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Appetite for Turkey on the up

7th July 2014 Print

Buyers’ appetite for Turkey’s property market is on the up.’s latest Investment Watch report finds that an apartment in Istanbul was the second most popular listing on the property portal in May 2014, the highest ranking the country has ever achieved.

Dubai’s boom

An apartment in Dubai was the most popular listing on in May 2014, the first time the emirate has attracted the highest number of monthly enquiries. This is the second month in a row that Dubai has dominated investment activity. May overtook April 2014′s record level of interest, when the emirate was home to the ninth most popular listing on the site.

Indeed, the UAE ranked among the top 10 most popular countries on in May for the first time, with interest driven by apartments for sale in the unique development The World Islands.

Living for the city – and for low costs

An apartment in Istanbul generated the second biggest response during the month, promising a NET rental yield of 5.5 per cent for just £80,000; the most enquiries received by a Turkish property listing since the Investment Watch report began.

City apartments were one of the most popular types of property in May, accounting for four of the Investment Watch Top 10. This is partly due to their strong returns: luxury waterfront units in Liverpool promised 35 per cent NET return over five years, attracting the fifth highest number of enquiries, while flats in Birmingham (ninth) promised a yield of 9 per cent.

Low costs also boosted demand for the buy-to-let sector, with rental income advertised in Istanbul, Liverpool and Birmingham for an entry cost of under £100,000. Indeed, nine of May’s top 10 listings cost less than £100,000, as investors continue to prioritise opportunities that allow them to tighten their belts. This included an alternative investment in Ecuador: the gold mine opportunity has ranked in the Investment Watch chart four times in the last six months, a sign that its low entry cost of £3,000 continues to appeal.

Student property remains one of the most in-demand sectors on, with a project in Yorkshire attracting the month’s sixth biggest response. Where university housing has dominated in the past, though, May saw buyers diversify into other areas: part-completed resorts in Brazil and Panama both generated high levels of interest, while an off-plan land investment in a Canadian woodland resort guaranteed two years of rental revenue for just £30,000.

Istanbul: Turkey’s investment hotspot

Urban apartments, though, were the biggest draw. Dubai’s listing was the only property in the Investment Watch chart over £100,000. The high demand despite the £369,195 price tag demonstrates how strong the pull of the emirate’s growth is.

Buyers pounced on Brazil’s resort in advance of the World Cup, but not even the football tournament’s boost could top appetite for Turkey. The Istanbul apartment received almost the same number of enquiries as Dubai’s flat, marking both emerging markets as new buyer favourites.

With Istanbul driving capital appreciation in the Turkish property market and infrastructure improvements, such as a new airport, on the way, is it the city location that drew such a crowd? Or the English speaking staff in the development, which helped to make it more accessible to international investors?

Universal21, who manage the property, highlights Istanbul as Turkey’s main investment hotspot: “Property sales have remained consistently above 17,000 a month in Istanbul, which has by far the biggest sales figures of all Turkey’s major cities. The price of new homes in Istanbul has risen by more than 1% a month on average since 2013 and the city is on course to again reach double figures by the end of 2014.”

Adil Yaman, Investment Director, says that demand is also driven by Turkey’s rising profile on the global property stage: “It has taken some time for investors to realise that it is much easier to invest in Turkey than it has been in the past. Now we are seeing the full effect of the county’s focus on attracting foreign investment in property over the past 2 years.

“A lot of red tape has now been taken out of the buying process and foreign investment has been actively encouraged. Turkey needs foreign investment to help realise its long term ambition of becoming one of the world’s economic powerhouses. ”

Monica Anca, Marketing Director of Universal 21, adds: “Turkey’s economy remains in much better shape than its European counterparts. Economic growth and positive news on jobs and unemployment are essential to the health of property markets.”

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