Istanbul and Turkey continue to attract foreign investors, with October 2018 showing a significant increase from the previous year... while Miami cools down, Istanbul heats up....
Strolling through the ‘ancient historic’ area of Sultan Ahmet is a blissful journey through time. The surrounding art and architecture portray a long and generous flourishing of Christianity and Islam. Imperial jewel of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, the pre-modern world’s largest metropolis, and hub of most coveted silk and spice routes, bridging two continents and a multitude of cultures,
this magnificence is Istanbul.
History and Culture... The freedom to worship the faith of choice is a strong attraction to Istanbul’s mosques, churches, and synagogues. Property buyers today share similar interests in the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of Istanbul. The lively social interaction bubbles up from much more than merely alcohol drinking activities and venues. The pleasures extend to wonderful fresh food, and fabulous cuisine of unique variety, a cultural fusion of two thousand years journey, from China through India, Persia, Babylon and Anatolia.
Shopping attracts visitors from three thousand kilometres in every direction, buying fashion wear, gold, jewellery, lush carpets, exquisite glass and ceramics, electronics and appliances. The talented variety of artists & musicians, across multi-media channels all multi-ethnically colourful, and culturally diverse, ample with live performances, ensure the entertainment selection is abundantly plentiful.
Among the many appeals are the low crime rate, safe environment, reasonable cost of living, with cozy, comfortable, and spacious modern home designs. Family values are strong and preserved.
Reassured by the excellent medical and educational facilities, patients and
Also appreciated is the comfortable warm climate, and beautiful nature, surrounded by rolling hills of forests, positioned on the Bosphorus channel, between the placid Sea of Marmara, and the brooding Black Sea. A walk down the Bosphorus promenade excites the spirit and cleanses the mind, captivated by a balmy breeze, the passing ferry & fishing boats, yachts & pleasure cruisers, squawking seagulls above and swirling blue-green currents below, along the shore lined with cafes, fish tavernas, and splendid ‘yali’ mansions.
Enjoying this lifestyle are increasing numbers of foreign buyers from Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf. Investors come to buy from all over the Islamic world, and from European countries. In October, 36 percent of total sales, just over 2,200 units, were to foreign investors; Iraqis topped the list with 1,439 units, followed by Iranians with 557, Kuwaitis with 378, Germans with 341, and Russians with 336.
New Citizenship Investment regulations have reduced the minimum property purchase required, to $250,000. Only three to six months are necessary to complete the process, obtain ID cards and Turkish passports, and then apply for EU visas.
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And the freedom to travel through European countries with just one visa is a great benefit. No need for separate visa applications for each country. Paying just EUR 90 for a ‘Schengen’ visa provides access to European countries besides those in the Schengen zone. Cappuccino breakfast in Rome, steak lunch at Café de Paris, and lobster dinner at the Ritz Park Lane; simply call your reservation agent….
Enjoy the wide choice of flights and frequency to everywhere from Istanbul’s new airport- the largest in the world- with very reasonable ticket prices, courtesy of Turkey’s many airlines, and connecting flights of all international airlines. Travelling by car or bus is only two to three hours to Greece or Bulgaria. Ferry and luxury liners cruise to their Aegean and Mediterranean destinations in Greece, Israel, Egypt, Italy and beyond.
The many benefits of life on the Bosphorus extend well beyond lifestyle considerations. Current market conditions present significant investment merit for investors buying residential property. Constant demand for rental homes ensures that money invested in real estate earns attractive rental returns. The rapid population growth rate guarantees future increases in prime property values. The property selections are wide and open, including off-plan investment, newly-built, re-sales, refurbishment projects, and repossessions. With well-developed financial markets, and expert professional investment services, Istanbul investor’s are blessed with the most comfortable, natural and rewarding of choices.
Life’s journey in Istanbul: a wise and appealing choice for family, health and happiness.
جدید! تابعیت ترکیه گذرنامه در حال حاضر فقط با تومان 250,000 املاک و مستغلات سرمایه گذاری....
جديد! المواطنة تركيا جواز سفر الآن مع فقط 250,000 دولار أمريكي للاستثمار العقاري....
Reversal of the downward trend in the Lira seems to have prompted potential buyers that were watching and waiting, to finally take action. This pent-up demand is resulting in purchases in Istanbul and coastal regions.
