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Istanbul Property Prices: Potential Decline and Key Influences

Istanbul Property Prices: Potential Decline and Key Influences


As Istanbul’s real estate market experiences fluctuations, it becomes imperative to examine the driving factors behind these shifts. From earthquakes and government plans to global factors like U.S. interest rates, there’s a lot that influences the market. This analysis is helpful for both investors looking for good opportunities and homeowners trying to understand the market changes. This article explores the main factors that influence Istanbul’s real estate market.

Earthquakes and Real Estate Dynamics

The earthquake in Kahramanmaraş had a big effect on Turkey’s real estate, especially causing property prices to drop, especially in earthquake-prone Istanbul. Experts like Isaac Hassoone said that if a big earthquake, like a 6 or higher on the Richter scale, hits Istanbul, prices for old buildings could fall by 40-50%, but new buildings could go up by 60-70%. This warning matches what we’re seeing in the real estate market—foreign property sales in February dropped by a big 27% compared to the year before, the lowest in almost two years.

  • The decrease in foreign property sales, shows a real effect on property prices. People looking to invest are being more careful and choosing safer areas, which is bringing down property values overall.
  • Turkish government plans legislation for earthquake preparedness in Istanbul, focusing on building safety and urban transformation. They want to fix areas like Bağcılar, Bahçelievler, and more, making sure changes are fair for property owners.
  • Critical districts like Bağcılar, will be having construction of 4,500 houses is imminent, with increased rental assistance to encourage building renovations. Financial mechanisms aim to make the transformation process manageable for property owners while enhancing the city’s resilience to seismic activity.

America’s Central Bank and Interest Rates

  1. Driver of U.S. Interest Rates: The recent surge in U.S. interest rates, notably a 5-percentage-point increase by the Federal Reserve, is primarily attributed to “reaction shocks,” accounting for nearly 60% of all shocks from early 2022 to May 2023, as highlighted by the World Bank study.
  2. Reduced Asset Appeal: Higher U.S. interest rates decrease the attractiveness of assets in emerging markets, leading to reduced financial inflows.
  3. Increased Borrowing Costs: Emerging markets face elevated borrowing costs due to the rise in U.S. interest rates, dampening demand for loans.
  4. Exchange Rate Pressure: Capital outflows trigger depreciation in the exchange rates of emerging market currencies against the U.S. dollar.
  5. Import Inflation: Depreciation raises the cost of dollar-denominated imports, contributing to inflationary pressures in emerging markets.
  6. Vulnerabilities Based on Conditions: Countries with higher sovereign debt levels face increased vulnerability, with more at-risk economies experiencing larger local-currency yield increases, as indicated by World Bank research.
  7. Challenges in Emerging Markets: The share of emerging markets with sovereign spreads exceeding 10 percentage points rose from 13% in December 2021 to 26% in May 2023, signaling challenges in borrowing from international markets.

The recent swift tightening of monetary policy in the United States, particularly the Federal Reserve’s response to high inflation, has significant implications for global financial markets. The likelihood of rising U.S. interest rates, driven by perceived hawkishness in Federal Reserve policy, poses challenges for emerging markets, including Turkey. As U.S. interest rates increase, there’s a potential impact on global capital flows, affecting investor sentiment and asset attractiveness.

Impact On Turkey:

For Turkey, this may translate into reduced foreign investment in various sectors, including real estate, which could contribute to a softening of property demand and potential decreases in property prices. The interplay between U.S. monetary policy and global economic dynamics underscores the importance of monitoring both domestic and international factors for a comprehensive understanding of the evolving economic landscape.

  • Diminished Foreign Investor Attraction: Reduced attractiveness of Turkish assets, including real estate, leading to a potential decrease in property prices.
  • Slowed Property Demand: Possible deceleration in property demand due to diminished foreign investor participation in the real estate market.
  • Increased Borrowing Costs: Elevated U.S. interest rates contributing to higher borrowing costs domestically, potentially discouraging local property buyers.
  • Currency Depreciation Pressure: Pressure on Turkey’s exchange rates and potential currency depreciation impacting the purchasing power of foreign buyers.
  • Inflationary Challenges: Weaker currency contributing to inflationary pressures, influencing consumer spending capacity and introducing caution in the real estate market.
  • Central Bank’s Policy Impact: The Central Bank of Turkey’s responses to manage inflation and economic challenges may inadvertently contribute to potential decreases in property prices.

