespoke type of operations could generate some significant interest. This can also be an interesting alternative for those just wanting to get a foot in the market here, allowing them to do so without a large investment.

3- Student accommodation.

old style stooodents

old style stooodents

One thing that outsiders to Turkey may not know is that there has been a stunning rise in the number of universities such as Bilgi University and private education institutions that have opened their doors in the past decade.

The trend looks a safe bet to continue as the job market is demanding higher educated workers and earning spots in the top state universities are getting ever more competitive.

they're all like this nowadays...

students are all like this nowadays…

Though anecdotal, it seems there is a vast undersupply of affordable and purpose built housing for students. Properties in Tarlabasi and Aynali Cesme offer good University rental income.






getting on

getting on

As the structure of Turkish families changes, albeit much more slowly than in western countries, it seems inevitable that retirement homes and nursing homes will become at least a bit more prevalent.

It may be seen by many as a sad state of affairs, but according to countless statistical studies, most countries, as they grow economically, also see rises in the number of such institutions opening.  One would also surmise that if women begin to take greater roles in the work force that this will further accelerate this trend.


5- Hey, get off that sofa!!! Again, as The power of the Turkish consumer grows, more and more are looking to fitness and leisure activities. Health clubs, once the domain of the wealthy, are popping up in most suburban neighborhoods and shopping malls. Here’s one of the good ones -

One more rep!

One more rep!

Still, again anecdotally speaking, it seems Turks are still not engaging in sport enough and certainly not in enough varieties of sports. It is a pity that Istanbul did not get the Olympic bid, but one can hope that it raised awareness. The governing party seems to be supportive and are very concerned with the direction of today’s youth. Surely they will see the healthy body-healthy mind connection and devote more resources to this area. There is certainly evidence that this will be the case, though some ways to go yet.

Of course, this should be complimentary to efforts and investments that are made in the private sector.

I would be pleased if any readers would share there property niche ideas, as the above is by no means comprehensive…Hey, maybe we could even work on a joint venture!!!

If there’s any entrepreneurs out there that needs a well sourced piece of Istanbul real estate, then we’re more than happy to help find it! –


Istanbul: a new luxury capital?

Perhaps one thing that might come as a surprise to those not so familiar with Istanbul is that it has quickly become one of the capitals of luxury in the world. If you want to indulge, over indulge then Istanbul is about as good a place as any.

istanbul photo 1 copy

People often associate Istanbul with narrow, dark byzantine streets and a sense of crumbling decay and faded architectural beauty. While that certainly exists, it is increasingly giving way to the glitzy, hyper-trendy world of luxury and exuberant entertainment. The signs of wealth are everywhere, from the steady stream of Ferraris and Porsches along the Bosphorous in Bebek to the packed to capacity fine restaurants in Etiler. And this is not just on the weekends. Visit these places at almost anytime and the vibe is ongoing and relentless.

In the past ten years, I have witnessed downtown going from a one trick pony in terms of shopping malls. Back then there was the lone Akmerkez Mall. Now, in a short span, there are so many new malls just in downtown that I barely know the names of many of them…Sapphire, Kanyon, Cevahir, Zorlu, and many more.


There is talk of a glut, yet to the casual observer, what is immediately striking about many of these complexes is how busy and frantic they seem. The restaurants are all full, the shops packed as well. And everybody seems to be living it up.

In the past, luxury was reserved for small pockets nearby or on the Bosphorous; Bebek, Etiler, and Tarabya. Now it has spread to the further outreaches of the city, with the Atakoy Marina and its surrounds being a good example. Here you can find massive restaurants of all varieties, both local and international, doing brisk trade. Of course, the massive rises in tourist numbers does a lot to bolster all of these upscale developments.

I do not have any fast and ready figures, but it doesn’t seem a stretch of the imagination to discern that wealthy tourists from the GCC spend far more money, and do much more shopping, than the backpack tourist that was more prevalent but a few short years back. And more and more of these people are buying properties, and with those properties, naturally, there is a demand for nice furnishings and accessories. Many favor local Turkish brands both from an aesthetic point of view, as well as favorable prices of the products. All of this represents a sort of virtuous cycle and certainly is a nice income stream for the government, providing foreign currency and employment in the same stroke.

So, will Istanbul soon become synonymous with the high life, in the manner of a Dubai a London?