Istanbul’s foreign buyers may also be influenced by the better travel location. The opening of Istanbul’s new airport, the world’s largest by capacity area, offers a convenient logistical solution for business travellers. Rather than merely a stop-over hub, Istanbul potentially may become preferred living base station for those with business interests in South East Asia, the Gulf, North Africa, Northern Europe, and North America. Singapore is 18 hours flight time from New York- Istanbul is only 10 - a significant difference, particularly in jet-lag recovery time. European destinations and Moscow, are all within 2-3 hours flight, half the time of a journey from Dubai and the Gulf. North Africa, and the Gulf, are 3-4 hours from Istanbul, half the time of a flight from London. Considered from this perspective, Istanbul is better placed as an international business hub, than Dubai, Geneva, Frankfurt, or London.
And now the Citizenship by Investment threshold for property has been reduced to $ 250,000, making it clearly competitive with other nearby locations, the underlying demand is emerging. Extended families of consecutive generations, seeking the purchase of two and three properties, and re-location services, for schooling, business start-up, and medical facilities, have an ample selection of high quality services to choose from. Property finding services provided the best way...
In recent years Istanbul has become known widely for its remarkable local culture in many exotic dimensions, and that reputation will continue to attract interest as a place many aspire to live in, for many years to come. A new Turkish passport, and plentiful nearby flight destinations, are an alluring combination, for investors from many regions of the world.
Iranians Buy Istanbul...
A new extensive report in Middle East Eye charts the unsurprising trend of Iranians of means pulling money out of Iran to invest and lay down roots abroad. The only surprise, however, is that they appear to be fleeing one smashed economy for another troubled one in the region: Turkey has experienced a surge in recent Iranian real estate purchases in the country, according to the report.
One Iranian economic migrant interviewed by Middle East Eye summarizes the trend: “To survive and to have a better life, we chose to migrate to Turkey,” said Ali, an Iranian living in Ankara. “Iranian currency has lost its value, even against Turkey’s," he said, but the Turkish lira still remains more affordable for Iranians than the euro or the dollar.
That’s why Iranian’s first step would always be Turkey, even when they actually want to migrate to Europe or America,” Ali said. For other Iranians who had ever had an inkling of relocating abroad, those plans have now been dramatically hastened, as people's entire savings have turned to nothing seemingly overnight.
“Over one night, I lost half of it after the US president issued an ultimatum and then killed the nuclear deal,” another Iranian told Middle East Eye while filing immigration paperwork at an Istanbul office.
Last week the rial for the first time since President Trump pulled the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal began trading at over 150,000 rials to $1USD in the currency exchange shops of Tehran, which marks a dramatic plummet of 140 percent since the since the May White House decision to end its terms of the JCPOA agreement and reimpose new rounds of crippling sanctions.
And in the past weeks international journalists have witnessed residents in Tehran and other cities frantically lining up outside money changing offices attempting to get dollars, which the shops are only allowed to issue if citizens can present an airline ticket for travel abroad. Things like diapers and many basic staples which rely on imported raw material to make have largely disappeared from store shelves.
Since last week money-change offices in the country began shuttering their shops once the rial began hitting upward of 150,000 rials to the dollar.
Tehran has been loathe to say it publicly, but some immigration officials in the country have acknowledged Iranians of any available means are exiting the country in droves, though official statistics have yet to be released, according to Middle East Eye.
And many are headed to Turkey, as a bump in Turkish real estate seems to indicate.
The Middle East Eye report begins by explaining Turkey's own economic woes in its deepening spat with Washington which began in earnest over the summer:
The value of the Turkish lira has plummeted by more than 40 percent since the start of the year amid concern over the country’s monetary policy and as a diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington has intensified.
But this hasn’t put off Iranians. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, TUIK, the number of properties bought by Iranians in Turkey jumped in the first six months of the year to 944 compared to 792 in all of 2017.
Turkey has remained open to trade with Iran and has continued to purchase Iranian oil in defiance of Washington demands. Simultaneously amidst increasingly closer ties in the face of a common enemy other Turkish institutions have remained open to Iranians, including readily available loans from Turkish banks and a place to store their assets while Iran attempts to weather the storm.
Since the US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal, Iranians "have purchased around 1,000 homes and apartments in Turkey" according to Reza Kami, chairman of the Iran-Turkey Chamber of Commerce.
He explained of the surge, "Besides easy regulations and no need to get visas, people's predictions about their assets losing their value have played a key role in their decisions.” Likely, this is only the beginning of a trend which is sure to add to the crush of Iran's economic collapse.
Those observing Istanbul’s construction boom will not have been surprised by last week’s currency collapse – it’s all based on debt..
