The pulse of the market: Spring 2016 Istanbul

This is shaping up to be quite an unpredictable year for Istanbul property. Those familiar with the Istanbul real estate scene will know that this is not exactly a new phenomenon. One of the biggest surprises so far has been the dramatic crash of the Airbnb and short-term tourist rental market. In the past several years many people made extraordinary returns renting out their property in Istanbul to tourists on a short-term basis. This year, however, it is quite a different picture all together.

It is actually just a classic example of supply and demand  mismatch. There are a few other factors that are adding to it and exacerbating this seriousness of the decline. Unfortunately in the past years they’re just have been so many hotels built as well as so many Istanbul property owners who have looked to short-term rentals as a nice way to increase their overall yield on a property as well as to enable them to use it from time to time.

is this a new dawn for Istanbul property?

is this a new dawn for Istanbul property?

Several years ago I predicted that this was inevitable and I was surprised,in fact , that the good times went on for so long. I knew young people, often students, who were renting out flats for the purpose of sub letting them out to tourists. In fact, it became quite a trend. As the number of tourist rentals exponentially, the demand at the same time actually began to show signs of tapering off. Istanbul is a huge tourist draw and the number of tourists coming here yearly is breathtaking.

where have the Europeans gone?

These guys are taking a break from Istanbul

The issue is that the competition between hotels service Apartments grew while the number of tourists who opted for short term apartments actually decreased. Many tourists come from the Middle East and other regions of the world where the idea of renting somebody’s personal property is not widespread and, in fact, may even be considered  peculiar.

The European tourists are the ones who actually prefer the conveniences and flexibility offered by serviced Apartments. But their numbers have been declining for the past few years for a number of reasons.

I think that this is unlikely to change fundamentally over this short period. It looks like it will be a classic boom-and-bust cycle with the weaker operations getting weeded out and perhaps the stronger ones getting more market share as the others are forced out of the market. This could take a few years to play out. It’s not an overnight thing. The areas I am referring to are in downtown Istanbul so they are likely to rebound when the supply and demand issue works itself through the system.

What interests me more however is how it interacts with Istanbul property prices in the downtown area. The first thing that I noticed almost immediately in the past few months was that so many more properties in Istanbul came back onto the long-term rental market. It was literally a flood. And these are Apartments that have been well decorated, furnished and designed in order to appeal too wide range of tourists. The demand for rental properties in downtown Istanbul is pretty steady and strong. At the moment though this glut means that many properties that would usually be quickly snapped up remain empty for much longer then they would have been in the past.

Many Istanbul property owners are frustrated by this turn of events. Some have to pay mortgages and the lack of income generated no doubt creates stress. For this reason as well as many others it is not a big stretch of the imagination to conclude that quite a high number of those people will decide that it is time to cash in and sell their property in istanbul possibly in search of higher-yielding properties.

Is this all bad news? Not necessarily. The people who ran good short term rental businesses well may actually benefit from this in the future but they will have to be patient of course. The other very positive aspect is that house prices really have become artificially high in the downtown area. Many of the owners do not understand that the prices far exceeded affordability levels. Prices of $4,000 or $5,000 per square meter for properties with no particular outstanding features are just too high given the fact that interest rates are also very high.

This has created an environment where very few transactions are actually occurring. People involved in the market understood this well and were waiting for some event to break the log-jam. The dramatic free-fall being witnessed in the Airbnb scene looks to be exactly that catalyst.

Homeowners in downtown should not fret too much. Many of them have made exceptional returns and should be pleased with the investments they have made. Many also have  lovely properties and will not sell under any circumstances. And this in no way will cause a crash in prices. It will just mean that some people will make the rational decision to cash in on investments and perhaps try something new. This will create buying opportunities.
Over the mid to long-term, Istanbul is an exceptional place to own  property. Owners will just have to get used to the new reality and reduce their rental prices or their asking prices when looking to sell.

There are still enough buyers out there that they can certainly sell their properties to. Conversely, for new buyers it does represent an opportunity indeed. Also for many young people who have effectively been locked out of the market, this may be their moment to get on the ladder and own a home. In short the last few years represented a slow down in investments in the downtown area. What is happening these days may actually spur new investment, as investors see price levels that will be very tempting.

