Designer homes driving Turkey property market to new heights
While Turkey was well insulated from the recession, the effects were felt in the property market, particularly in the ‘cheap and cheerful’ areas. The buyers who previously would have bought properties in Altinkum, Calis Beach and Gumbet decided it would be better to keep their money close. But then, a remarkable thing happened: as the budget buyers melted away, Turkey’s speciality housing market began to blossom.
Almost overnight, buyers began clamouring for luxury seafront homes with private jetties. Large, airy residences perched on hillsides, overlooking the marina, and bespoke homes on small, idyllic islands.
So, who or what is driving this remarkable trend? The answer is simple: Sunseekers with wealth and taste have discovered that for the price of a nice villa one or two streets away from the beach in other parts of the Mediterranean, they can build a large, frontline home with a private pool as well as other extras: that private jetty, tennis court or their own beach platform. Buying a designer property to in traditional favourites France and Spain simply doesn’t make sense anymore. Why spend millions on a property when you could save a few Euros and buy something even better in Turkey?
In the interests of comparison, we look at what you can buy for 1m Euros in France, Spain and Turkey.
In France’s St Tropez, that favourite of gamblers and well-heeled sailors, 750,000 Euros will allow you to purchase a very well appointed apartment, perhaps with a view of the sea, or if you’re willing to compromise a little and head inland a bit you might be able to buy a small villa, with 2 bedrooms and a shared pool.
Spain has bounced back after a few years in the doldrums and prices, which were already high, are once again soaring. In the upmarket areas favoured by yachties, 750,000 Euros will net you a lovely villa with a private pool, with four bedrooms and two or three bathrooms, located on a private plot. You would hope to at least have views to the sea for that price.
Turkey’s most luxurious areas for coastal and marina housing is undoubtedly Yalikavak, on the Bodrum peninsula of Aegean, Kalkan and Kas on the Mediterranean coast. Here, 1m Euros will buy you a waterfront property, with its own jetty. You’ll have a private pool, and three or four bedrooms, plus a games room and a Turkish sauna. In addition, you will have the stunning Palmarina Bodrum or Kas marina within stone’s throw as well as several very trendy beach clubs at your doorstep. If you go up the hills just some 500 metres to 1km, you will have a stunning mansion with breathtaking views of some of the most striking landscapes in entire Mediterranean as well as bays and islands. Your home will more than likely sit on a private plot of some 3,000m2 and offer ample privacy.
Setting sail for luxury
The most striking luxury properties are found in Turkey’s coastal regions. Of course, it’s natural for holidaymakers to want to be beside the seaside, but there’s also another factor, and one that is also driving the luxury property sector: sailors.
Sailing has exploded in Turkey in the last decade. From its humble beginnings as a rough-and-ready destination (albeit one with some of the most beautiful coastline in the world), Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coastline is now home to an advanced infrastructure, with some of the most incredible marinas found anywhere in the northern hemisphere. And while sailors love the sea, at the end of the day they want to weigh anchor - preferably somewhere convenient to the marina.
The geography of luxury
Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular coastal locations where buyers are focussing.
Bodrum’s second largest town has been given a new lease of life with the re-launch of the marina. Palmarina is now one of Turkey’s best facilities of its kind and is attracting big names - and some pretty big yachts - from all over the world, including those belonging to Bill Gates and Roman Abramovich. Yalikavak is full of charming cafes, top restaurants and good shopping facilities, all in front of a backdrop of striking hills. It is in these hills that the newest bespoke villas are being constructed, nestled into private plots, with views of the marina and out over the Aegean.
Foreign buyers are beginning to catch onto Turkbuku, already well loved by Turkish celebs. This green, pretty part of Bodrum is full of beach platforms where beautiful people sunbathe and sip cocktails by the water. Coveted luxury homes here are sumptuous and waterfront.
Kas is a green, peaceful peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean. Luxury homes here are sea facing and often have private jetties and platforms. The best homes are those facing the Greek Meis Island. The new marina at Kas makes this part of Turkey a sailor’s paradise.
This once sleepy fishing village has been transformed into a beautiful town with a traditional feel, famous for its rooftop dining, boutique shops and picturesque harbour. Kalkanites have always loved the town’s isolation. An hour and a half from Dalaman Airport, Kalkan is reserved for genuine lovers of the country. The top homes are of course by the harbour and waterfront. There are some incredible homes with private jetties and beach platforms just outside the main centre.
Just five minutes from Fethiye Town and its lovely marina by boat, this small Sovalye Island has no roads and is covered in tall trees - a true oasis of calm - and paradise for those living in the island’s few luxury homes. The island is the first of a string of islands known as the ‘Twelve-Islands’ scattered in the Gulf of Fethiye, most loved and admired by sailors, who have had the privilege of exploring the spectacular Gulf by boat. Some say, and we quote, “by far the most attractive sailing experience we have ever had”. Homes here are incredibly exclusive as they are so few - as well as some of the best properties in the country, with incredible designs, private jetties, incredible swimming pools and above all, privacy. This is one place in Turkey, where you can have a home literally zero to sea, where you can moor directly in front (all under 1m Euro).
Like hen’s teeth
By their very definition, designer homes are unique and one-of-a-kind. Although the designer property sector is still new in Turkey, already demand is outstripping supply as buyers race to snap up the sub-million Euro properties that would be twice or even three times as much in comparable Mediterranean areas. The investment potential is huge, especially when you factor in the possibilities for rental. Designer properties on the rental market are currently few and far between. One rental villa overlooking Palmarina in Yalikavak currently has a two-year waiting list - and this is a villa that is let out at 3000 Euros/week, earning its owners 60,000 Euros every 20-week season.
Turkey’s economy continues to boom. Infrastructure is improving rapidly, with new airports and hotels under construction. Turkey is consistently feted as one of the world’s top emerging economies. As Turkey’s economy continues to outperform its neighbours - and most European countries - investors are realising there’s far more to this country than a few nice beaches. Property, always that favourite of investors, is proving extremely lucrative - and there’s no sign of a slowdown.
Overseas property advisor Cameron Deggin attributes Turkey’s continuing success to its growing reputation. “People are beginning to realise that Turkey is not just an alternative to another destination - it’s a fantastic destination in its own right, with some of the best property designs found anywhere on the Med, not to mention its unique east-meets-west culture that never fails to impress and captivate.”
Deggin, who splits his time between Bodrum and London, has seen the peninsula’s success unfold before his eyes, and relates how he’s seen buyers make fortunes in a very short time period. “A client came to us in 2010 looking for a home as close to a marina as possible. But there was a catch - he also wanted a superb investment, as well as a very special design.”
Deggin, who’d heard about the proposed revamp of the marina in Yalikavak, which at the time was kept under wraps, convinced his client, a CEO in the automotive industry, to design and build a home for 800,000 Euros. “He took some convincing, but I was so sure it would be a success that I think my enthusiasm was contagious,” said Deggin. “I don’t really like to brag, but I was right, it turned out to be an incredible investment.” The home, a five-bed villa with a private jetty, sold for 1.5 million Euros at the end of last year.
“But don’t let stories like that fool you into thinking the best investments are behind us. Far from it. There were more multi-million Euro property deals made in Bodrum last year than there were in the four preceding years, and I’m sure the same is happening all along the coast. There is money to be made and it’s a very exciting time for property here”.