The rapid depreciation of the Turkish currency has drawn in foreign customers for the luxury mansions located along the Bosphorus coastline in Istanbul, according to real estate representatives.
Muttalip Iscan, a real estate investment consultant, told Xinhua that there is a significant increase in this demand mostly from Iranian, Azeri, Saudi Arabian and Qatari nationals.
The growing interest is prompting a swelling number of landlords to consider selling their mansions or flats to foreigners as the U.S. dollar has gained significantly against the Turkish lira, said Iscan.
The consultant and his Expert Team, a real estate agency in Istanbul, are currently working on the sale of a waterside mansion worth 35 million dollars.
“After an Iranian national conveyed his intention to buy that specific mansion to us, we have contacted the landlord,” Iscan said, noting the bargain has been continuing behind the closed door through representatives, as both the owner and the buyer want to keep their names secret.
Most of the owners of high-value residential properties along the Bosphorus are well known in Turkish society, and they do not want the public to know that they are selling their residences, explained Iscan.
“That is why you can never be sure about how many mansions are currently up for sale,” he added.
To him, however, the trend is increasingly growing.
According to press reports, 60 mansions, including 30 historical ones located on both the Asian and European sides of the city, are currently on sale with a price range varying between 4.5 million and 95 million dollars.
Among those up for sale are around 40 luxury flats on the shore, with listing prices ranging from 1.7 million dollars to 12 million dollars, the Hurriyet daily said.
The Turkish lira has now fallen by some 40 percent this year, because of a series of factors including the ongoing dispute with the United States over an array of issues.
“As a result, foreigners had started to think that they can buy a much better property in Istanbul with their money at hand,” said Iscan.
The Bosphorus shores are dotted with 600 mansions, all on the top of a list of luxury properties, according to the private Demiroren news agency.
The most valuable locations are the area between the two bridges spanning the Bosphorus, Iscan said.
“The mansions in the Anadoluhisari neighborhood on the Asian side are especially among the most attractive ones for foreigners, because the views from there toward the European side are unique,” he explained.
Maral Bezircioglu, a consultant with a luxury real estate company, told Xinhua that until recently it was almost impossible to find a waterfront mansion on sale.
But now, whenever her team calls the owners to inform them of an incoming foreign client, they respond immediately and positively, she said.
“Foreigners, especially rich Arab people, are seeking to buy luxury mansions with a beautiful view of the Bosphorus Strait,” said the female consultant.
Days ago, Turkey eased the financial and investment criteria for foreigners to obtain Turkish citizenship. Under the amended law, foreigners who own a real estate in Turkey worth at least 250,000 dollars, down from 1 million dollars, can become Turkish citizens.
“This is also a quite important factor that triggered the interest of foreigners in buying a property in the country,” said Iscan.