Turkey’s boom town Yalikavak on the Bodrum Peninsula

Yalikavak marina
Published in The Times newspaper on August 8th 2014, Liz Rowlinson takes a look at the boom in Yalikavak in recent years following the transition from sleeping seaside town into one of the top spots for luxury investment and a fashion hotspot for celebrities and high-rollers alike. 

Ideally located just a short one hour flight from Istanbul, or easily accessible from the Greek Islands opposite, the Bodrum peninsula, which also has its own international airport, has long been the place to be in Turkey – however, the last five years has seen a swift shift towards Yalikavak in particular, where the region has slowly transformed itself remarkably. 

Off the back of a state of the art brand new modern marina, Palmarina Bodrum, Yalikavak is fast becoming a fashionable home for the elite; from Bill Gates, Cristiano Ronaldo, to Roman Abramovich – all have been known saunter around Yalikavak’s shores come summer. 

The marina offers close to 800 berths and is the brainchild of Azerbaijani entrepreneur Mubariz Mansimov under the investment group Palmali Group. Further to the marina, Mansimov has overseen an influx of luxury hotels, and even rumours of a second marina in the pipeline. Property Turkey director Cameron Deggin says: “Mansimov is creating something in Yalikavak a bit like the Aga Khan did in the Costa Smeralda of Sardinia. Yet while the town is now undeniably high-end, it still retains its old-world charm, what is what really appeals to buyers.” 

This old-world charm is something that can’t be overlooked, in Yalikavak you can still walk around the old traditional Thursday market, the cobbled streets, and the bougainvillea lined streets, yet remarkably find yourself just minutes away from Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Club found on its own island – this new-world meets old-charm lifestyle attracting more and more people every year to Yalikavak. 

Each day when you wake up in Yalikavak, you can decide whether you want to have a ‘local’ day exploring the bazaars, fish markets, mosques, or whether you want to go ‘glamorous’ – heading out to the marina, taking a yacht trip, or relaxing in one of the exotic beach clubs. The cosmopolitan year round energy found here presenting a vibrant and busting surrounding, a stark contrast to what can be found in other hotspots around Europe since the recession. 

In the hills above Yalikavak is an exclusive area known as the Millionaires Valley – drawing buyers who seek privacy, panoramic views, and fabulous sunsets; here you can find super luxury villas on large 5,000sqm plots with contemporary and stand out designs. 

Millionaires Valley is also where you will find the famous Richard Meier houses; capturing the imagination with light and space, the first villa was recently sold for just under £3 million. Cameron Deggin says: “The Meier cachet has helped to elevate the area but you pay a premium for the brand, and you can build a home of comparable size house for £1.5 million in a similar location.” 
Richard Meier house

Real estate prices in Yalikavak have been rising between 5-8 percent year on year, and Deggin believes that you can find a home for almost any budget – with overseas buyers benefiting from the weakening of the Turkish Lira and the recent upheaval of the buying process which has seen the whole process trimmed from a three month wait to a mere four weeks. 

At the top of Yalikavak’s real estate spectrum, you can expect to pay over £3 million for premium homes – the kind of houses that feature their own private helipad and exclusive beach access, however a good quality detached villa with private pool will set you back around £200,000 - £350,000 and will be situated within walking distance to the beaches and marina area. An entry level apartment could be found for around £70,000 – as you can see, the price range in Yalikavak certainly meets many budgets. 
Yalikavak property
In 2009, John and Lauren Spyrou purchased a one bedroom apartment at the modest price of only £37,500 – this proved to be a wise decision as the property is now valued at more than twice that amount and regularly brings in rental income during peak summer months. 

With the continued improvements of infrastructure in Yalikavak, and the building of a planned tunnel between Yalikavak and the south of the peninsula set to cut transfer time between the airport from an hour down to thirty minutes, Yalikavak is certainly stepping out of the shadows to place itself firmly at the top of Bodrum’s real estate food chain. 

You can read the full article on The Times by clicking here.


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