Being such a rapid and dramatic occurrence, I am very interested to speak with anyone connected to real estate in downtown, in order to brainstorm with a view to coming up with solutions to combat the adverse effects of this sudden new reality.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

Red lights- you may have got it wrong on pricing when putting your Istanbul property up for sale

One of the most difficult yet necessary tasks of an Istanbul estate agent is to moderate the sometimes exaggerated values owners have of their own Istanbul properties. To further compound the sensitivity in this is the constant state of flux that exists normally for real estate markets, as well as imprecision in assigning a value to a particular piece of istanbul real estate.

I can tell you, over the years, I have certainly seen both ends of it. I have seen property in Istanbul sell for much more than I would have imagined, but more frequently, I have seen properties sit idly for sale for eons due to incorrect asking prices.

Though far from exhaustive, the below list should give you some idea of whether or not your expectations are in line with market reality.

  • You have assessed the property as objectively as possibly in the context of the broader market.
    do it...

    do it…

    It is important that you have not just gone on the internet and done a superficial search on asking prices. Be aware of neighborhood transactions and compare to your property.

 

 

 

  • You have had two separate real estate agents in Istanbul provide valuations. You may want to consider paying a small sum to them, as this might let them know you are serious about getting an accurate, well-thought out assessment.
  • Has your property been on the market for 6 months? This is a sufficiently long enough time to gauge market feedback and also long enough if some temporary blips (political uncertainty, etc) might skew price trends.
    too long

    too long

    If your property has been on the market for a year or more, ask yourself the question if you are really serious about selling your property.

 

 

  • Have you been following your estate agent’s client flow? If they are averaging less than one viewing per week, it may suggest a problem. Of course, for higher end, more rare real estate types, this may be overly-ambitious. However, for your average property within the majority of buyers’ reach, you should be hitting this number, with one view every two weeks being the absolute low.
  • Do some clients seem offended when you show them the property? Although this is a pretty extreme situation, it does happen. I rarely will agree to take on a property that is offensively overvalued, as it immediately destroys credibility and wastes time. Some clients will be very forthright and comment on an absurd asking price. If you hear such comments, do not just brush them aside. These people are not doing this as a negotiation tactic. They will not be making an offer on the property.
  • Very basic, but are offers coming in? Are some clients coming for a second viewing. If you are not getting any second viewings at all, that is a huge red flag.
    deals to be done

    deals to be done

    I always sense when selling a property is imminent and one of the big cues for this is several clients making repeat visits to the property.

  • Yield, yield, yield. Assuming your property is not a Norse Castle somewhere north of Stavanger, most clients will be interested in how much rental income a property could achieve. Just about everybody has some idea about rents in local neighborhoods; it seems to be wired into our survival DNA, so it should not be hard to figure this out.
  • And one of my personal little favorites. If you are using general listing sites that count the number of hits you have and they have an “add to favorites” function and you are not getting more than one “add to favorites” out of one hundred, it is a signal that even in the impersonal online theater, buyers are not even tentatively showing an interest! My hot properties usually get 3-10 “add to favorites” in one hundred. Try it some time, it is a lot of fun.

 

So, in short, in the rough and tumble world of real estate, a little self-monitoring can be a valuable tool!

 

Luxury Spa, Boutique Hotel or Luxury Mansion.. Istanbul Property with a Difference: Abbas Pasa Palace

On occasion, history and Istanbul real estate intersect and that is when the work truly becomes interesting.

2938302-heybeliada-mavisiA few weeks ago, I took a speedy ferry which brought me out to Heybeliada, one of the chain of Prince’s Islands just beyond the entrance to the Bosphorous. Immediately upon disembarking, you shift into low gear after the whizz of Istanbul life. No cars, just horse and buggy transport and a tranquil early twentieth century feel. p1230807The Islands seem made for leisure and are a perfect anti-dote to the break neck pace the Istanbulu knows so well.
The low density of property, the abundance of green and the car-free streets allow you to amble up the gentle hills past grand Istanbul mansions hearkening back to former glory. Many have now been carefully restored and the Island is again very much coming into vogue, with wealthy families such as Koc and Sabanci, having luxurious abodes.
satelite-2-540x487This valuable Istanbul land (asking price is 4.5 million USD) that we have just added to our portfolio used to house an ornate mansion in the “Egyptian Revival”style belonging to the last Pasa, Abbas Halim. plan-5It was an architectural gem of the famous architect Hovsep Aznavur of Armenian descent and also mastermind of Misir Apartmani, a landmark property in Istanbul on Istiklal Street.b_13709 Abbas Pasa was known to be close friends with many of the famous poets, artists and architects of the time.
The original structure was carried piece by piece back to Egypt and now there are just a few stone’s remains.

