Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge opened last week to great fanfare. The eight-lane vehicle and rail bridge is the world’s widest, and accompanies the Bosporus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, easing the traffic burden in the 14-million strong city.
The 1480 metre bridge was completed within a record-breaking 27 months - nine months ahead of its planned completion date.
The opening of the bridge has once again reminded the general public - and the world - of the scope of Erdogan’s ambitious “mega projects,” a stable of construction projects aimed at improving the infrastructure of the city and connecting it with the outside world.
A fourfold increase
Erdogan’s ambitious projects are already bearing fruit in the property and land sector.
Investment bank TSKB reported this week that since the bridge began construction land and property prices in the vicinity have increased by as much as four times over.
General Manager Makbule Yonel Maya reported that in Eyup, Catalca, Arnavutkoy, Sariyer, Beykoz and Cekmekoy, land and residential property values have increased by almost fourfold, and there’s been a knock-on effect in the quality of housing in these areas, he said.
Property Turkey director and Istanbul property expert Cameron Deggin confirmed that even before construction began on the new bridge, real estate activity and interest in the areas to closest the bridge and with links to the Northern Marmara Highway increased significantly.
“When the project was announced developers and investors immediately targeted the areas likely to benefit from the new bridge - which ties in with the North Marama motorway. As a result we’ve seen a remarkable uptick in land and property prices in areas like Eyup, Sariyer, Cekmekoy, Catalca and Arnavutkoy. The latter two can also be explained by their proximity to the new airport,” Deggin said.
He added that the demand for housing is still high - allowing plenty of scope for new investors.
“The demand for housing in Istanbul shows no sign of abating," he said. "There’s a deficit of around two million properties in the city, which is pushing up prices on existing and new developments, which are generally sold out by the time the construction begins."
Around 4000 new housing projects are tipped to be built in Sancaktepe by 2018, while Cekmekoy will gain 930 new projects.
Deggin says not surprisingly, the closest districts to the bridge have benefited from price rises the most.
Deggin has a few suggestions for anyone considering taking advantage of the bridge boom.
“This is a favourite area for city-dwellers looking for some R&R at the weekend,” Deggin says. “Its position near the European side of the bridge has meant it’s now a prime real estate location and is set to be one of the city’s wealthiest areas.”
“These two districts on the European side are accessible from the new bridge but more importantly, link to the Northern Marmara Highway, which easily connects to the city as well as wider Turkey. These districts are also two of the vanishingly available areas near the city left to buy land."
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“The new bridge means travel time to these areas has halved, and what was once the realm of holidaymakers is now being eyed up by commuters looking for well-priced options outside the city centre.” You can read more about these areas here.
“Not only does Bahcesehir - a lovely suburb known as Istanbul’s garden city - have direct access to the bridge and the Northern Marmara Highway, it’s also close to Istanbul New Airport, which is tipped to open in the next couple of years, as well as the Kanal Istanbul development.”
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