Turkish Central Bank and Interest Rate Dynamics

Turkey’s central bank has implemented another interest rate hike, raising the policy rate by 5 percentage points to 40%. In an effort to combat soaring double-digit inflation, which reached 61.36% last month. This marks the sixth consecutive hike aimed at stabilizing the economy. Also making essential goods more affordable for households. Despite the aggressive tightening measures, the central bank has indicated that the rate hikes will soon come to an end. Asserting that the current level of monetary tightness is nearing the threshold required for establishing a disinflationary trajectory.

The unconventional approach of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Who has historically favored cutting interest rates to address inflation, has been criticized for contributing to economic challenges, including a currency crisis and a rising cost of living. Recently appointed economic officials, including Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Central Bank Governor Hafize Gaye Erkan, are steering a shift in policy, reversing the previous strategy of keeping interest rates low.

  • Credit Card Trends: 226.65% surge in credit card expenditures, along with debts reaching 2.3 trillion Turkish liras ($85.3B), points to financial strain, creating a potential “buy zone” for real estate investors.
  • Government Policies: Central bank’s 250 basis points interest rate hike (now 17.5%) and potential austerity measures can impact the real estate market, offering strategic opportunities for investors.
  • Infrastructure Development: Ambitious projects like the Istanbul Airport and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge enhance property values, positioning Turkey as an attractive market for long-term real estate investment.

Market Sentiment:

  • CEO Cameron Deggin’s forecast of a market slowdown from 2023 to Q2 2024 indicates prevailing cautious sentiment.
  • While short-term market slowdown is expected, it presents an opportunity for long-term investors to enter during the buy zone.
  • The rising foreclosure rates and economic policy changes present a complex scenario for real estate investors. Economic distress may lead to reduced Istanbul Property Prices, offering an opportunity time for investment.
  • High inflation, increasing interest rates, and careful consumer behavior are affecting the market mood. The recent uptick in inflation and changes in central bank policies suggest a cautious outlook, possibly slowing down the market briefly. However, for long-term investors, this slowdown can be a good chance to invest in

Global Real Estate Market Trends and Turkey

2021-2023 Real Estate Boom: Despite an initial dip in housing growth due to pandemic challenges, global real estate became a popular savings choice. Experiencing its biggest growth since 2006 as the pandemic resolved, real estate prices globally rose over 15% on average.

Developed nations like the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, and Belgium saw below-average price increments, while Poland, Norway, and notably Turkey experienced above-average growth, attracting substantial foreign demand. This global trend fueled the creation of expansive real estate portfolios within pension and mutual funds.

Turkish Property Market Highlights (2008-2022):

  • Yearly house sales in Turkey witness a significant threefold increase, soaring from 427,000 to 1.5 million transactions.
  • Collective value of commercial real estate surges from $208 billion to $300 billion, indicating a remarkable 44% growth.
  • Real estate investments primarily focus on key cities like Istanbul, Antalya, and Mugla.
  • Istanbul, with an annual influx of 16 million tourists, establishes itself as a prominent hub for real estate investments.
  • Foreign property acquisitions surge from 67,000 in 2008 to a cumulative total of 380,000 by 2022.
  • Foreign investors contribute to a substantial present portfolio, valued at over $50 billion.

Winter Advantage: Strategic Opportunities for Investors

During winter, when the weather is challenging, there’s typically less demand for real estate in Turkey. This can lead to lower property prices, creating a great opportunity for foreign investors to enter the market. With fewer buyers and a chance of prices going down. Investors might find themselves in a good position to negotiate better deals and make strategic investments.

The seasonal slowdown presents a good opportunity for investors seeking to leverage market dynamics. Accumulating potential profitability as the real estate sector traditionally experiences a surge in prices during peak seasons. Foreign investors with a focus on optimizing returns can invest the winter period as an opportunity to make real estate investments in Turkey.

Conclusion: Istanbul Property Prices

In Istanbul’s real estate scene, different factors, like earthquakes. Government plans, and global influences such as U.S. interest rates, all play a role in shaping Istanbul Property Prices. Whether you’re an investor or a homeowner, understanding these factors is crucial.

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