The unparalleled beauty of the land, as well as its proximity to the sea, make it a great choice for a hotel or a completely unique palatial residence for the enterprising individual.

As the permits have all been approved, construction could proceed quite quickly.
The price is believed to be negotiable and, based on research, it represents a golden opportunity to aquire a piece of historic and superb real estate in Istanbul.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com 

Ottoman Bliss on the Princess Islands

This property in Istanbul has it all – location, beauty and great investment returns.  –

Karamanyan on the Princess islands

Tranquility

Tranquility

The Karamanyan is a beautifully renovated historical Ottoman Istanbul timber mansion, which consists of four stunning apartments, located on the island of Heybeliada just off the mainland of Istanbul south of Kadikoy. Heybeliada is the second largest in a group of four Islands known as “The Prince’s Islands” found in the Marmara Sea off the coast of Istanbul.

views to die for

views to die for

It is like stepping back in time and is an amazing contrast to the hustle and bustle of central Istanbul, which, with the fast boat is only 30 minutes from Bostanci and 50 minutes to Kabatas.

7-ground11cropped1

Istanbul real estate doesn’t come much better

 

 

It is located on the Island’s main street on the way to the prestigious Halki Palace Hotel, two doors away from the Island Museum (Once In”nu’s house) and just a five-minute walk from the gorgeous Private Beach Club. The building, which stands at over 60 ft tall is one of the most impressive buildings on the Island and on the street, which translates as “Street of the Mansions”, this one is a show-stopper.

7Bathroom1cropped

beautifully designed and finished Istanbul property

1-ground10croppedThis amazing piece of Istanbul real estate was once a dormitory for the Monks living on the Island and attending the nearby Monastery, however today it is used as a boutique apartment holiday rental. The apartments themselves are full of original detail and charm and consist of two or three bedrooms; they have been completely re-furbished and re-designed from top to bottom. Each apartment boasts its own unique qualities and include grand ornate living rooms and bedrooms, private gardens, open and covered terraces and enjoy beautiful sea and mountain Views. Although each apartment is independent from one another with its own gas central heating, water and electricity, the development was created with the notion of friends or family sharing the overall property, so this is why the residence is being sold complete one mansion.

This Istanbul property stands on a plot of 320 square metres and the property boasts almost 500 square metres of internal living accommodation. This beautiful old timber building was built in 1875 as ‘Grand Bretagne Hotel.1-Living1cropped

When this hotel re-opened in 1898, the original hotel was sold to the English family the Splins and Kastriadises, later the ownership changed to mining industrialist, banker, amateur Aram, Hrant and ArtinKaramanyan brothers.

9-Garden-1cropped1

The present owners are British citizens. One is a filmmaker and the other a frequently publicized haute couture fashion designer. The building has been restored with enthusiasm and beautifully furnished by the owners, with great respect to its history. The renovation was completed in August 2008, and is fully insured for building and contents. Kitchens and bathrooms are fitted with luxury units. Many of the furnishings have been hand-picked by the owners in Europe and imported.

5penhouse3croppedCurrently operating as a small business, the apartments are let weekly for holiday rentals and over the past four years has steadily grown in turnover.

The season is April to October and on the present pricing structure and running at full capacity the turnover could be approximately 95,000GBP. The apartments are also popular over Christmas and New Years Eve and have even had bookings in November and March.

The property price includes all of the bespoke furniture, high spec kitchens and bathrooms each of which has been decorated and designed with local Turkish tiles. The sale also includes the website and rental sites with the history of bookings and business growth from the past 4 years – This is an invaluable foundation to build on for any buyers interested in carrying forth the lucrative rental business.2-Bedroom-1-Master-Bedroom

This truly is a unique opportunity to own an opulent Istanbul residence and a part of history, on an exclusive Island in Istanbul surrounded by the sea and natural beauty.

This rarely found mansion property in Istanbul is ready for enthusiastic and interested new owners and would be ideal to live in permanently, use as a family holiday or rent out as an investment property.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

An Istanbul property buying opportunity.

Many medium to large size investors use their invested amounts to leverage better Istanbul real estate deals for themselves. If they are investing in larger developments, they can also negotiate much better prices than those just coming off the street and looking to purchase single properties. They can further secure further discounts by getting in very early in the construction phase. Developers have been known to give up to 30 percent discounts in the first phase of a project as compared to the delivery stage. Therefore, wealthy investors, rather than developing their own project and assuming all the risk, sometimes piggy back on the developers and purchase large numbers of properties in Istanbul at steeply discounted prices, which they sell on delivery of the project, often at lower prices than what the developer is offering at that time.

