5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying an Apartment in Istanbul

Apartment in Turkey

Foreign investors can purchase a top-notch apartment in Istanbul at a reasonable price. In this article, we will analyze the primary factors that you should pay attention to when choosing a property in this Turkish city.

The Turkish real estate market attracts thousands of foreign investors every year. They come primarily from Europe, America, CIS countries and the Middle East. They buy properties to resell them at a profit, to rent them out or to live there either permanently or on holidays. Before you start looking for a dream apartment in Istanbul, read this article. It will help you to understand which parameters you need to focus on and how to make the most of your Istanbul property.

The Prices Are Still Very Affordable

The real estate market in Turkey is still in its infancy. You can find an excellent Istanbul property for sale that would be twice as cheap as an identical apartment located in Europe or the UAE. However, the prices are steadily increasing, so the earlier you purchase your property, the more you will gain. The construction quality is usually high and the banks are ready to give loans to foreigners on favorable conditions. When you need to transfer money from a foreign bank to a Turkish one, you will be able to do it quickly and smoothly. On average, it will take you from 12 to 16 weeks to buy an apartment. The amount of fees can reach 10% of the property’s cost. This includes both the agent’s commission and the government tax.

Size Matters

If you are planning to buy a luxury apartment and rent it out for short-term holidays, you might want to rely on the assistance of an agency. It will find tenants for you, process payments and take care of all the paperwork. In this case, it would be wise to consult with the agency in advance about the size, planning and characteristics of your future apartment. They will let you know which types of properties are the most popular among holiday-makers.

Alternatively, you might purchase a more affordable apartment that you will rent without an agency to locals or expats with a long-term contract. In such a situation, opt for small properties because they enjoy the highest demand. Plus, it should have good transport accessibility.

Proximity to a Metro Station

Recep Tayeb Erdogan, the Turkish President, was the mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. Back then, his name became synonymous with the slogan “Metro Everywhere, Metro to Everywhere”. The first local metro line started to operate in 1989. Today, there are 2 lines on the Asian side and 5 on the European. In total, there are over 133 km of metro lines in Istanbul and many more will be built in the near future.

One of the most important new lines was designed to connect the new airport with the center of the city. The ride will take just 45 minutes. The Mecidiyekoy – Mahmutbey line connects the old business center of Istanbul with the new one. If you purchase a property located close to a metro station that will open in a few years, you can expect to make up to 25% of profit on it.

Proximity to Highways

Private car owners rely on two main highways, E5 and E80, to move around Istanbul. They run from the East to the West and connected with the O-7 highway, which leads to the new Istanbul airport. Years ago, these highways were surrounded by industrial areas. But then, the government started to convert them into residential neighborhoods.

One of the most vivid examples of such transformations is the Basin Ekspres district. This area has already changed dramatically and many more projects are planned for the near future. In just two years, the real estate prices here have skyrocketed by over 30%. Thanks to the ongoing metro development, local properties will become even more expensive. The Basin Ekspres features a developed infrastructure that includes schools, universities, shopping and healthcare facilities, hotels, commercial developments and so on.

A Stunning View Adds Value to the Property

Bosphorus is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when talking about Istanbul views. It is the only path that connects the Black Sea to global waters. Both sides of the bay have the status of a historically preserved area and are protected by the government. No new developments are allowed in this area. You will need either to purchase an old property or, if you are lucky, to find a rebuilt one.

Besides, those who are in search of a sea view should consider the Marmara coast. It is separated from the Black Sea by a stretch of green hilly land. Here, it is possible to find new developments — but they are rare. Most real estate deals involve second-hand properties that were built decades ago.

Zeytinburnu, Bakirkoy, Kadikoy and Kartal are the four neighborhoods where investors most often come in search of properties with a sea view. Otherwise, you might be interested in properties with:

  • Sea view
  • Highway view
  • City view
  • Nature view
  • Project landscape view

But you should mind that Turkey is prone to earthquakes. After you find an apartment with a gorgeous view, check the seismic risks in the area. If they are high, it might be wiser to discard the view for the sake of safety. According to the national laws, property owners must pay compulsory earthquake insurance — regardless of whether they have Turkish or foreign citizenship. This decision was made after the devastating Marmara earthquake of 1999. If you rent out your apartment, it will still be yours and not your tenants’ duty to pay the insurance.


This was the basic information that you should know before purchasing an apartment in Istanbul. Owners of properties in Turkey can apply for a residence permit — so it will be easy for you to relocate to this sunny and hospitable country if you have such a goal. The Turkish economy is among the 20 strongest in the world and the government spends large funds on making Istanbul a better place to live. Purchasing a property here will be a smart investment that should quickly pay off.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

To Top