From a distance, Esenyurt, a newly built up neighbourhood on the edges of Istanbul, looks a bit like Hong Kong or Dubai, with a bustling downtown of shiny skyscrapers. Upon closer examination, however, you notice that tower after tower stands incomplete, lacking windows or furnishings; others are only half-occupied, their windows dark after nightfall.
“In the residential areas, 100% of the construction has stopped,” says Mohamed Karman, a local estate agent, from his small office in the central square of Esenyurt. “Do you know why? The materials. Everything is in dollars, you pay in dollars.”
The crash of the Turkish lira last week after two years of steady decline spooked global markets – but anyone looking at Istanbul’s skyline would have been far from surprised. Everywhere you look in the city, evidence of a debt-fuelled construction boom abounds: new skyscrapers frame the horizon, huge shopping malls dot the streets and among several megaprojects is a new airport, set to be the world’s largest.
Funding for this construction frenzy has been at the heart of Turkey’s economy, accounting for up to 20% of the country’s GDP growth in recent years, and employing around two million people. In a parallel to the 2008 financial crash, the boom was funded by low-interest loans and ballooning debt. Property developers funded their buildings with cheap loans in foreign currencies – and will be struck particularly hard by the lira’s collapse, as those loans grow harder to repay every day. According to government statistics, at the end of 2016 nearly 90% of the credit in Turkish real estate companies came from loans in foreign currencies.
The currency crash was triggered by a spat with the US government over Turkey’s ongoing imprisonment of the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is accused of involvement with a 2016 coup attempt. But the Turkish economy has been in slow-motion decline for a while, with the lira sliding steadily downhill since 2016.
“Turkey is a country trying to reach a high growth rate but not having enough foreign capital to reach that,” says Nihat Bulent Gultekin, former governor of Turkey’s Central Bank and a finance professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Unless they export from time to time, they run into a crisis. It happens every 10 years.”
The construction industry is a prime example of that dependence. Much of its capital comes from loans denominated in foreign currency. The Istanbul Sapphire – one of the tallest buildings in Europe when completed in 2011 – was financed through loans worth 164m lira in 2013, 154m of which was in US dollars. That loan would now cost around 539m lira.
Turkey is also heavily reliant on imports for construction materials: it is the world’s ninth largest importer of steel, paying $8bn in 2016, a figure that rose to $9bn in 2017 as the lira began to fall.
That makes the Turkish economy’s dependence on the construction sector for growth particularly dangerous. In the third quarter of 2017, construction made up 18.7% of the economy. This over-reliance on an industry that is so sensitive to global downturns has long been criticised by Turkish economists.
“A country is not really any different from personal finance,” Gultekin says. “If you borrow money to splurge, there comes a point when the creditors will come after you. When it’s all done with foreign capital, someone has to pay eventually.”
The construction boom reached its height in 2013 and 2014, as Turkish banks issued low-interest loans, malls blossomed and new buildings clustered: 69 skyscrapers taller than 100 meters have been built in Istanbul alone since 2008. On top of that are the megaprojects: suspension bridges, a subway beneath the Bosphorus and the new airport, expected to cost over €10bn. A €5.7bn loan for the airport taken out in 2015 was worth 18bn lira then, and 40bn lira now.
Much of that borrowing was done on the basis of profit margins that never materialised.
“We don’t act on a long-term basis,” said Kajin Bulut, who has worked in senior positions in forecasting and sales for a number of Turkish construction firms. “The longest plan I saw in a Turkish company was two months … That was the main problem.”
Up to half the buyers of luxury properties built by companies such as Kiler Holding were expected to be wealthy investors from Gulf countries, Bulut said, especially after 2012 when legal barriers to foreign ownership were lifted. But the demand from the Gulf failed to rise to the level hoped for by Turkish real estate developers. Now the lack of demand, alongside rising costs for iron and steel, has caused many projects to stall.
The problem also affects many ordinary Turks who paid for new apartments upfront – apartments that are now on permanent hold because the companies say they can’t afford to build them.
“We’ve seen this problem for many years now that, people sell apartments to customers and they never end up being able to build those things,” said Orhan Boran, a lawyer in Istanbul representing hundreds of clients who claim to have been swindled by construction firms. Social media is littered with what Boran calls “construction victims” groups: middle-class homebuyers who organise online and hold protests across the country to bring attention to their plight.
The chain of parties involved in the construction sector is long, from construction firms to housebuilders to homebuyers – with everyone paid in lira.
“The construction sector is like the head of a train,” said Bulut. “If it goes, the whole country goes.”
Republished courtesy of The Guardian.