For many foreign property buyers of different nationalities, Istanbul is top of the property tree and an ideal place to invest your hard-earned cash. The diverse neighborhoods of Turkey’s biggest city are a major draw for foreign investors, whether it is a small, swanky villa by the sea, in an apartment in the heart of the metropolis.

However, many other factors also contribute towards the robust and resilient real estate market, and this is reflected in the month-on-month buying figures. Of the 1.720 properties sold to foreigners across Turkey in July 2017, 31 percent of the sales were in Istanbul.

Why is Istanbul so Popular?

Istanbul has emerged from ten years of constant change and regeneration following copious amounts of money that were invested into projects with a wide scope including the modernization of neighborhoods and improved transport connections.

Property increased in value by more than 40 percent over a five-year period up to 2016, and there has been no let-up in the amount of newly constructed homes. As an urban generation has sparked and spiraled outwards, Istanbul's popular areas such as Beylikduzu, Sariyer, Kadıköy, Esenyurt, and Bağcılar, are among those benefiting from renewed interest from savvy foreign buyers.

They are particularly interested in residential units built with the aim of connecting people to become communities. Architects and builders have done this by including facilities like schools, shopping centers, and leisure amenities.

Istanbul Property Market Attracts Foreign Buyers

What Areas are on The Up?

Where there is a government-financed project, property prices rise as investors move in to make a quick deal. For example, the Great Istanbul Tunnel project, which will have a two-lane highway and the fastest metro line in the city, will have 14 stations on the subway across its 31 km stretch. It is expected to serve around 1.5 million commuters a day.

The knock-on effect is that prices in the real estate market in these areas, from Bakırköy to Söğütlüçeşme will increase in line with their popularity. Property experts have said that these suburbs will include Bahçelievler, Güngören, Zeytinburnu, Eyüp, Fatih, Şişli, Kağıthane, Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, and Kadıköy.

Another project currently causing a major stir in Istanbul is Kanal Istanbul that will seek to change the face of the city. The likes of Küçükçekmece, Esenyurt, Başakşehir, and Arnavutköy are said to be some of the upcoming prospects offering real estate potential.

In Başakşehir, the average price per square meter for apartments on the market reached a three-year high of 987.24 USD, while Arnavutköy saw property prices climb just over 55 percent.

Gulf Investors Keep Strong Interest

Gulf property buyers have shown a massive appetite for the Istanbul real estate market. In late 2016, a record proportion of the 1.2 billion USD of Turkey property pre-ordered by Middle Eastern investors at a Dubai-based real estate fair concentrated in Istanbul.

These projects range from the Taksim 360 project, which pulled in 121 million USD in purchases, while the Nidakule Ataşehir West, Nidakule Financial Center and Nida Park Kayaşehir projects at the fair generated 800 points of interest from investors. Other projects from Yalova to Zekeriyaköy also generated interest from those looking at the rental sector.

Investor Confidence

July 2017 showed a 65 percent jump in foreign property sales in Turkey compared to 2016, and the underlying trend is that this could well increase into the final months of 2017 and early-2018. Real estate experts have confidently suggested Istanbul will continue to be the main driver of the sector for the foreseeable future, and anyone looking to maximize investment potential will do well to look at it.