Foreigners just can’t keep away from the colourful Turkish city of Istanbul, according to recent figures that show visitor numbers rose by 21 per cent year-on-year for the first four months of 2013.
Statistics from Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Directorship revealed that 2.9 million tourists visited Istanbul between January and April 2013, compared to 2.4 million for the same period last year. In April alone, 936,961 people visited the city. Topkapi Palace is the most visited monument, not only in Istanbul but also the whole of Turkey, followed by the Mevlana Museum.
It’s not just foreign tourists that are drawn to Istanbul these days though, as property investors from around the world are discovering the opportunities on offer in the city. On the one hand, there is a bullish residential buy-to-let market serving the city’s growing middle class, while on the other, Istanbul’s prime residential addresses are drawing wealthy international buyers keen for a base in an exciting city where East meets West.
Two districts in Istanbul with investment opportunities are Halkali and Beylikduzu, both on the European side of the Bosphorus River and developing into desirable areas with excellent amenities. New one-bedroom apartments are available from under £50,000, typically on complexes with a communal pool, parking and fast transport links into the city centre.
Plans to construct Istanbul’s third airport, the largest anywhere in the world, are underway, so the new airport should be operational by 2017, further boosting its appeal to foreign homeowners.
Around 31 million tourists visited Turkey during 2012. Turkey is now the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Tourism Highlights 2012 Edition.