Buy a home in Istanbul for real Turkish delight
Istanbul has glamour and views straight out of a Bond film, but there’s a home for every budget.
James Bond leaps over the pantiled roofs of the old city in Istanbul in the opening scenes of Skyfall, against the dazzling backdrop of the Bosporus and Golden Horn. He has been here before, most memorably in From Russia With Love, released in 1963. But he might well be astounded by the changes that have overtaken the ancient capital of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire in the past 50 years. In that time Istanbul has mushroomed from a city of one million inhabitants to a sprawling colossus of 13.5 million. Nobody could call the urbanism that greets the visitor a miracle of well-ordered planning, but not all comparisons are to the bad: trees have grown up over the hills that, when Sean Connery was Bond, looked bald. As for glamorous living space, an international, pleasure-seeking man of mystery would now feel completely at home.
The top foreign nation buying property here is Russia, but in second place comes Britain. This year, Erdogan Bayraktar, Minister for Environment and Urban Planning, expects that the total number of real estate sales in Turkey will double. While most foreigners look on the coast, a report by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and the Urban Land Institute last year identified Istanbul as having the most attractive property investment market in Europe. In contrast to the stagnant economies of the Eurozone and Britain, Turkey is romping ahead. Recently, the country reformed its property laws, making it possible for foreigners to buy double the amount of land in Turkey than was previously allowed.
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