Turkey Property News

Istanbul starting to rival high-end Paris and London, says Sotherby's

Some areas of İstanbul have become as attractive as the high-end “marquee addresses” of London and Paris, says Turkey’s Sotheby’s International Realty General Manager Arman Özver.
Özver told OPP that İstanbul’s unique position as a geographic and cultural “intersection,” means that it has the “most historic value” of any European city, with a well-developed financial system and good infrastructure.

He believes that the city is one of the “most desirable locations in the world for property investors and the super-wealthy.”

“İstanbul is able to compete in every sense with” London and Paris. Özver argues that İstanbul’s Nişantaşı district and the picturesque properties that line the Bosporus have achieved the same “safe haven” luxury status as the prime areas of central London, protected to a large degree from downturns in the wider İstanbul property market and the fortunes of the Turkish and European economy.

“Nişantaşı is the same as Knightsbridge in central London,” he says, “and if rental or sale prices in İstanbul collapse by 50%, prices for buildings like these will maintain their value, because they are unique.”

Özver can point to Istanbul properties that now “reach $15,000, $20,000, $25,000 per sqm in downtown locations.” İstanbul’s location also allows the super-wealthy easy access to Moscow, Azerbaijan, the Gulf cities of Doha and Dubai and Europe’s financial capital, London, all with flights under four hours, Özver points out.

Özver is also convinced that Istanbul’s prime property boom will continue to thrive if proposed legislation currently being drafted comes into effect next year enabling citizens of the Gulf Arab states and Russia to purchase property in Turkey. “This will provide a ‘green light’ to Russians and Arabs,” he says.

“In the last six months we have hosted representatives of different Arab royal families who are looking for property in İstanbul. They have very specific requests -- particularly for yalıs -- and are sophisticated investors, owning properties across the world,” Özver told OPP. He thinks that removing legal hurdles would see an instant surge in demand, “easily raising values of such properties by 50% or more.”