Currently, one of Lilimont’s clients has 5 units in the very popular ‘My Home’ project in the booming Maslak area. The area, about ten minutes from the city center and immediately adjacent to Levent 4 metro stop. As the area has really become a focal point for high rise tower development, a surge in prices is evident.

My Home in the country

My Home in the country

This price growth has enabled our client to offer these units at a discounted price compared to what is on offer by others. Furthermore, as he has identified an attractive investment requiring a good deal of capital, he has made the rational choice to let these properties go at a great price. His stated desire is to sell them to one investor, rather than one by one, which would be too time consuming, albeit more profitable.
The properties are large 2 bedrooms, with starting prices as low as 775,000 TL and would make for a good bulk purchase, with possible further price slashing by a hard-nosed negotiator. One of the units has already been tastefully furnished and you can see it here  - http://www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com/for-sell/residential-apartments-maslak/

The developer is the Turkish legend, Ali Agaoglu, a regular on TV screens and the printed press and known for his ability to offer quality projects aimed at the burgeoning middle class and their demands for green space, quality design and high quality finishes.

Ali with his disceet family runabout

Ali with his discreet runabout

A Kuwaiti investment fund alone bought hundreds of units in one of his projects, predicting strong demand in their home country.
As Maslak has become a new business and residential district, the rents have also soared and the demand is being driven by the upwardly mobile Turks who favour Istanbul property on high floors with sweeping views over the city and the nearby forest.
Rental yields are estimated at a solid six percent, with plenty of room to grow further, as can be seen in nearby Levent.

As the summer season draws closer, an influx of foreign holiday makers will be looking for such opportunities. Particularly, Middle Eastern investors are often looking for such a chance, allowing them to house a large number of family members in the same location.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

Keeping Property in Istanbul in Perspective

It has just been announced that housing prices in Istanbul notched a record rise this year.

Great news, but not without need of caveat.

In my decade plus here in Istanbul I have lived through the following:

  • -Istanbul property prices were originally billions of Turkish Lira.
  • -Or you could buy a piece if istanbul real estate for 100,000 Turkish Lira.
  • -The Turkish Lira was almost on par with the dollar some years back and now it is worth virtually 3 Turkish Lira.


Of course, there is a bit of leger de main at play here, as I am comparing the old Turkish Lira and the new Turkish Lira.

The Mightly green back

The Mightly green back

However, the relationship between the mighty dollar and the Turkish Lira has been a case of decline of the lira over the past 5-7 years. This means that Istanbul house prices have had a harder time keeping pace with the blazing dollar, and has also meant that those holding USD now find the prices very attractive in Istanbul. The record price rises should be viewed within this context, as well as the opportunity that currently is taking shape in Istanbul. In the city center, as opposed to the far-flung suburbs, the Istanbul housing market is robustly marching along in terms of lira prices. The outer areas, however, are about to feel the pinch. As istanbul developers try to pass on their increased costs due to dollar strength, they will likely find that their TL earning consumers will have reached the max in terms of affordability.

In downtown Istanbul, the market is readily propped up by dollar-wealthy foreign investors who have an appetite for anything they deem reasonable value. In a sense, this is not so different from how London operates, though on a less grand scale. During the interminable crisis that has come to shape the perspective of many investors, London became what they term a ‘buy and leave’ destination for investors, who often parked cash in properties that they neither rented out nor lived in. This simply does not happen in the TL dominated World of suburban Istanbul and is why I strongly favour sensible investment in the center. Commentators wryly referred to the London phenomena as being akin to a safe deposit box. Many Middle Eastern (GCC, MENA and countries to the near east of Turkey) now view Istanbul in this light.

Just buy and leave... simple as long as you have a million quid

London, Just buy and leave… simple as long as you have a million quid

Central Istanbul property shares some similarity with this investment trend. Investors often see the bustling downtown, with a vibrant economy, despite the bumps along the way, as a good position to hold, often taking a long-term view. Be it the ’flight to quality’ or ’safe haven’ or the less prosaic, more humorous ‘buy to leave’, there is the common thread that sees the big money investors in istanbul are staying away from what are viewed as the riskier non-downtown areas of large metropolitan areas. Legendary Irish poet Yeats may have exclaimed that ‘the center cannot hold’ but he certainly was not referring to real estate in the new millenium, but, then again, he lived in a castle.

