Keith’s Weekly Property News Fabruary 27-2-2022
Covid, war and more.
After 2 years of brushing it under the rug, Covid popped up and I tested positive last week, and again today. Apart from fever and fatique on Day 1 and 2, there is not much more to complain about, so I feel lucky about that. Nonetheless, when you have a virus that has been in the news every day for 2 years, it does make you take notice. Being housebound for a handful of days will do that, too. I did, however, keep active on the phones and perhaps took a bit more time than usual to listen to what was being said on the other end. Normally, I keep it short with other realtors, but this week – whether it was out of boredom or for amusement – I kept a few on the line for a bit longer.
To the last person, they lamented the state of the market, with the most common refrain being, “No one wants to sell” When I asked if there were any solution or if there were any likelihood that it would change, the answers were generally that it would not change any time soon and that there was not much that could be done about it. Istanbul real estate agents can be astonishingly un-analytical, but they usually arrive at the correct point through some intuitive process. They rarely speak of inflation hedges, flight to safe havens, or thin supply lines. As many of them have rentals as their bread and butter, they tend to be able to wait out these kinds of lull periods.
The internet gives a very distorted and rosy picture to the property market. Newcomers must think they have entered a kind of paradise, where prices look cheap due to sqm inaccuracies and supply looks abundant. Now remove a full 80 % of what you see listed. Put a bunch of question marks around the remaining 20%. This is how you should approach what you see. That is the reality. When you strip away falsehoods, inconsistencies, inaccuracies or properties with tenants who refuse to show or where owners arbitrarily raise prices, this is what remains. To some extent, this is not a new phenomenon on the market, but it is clearly at the extreme these past few months. In addition, it is just a fact that there are fewer listings being put out recently. I do not mean to scare anyone away from the market. There would not be much point in that. Agencies like Property Turkey do their bit by front line offerings that look very legitimate and enticing. I can pretty much go through their page and say within 5 minutes what is legitimate and what is not. Those prices “Starting from 85K” usually jump up to 140K when you get your foot in the door and start asking. Anything they have listed on the secondary market has invariably been sold out. They may,
or may not, offer you an alternative if you ask. I guess if I were to sum it all up, I would say apply a grain of salt to all listings on the internet.
As patchy as the presentation of some of the stuff we put up on our whatsapp channel may be, it does have the virtue of being mostly accurate and current. It probably gives a better snapshot of what is available on the market than just about anywhere else.
The lira initially spiked up sharply in the 24 hours following the first falling of bombs. By the end of the week it had moved back towards what it had been pre-conflict. No doubt how this conflict plays out will have some impact on the lira, so we will be watching that closely as always. I suppose it will push demand for Ukrainians and Russians alike for property in places like Antalya, if not so much in Istanbul. But a weak rouble could also slow that down, so hard to say at this point. It is also unclear how it will affect tourism. Initially, I am sure numbers from those countries will be down, but we are in low season now anyway, so again it will be more important to see where the conflict goes in the coming months than right now. Turkey has so far had just a nominal role as peace broker.
I guess in the end all that can be hoped for is a speedy conclusion one way or another. I do not see the conflict has any potential to disrupt the Istanbul property market, though it could cause the currency to bounce around.
Shot another video today with Wandering Investor, Ladislas. That is a must watch for incoming investors and old alike. I will post it when it becomes available.
I am still planning a trip to Izmir to check out the opportunities there. I hope that comes together in the next week. I think we need contribution from there especially for upcoming Spring season.
Properties to be shared during meeting