Live life to the max in Istanbul

Istanbul, a lively singles city - and a romantic location where Europe and Asia meet - is tempting UK buyers with low-priced homes
East meets West: Istanbul, with its 14 million residents, bridges two continents
East meets West: Istanbul, with its 14 million residents, bridges two continents
Single people are able to take full advantage of all a bustling city has to offer and Istanbul - where Europe and Asia meet - is one that mixes an astonishing history with endless opportunities to party.

There isn't much that's relaxing about the Turkish metropolis. Whether it's the long traffic queues that randomly choke the streets or the scents and sights in the labyrinthine lanes of the Grand Bazaar, it's a full-on city. For energy and intrigue, though, Istanbul, the only city that spans two continents, is unsurpassed.

'Istanbul has plenty of opportunities. This is a modern, secular country that's well-laced for Europe, Russia and the Middle East.'



The oasis of a roof-top bar provides some peace along with views over the city's history: the six minarets of the Blue Mosque; the pleasing arc of the modern bridge linking the Asian and European sides of the Bosphorus; and the endless urban sprawl of a youthful city teeming with 14 million people.

All systems go


After an economic crisis in the early 2000s, foreign property investment has thrived, rising to £470 million in the first four months of this year.

The World Bank predicts a healthy growth forecast of 6.1 per cent for Turkey for the year and tourism is increasing, with six million visitors from January to April, 21 per cent up on the same period last year.

From £464,900: yoo Istanbul is an off-plan project of 109 apartments in the upmarket Ulus district on the European side of the Bosphorus
From £464,900: yoo Istanbul is an off-plan project of 109 apartments in the upmarket Ulus district on the European side of the Bosphorus
The AK party handsomely won a third electoral term in June, making Turkey a calmer option for buyers unnerved by the Arab Spring.

"The Turkish government is making it easier for foreigners to invest in the country and has set a target for property sales of £6 billion each year from 2015," says Turkish developer Sabir Yigit. "Istanbul has plenty of opportunities. This is a modern, secular country that's well-placed for Europe, Russia and the Middle East."

Yigit is behind yoo Istanbul, an off-plan project of 109 apartments in the central, upmarket Ulus district on the European side of the Bosphorus. Apartments will be built in 11 six-storey buildings on a sloping site surrounded by other properties but with extensive gardens, a rare treat in Istanbul.

It is the yoo brand, inspired by designer Philippe Starck, that Yigit believes will entice design-savvy buyers looking for a new level of accommodation in Istanbul.

"The design and lifestyle element of yoo has made it the top brand success story in property worldwide," says Yigit. "There are 33 yoo projects in 27 countries from New York to Thailand where, in general, property prices have risen by at least 50 per cent from off-plan sales to completion." Extensive common areas include a library, gym, large spa, clubhouse and indoor and outdoor pools complete with Miami-style cabanas and Venetian chandeliers.

Prices are above average for newbuild in the area, starting from £464,900 for a 914sq ft flat and £743,845 for two and three bedrooms. All homes have balconies or terraces and underground parking. Annual service charges start from £1,270 for the smallest property. "We have plans for further yoo projects in Turkey over the next five years, including one in Bodrum," adds Yigit.

Affordable Istanbul


On the less-pricey, Asian side of the Bosphorus, away from the main business and tourist areas, Property Venture is selling 592sq ft off-plan high-rise apartments from £24,150 with potential rental yields, they claim, of up to eight per cent.

From £48,268: off-plan studios to three-bedroom flats at Park Apartments (020 8339 6036)
From £48,268: off-plan studios to three-bedroom flats at Park Apartments (020 8339 6036)
"Istanbul has been rated as one of the top 25 cities for 2025 by consultancy McKinsey, with a growing youthful and affluent population and a shortage of rental properties," says the firm's Louise Reynolds. "It's one of the few up-and-coming cities where you can buy into property at a relatively low price."

Also off-plan, but on the European side 30 minutes from the airport and close to public transport links, there are studios through to three-bedroom Park Apartments from £48,268, with communal gardens and pool, through Spot Blue.

Contacts and factfile


* yoo Istanbul: yooistanbul.com; +90 212 444 17 13
* Property Venture: propertyventure.com; 01932 849536
* Spot Blue: spotblue.co.uk; 020 8339 6036
* Allow 2.5 per cent for buying costs.
* BA flies twice daily from Heathrow to Istanbul; easyJet goes daily from Luton, and Turkish Airlines flies daily from Heathrow.


Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook

Comments