Another oft-neglected aspect of this flight back to the center is the inevitable rise in transportation, of which the cost of public transportation is the most sensitive. In Istanbul, sudden price rises of 30% or more for single-line transport have been known to happen. Once a bargain, the costs of daily commutes are starting to add up, with consumers constantly making calculations taking into account lost time travelling and the monthly AKBİL total (like an Oyster card). In addition, as metro lines expand, so do the number of people using them, often making it more crowded and less comfortable (I can attest to the fact that after the Levent line was expanded to Yenikapi, I now always have to stand, regardless of the time of day).

In spite of all the possible outcomes over the next half-year or so, it seems that the most likely is that central ıstanbul will retain its primacy and will be less adversely affected by the spasms of an EM currency.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

Buy to let Istanbul Property

Naturally, many if not most Istanbul real estate investors are seeking to gain rental income from properties that they purchase. for_rentApart from those who are buying to live in a property, the vast majority are quite keen to know how much a prospective Istanbul property would fetch on the rental market and often base decisions on whether or not to purchase based on such projections.
Unless you are intimately familiar with the rental market, you will probably just be guessing and your figures will be well off. Below are some tips to provide more precision for your calculations:

  • -ask the realtor directly what the income is. Obtain proof by way of a rental contract or monthly bank deposits, if possible.
  • -scan the internet for properties with similar character, size and location. Try to get five, and then average them, finally subtracting ten percent for assumed negotiated final prices.
  • -use common sense. If the figure being given just seems too high, it probably is. Better to err on the side of caution.
  • -find an online index giving rental values in particular neighborhoods, try this or this. Look a few years back to add some historical perspective, as well as give you insight if rents are trending higher.

A few points to be aware of:

  • -if you are considering a property in Istanbul with an in-situ tenant, find out how long the tenant is staying. Sometimes, they may be on a shorter contract (3-6 months) and hence will likely be paying a higher rent than those who have been living in a property for years. This may artifically inflate the yield.
  • -again for in-situ tenants, understand the current contract. Some tenants prefer to get a contract with utilities included, as often their companies pay a lump sum monthly. In this case, they are often overpaying for the convenience of not having to worry about utilities. That can be fine, but just be aware that the yield may decrease when you get a new tenant in and they just want to pay the basic rent.
  • -be aware of any tenant that has a close connection to the owner, be it a relative or close friend. Understanding the nature of their agreement is not always easy and you cannot be sure what you are getting into. Better to start fresh with your own tenant in this case, unless you feel good about the tenant.

What are some other points to consider when aiming to maximize your investment and minimize fuss?
Sometimes in our efforts to sign on with tenants, owners can be too kean and overlook diligence in properly screening the tenant.

This guy?

This guy?

In my experience, avoid tenants in Istanbul who do not have steady work, as the temptation is too great for them not to pay when the going gets tough, and favorable tenancy laws make this easier. It is better to review the tenant properly before signing, as this will save headaches later on.
Another good idea is to immediately set aside ten percent of the rental income for repairs.

or this guy?

or this guy?

In my experience, this is usually more than enough, and it can be viewed as an acceptable amount for painting, etc. However, if you have not set the funds aside systematically, it can lead you to negative thoughts on your rental, where there should be none.
Istanbul is a good city to be a property owner. The rents are high and demand or to in most areas is pretty brisk. Small apartments in Aynali Cesme or Talabasi should always have good income potential, take a look at the potentials – Aynalicesme and Tarlabasi.

Time is money!

Time is money!

If your property is remaining empty for several months, you should be honest with yourself and ask if it is really properly priced and if it is in acceptable rentable standard, these being the two roadblocks in successfully renting out your property.
Finally, it should be noted that some properties outperform others on the rental market, but may not achieve the same capital growth. This should be considered prior to any purchase. There are often good reasons for this, yet they may not be obvious on first glance (for example, a student rental property may get higher yields as many people may share the space. Yet it may nor appreciate so well if the property gets more wear and tear).

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

How’s Istanbul property faring with the new year?

With balmy spring-like weather for most of January, the Istanbul real estate scene for 2015 is off to a zippy start. Lilimont has been keeping busy with a handful of transactions, as well as a few renovation projects and our proffessional services for foreigners (these will both be discussed in future blogs).

