Keith’s weekly property news October 15-2023
Sales figures were down 16% in September from last year. That is several months with this continued trend and likely more to come, without much doubt. Secondary cities such as Izmir and Kocaeli, and probably a few others, showed pretty robust numbers in spite of the general downturn. As Antalya has begun to deny residencies to Russians and Ukrainians – due to the huge numbers and the distortions it caused in the local housing market – we can expect a much more pronounced slow down in that market. Of course, that could play out over an extended period of time, so do not expect fire sale prices right around the corner. Nonetheless, I expect that prices will be lower in 2 years than they are today. That is a pretty strong case against buying there any time soon. No rush. But for the overall direction of the market in Turkey, Istanbul is always the best to start with. And for that, the dip seems far from over.
There has been lots of chatter in the press about short term lettings (Airbnb, axiomatically). New legislation is imminent. Full information and analysis will be given here, but not prior to it being officially passed in legislation. Always have a Plan B that is independent of Airbnb. I’ve probably emphasized that ad nausea in the past. Perhaps, as well, some attention can be given to appreciation possibilities. I realize we can all become a bit ‘yield-centric’ in our approach. Its understandable. It is tangible and it is perhaps a kind of “proof” that we have purchased prudently. However, never ignore a fundamental; locations and neighborhoods are dynamic and organic entities. Ideally, you would be buying in an up and coming area and one that offers greater prospects for appreciation. That might not necessarily come with an impressive yield initially, but rents might be about to pop there and appreciation can, with some favorable winds, vastly outstrip gains made by yields, whether they be Airbnb or long term rents. Of course, a balanced approach, looking at all data points, is optimal, but you may want to incorporate some flexibility into the model.
Tips to make a viewing trip productive
-Most importantly is to attend some of the zoom sessions prior to arrival.
-Contact your agent at least 2 weeks prior to arrival and give as detailed a brief as possible. If you do not know the market, that is fine, but at least try to narrow down some essentials such as budget, type of property, goals for property. You would be surprised how many people call up last minute, probably on holiday, and just demand to be shown properties. First of all, on the secondary market, time is needed to set up appointments. If you are only here for a few days and have not given any advance notice, you are likely not to get much service.
-make clear what days you are available for viewings. As you may have a lot more going on than just property viewings, it is important to plan all of that ahead of time.
-contact different agencies. See what fits for you. Then choose one to do most of the heavy lifting for you. Working with multiple agencies is, generally speaking, an inefficiency, and, unless you have unlimited time, that will diminish your experience.
-Give feedback throughout the process. If there is something that you like, do not hesitate to make that clear. If the agent is worth their salt, they won’t use that as a cue to jump all over you and start hard selling just because you express an interest. You would be surprised how many times we have lost a property because a client does not express an interest until after the fact. And good ones can go fast and are not always easily replicated.
-More often than not, clients who do not at least have a bank account in Turkey, will not be given priority. In many countries, you need evidence of funds, pre-approved mortgages and whatnot. Not the case here, but at least an active bank account in Turkey allows you to transact on properties. It probably should be one of the first things you do.
-Meet with a lawyer and organize a POA, especially if you are interested in the citizenship program.
Tips for productive, informed online purchases.
– Attend zoom sessions.
– Organize an initial call for consulting.
– There will be a higher burden of research on your behalf.
– Really try to get a feel for the neighborhoods and what affects pricing. This will involve hours using www.sahibinden.com and www.hepsiemlak.com
– Be in contact with a lawyer for all pre-purchase steps.
– Watch walking tours of various neighborhoods on YouTube. There are loads of them.
– Speak with other members on the whatsapp group.
– Do not use a friend who lives here as a proxy viewer. That never works out well and we generally view it as a waste of our time.
– Use tools such as google street view when you have identified a property you are interested in. In 100 meters a lot can change in Istanbul, especially.
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