As global currencies seem to be flying all over the place, often unpredictably due to strong intervention by central banks, it often means great buying opportunities for investors, with property in Istanbul coming at discount prices.

Perhaps another driver has been the absence of bad news. It is a curious thing that often this is enough to float markets higher. You often do not always need really good news to push real estate in Istanbul forward and bring life to the market.

So, in short, it has been a good start to the year, but we will continue to keep the pulse and offer regular updates to followers. Of course activity also means that new sellers often enter the market, sensing that it is the right time to sell.

We have several new properties, but I would like to focus on two in particular, owned by the same couple, who are moving on to what is often termed Istanbul’s sister city, Berlin. Anyone familiar with the art scene here will know that there are deep and growing connections between the artistic communities in both cities and it has become de rigeur for young local artists to do a stint in Berlin, and many are opting for longer stays due to the lower cost of living.

The first property is located just 50 meters from the Osmanbey Metro, making it incredibly convenient and central. It is on a quiet side street in a very well- maintained building.

Great pad in Osmanbey

Great pad in Osmanbey

A two bedroom, 120 square meter in immaculate condition, ideal as a rental property. The list price is 300,000 euro, and with the dip in the currency, the price has really come into its own. The renovation style is universally appealing, a perfect blend of the contemporary and the classic.

 

Cool investment in Aynali cesme

Cool investment in Aynali cesme

The second property is located on a quiet side street in flourishing Aynali Cesme. This first floor flat has all of the classic features; high ceilings, wood floors, exposed brick, and hand made Turkish tiles, all at the tempting price of 200,000 euro. It is also in a building that is well taken care of and organized, and in an increasingly prime location.

Perhaps the enterprising individual could obtain both of these properties, providing an excellent foothold in the Istanbul market. Contact Lilimont for viewings!

Outstanding Istanbul Property Investment

From time to time, being realtor in Istanbul, a truly remarkable piece of Istanbul real estate falls into your lap. Being bottom-line minded, to achieve this status a property in Istanbul must not only possess beautiful characteristics, but also must be profitable for any prospective buyer.

Ottoman Perfection

Ottoman Perfection

This is quite a challenging prospect, as the owners of such outstanding properties are usually wealthy and reluctant to sell prized assets at below market value, mostly prefering not to sell them at all. And when it is a listed first degree historical property that was inhabited by the chamberlain to Sultan Abdulhamit the Second and attached to the greater grounds of his palace? A rarity indeed.

Sumptuous

Sumptuous

At time of writing we have the Mabeyn Kosk on sale for 2.25 million USD, a bargain by any measure, with a likely rental yield of over 7%, possibly even 8.5%! The 450 sqm net property, spread over five floors, with a gorgeous 140 square meter garden has been restored to pristine condition by the same architects who worked on the famed Egyptian Embassy property on the Bosphorous.

In its recent history, it was a high end gallery bringing together the elite in Istanbul. http://www.mabeyngallery.com/EN/exhibitions/upcoming

From the Gallery website:

Located in Besiktas, The Chamberlain House is one of the most remarkable examples of civil architecture at the beginning of the 20th century. The house was the former home of the Chamberlain of Sultan Abdulhamit II, Haci Ali Riza Pasha. 

The entrance floor and the master room of the house is decorated with murals as well as magnificent wooden ceilings covered with paintings in oil. Designed to display the Chamberlain’s taste in art, the interior evokes a compelling vision of Sultan Abdulhamit II’s initial commissioning of Western Artists. 

The building houses Mabeyn Art Gallery since October 2011. All the hanging systems and panels are designed to protect the lavishly decorated interior. Now, Turkish and International contemporary art works are exhibited in a century old historical setting.

Superb detail throughout

Superb detail throughout

Naturally, with such a past, the property has been the subject of many publications, articles and dissertations, a few of which are below (sorry, Turkish language only); -http://www.mabeyngallery.com/uploads/pressclips/9150_Milliyet-Sanat-Mart-2012.pdf

http://www.mabeyngallery.com/EN/press/

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/pazar/18881450.asp

Do not let this center piece asset pass by, as it seems destined to return great yields and immediate capital growth! We would approximate that with a fair economic wind a combined rental plus capital growth a return of 15% per annum could be achieved over the next 5 years. The price is somewhat negotiable due to a need to sell.

www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com

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 ( www.myvillasapanca.com/ ) 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.

 

 

 

 

4-

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 - http://www.njoy.com.tr/N/

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! – www.lilimont-istanbul-realestate.com