Festivals, stats and a new task

Last weeks property search for our client ended in success. We found a very attractive two bedroom right next to Bilgi university in lower Tarlabasi (see photos below). It has fantastic character and is in reasonable shape. We will do some small renovations and then let it out, most probably, to teachers working in the area. Now, we are finalizing the paperwork.


The” Istancool festival” got underway yesterday and the streets are abuzz with artists, musicians and theatre people of all varities. Take a look at http://www.facebook.com/ISTANBUL74

A quizzical look at how statistics are reported in the media. A reputable local newspaper made a big deal of how home sales were down twenty percent in January, February and March from the previous three months. Hardly an unusual development, given that the winter months are always slow, especially as it was an unusually wet winter. Barely mentioned, was the fact that home sales were indeed up 9 percent on the same period from last year. I suppose they will report it in the same way next year, when predictably, home sales will be down again for the winter months as opposed to Autumn.  Hmmm?

So, the task for this week is even more challenging than last week. A European based property fund that has sizable holdings in downtown Istanbul has tasked me with finding them a large building in a central location. Their demands are simple…it should be historical in character, central, in need of full restoration and around the 2000 dollar per square meter mark. They are divesting of their portfolio in other developing markets and betting big on Istanbul, which has by far outperformed their other holdings in Eastern and central Europe. They are very pleased with the capital growth and the yields they have achieved on their acquisitions in Istanbul. The competition is fierce for these kinds of buildings, but with patience and readiness, they can be sourced. Keep tuned…or drop me a line with any questions you may have (please keep them related to property issues, thanks…

Beyoglu apartment search and Tarlabasi regeneration

Well, it is back to basics here today in downtown Istanbul. After spending a few days sorting out the minor bureaucracy related to a few property sales, we are back on the hunt for ‘kelepir’ (Turkish for bargain) properties. This process involves networking with some of the better local real estate agents and a good deal of walking around and talking to my guys in the know,  a group comprising of some unassuming types including shopkeepers, barbers and shoeshine boys. A lot of the time, the effort can go unrewarded, but when we do come up with that special apartment or building , it still produces a great thrill and a lot of excitement.

Istanbul real estate is a little different than many places in the world, mainly due to the fact that mortgages are still in their infancy, and many deals close out very fast, with a great weight in favor of cash buyers who are ready to pull the trigger. So, we try to move fast when we find something exceptional. This week, the focus is on finding an apartment for a client in the 300,000 tl range. We want high ceilings, some original character, possibly two bedrooms and some decent light. The client will take a place anywhere in Beyoglu. Keep an eye on this blog to see a few of the potential candidates.

On the hunt!
Getting warm..

Additionally, today, the buzz around town is that the big machinery has finally arrived for the demolition of the Tarlabaşi neighborhood. 278 buildings are being demolished and re-built in a joint project with the Beyoglu municipality and Calik Holding. It is the biggest property development project of its kind in downtown Istanbul and is taking place in our backyard. Central Istanbul just keeps on getting better.

Tarlabasi serious work starting

Hello world!

Hi, this is my first posting as an Undercover Real Estate agent in Istanbul. As I’ve mentioned in the about me section I’ve built up a property portfolio in Istanbul over the past decade, there’s no real secret  to the success I’ve achieved, just the usual:  hard work, contacts and execution speed.

It’s been another busy day here in Istanbul.  A trip to the municipality to do research on one of the properties an investor intends to purchase. Then, I have to check in on a renovation project and make sure all’s heading the right direction, followed up with a few visits to some new and exciting properties on the market (see below).

In addition, we are making preparations for our semi-annual party for clients and friends this Saturday night. Barbecue followed by live music!!! (photos to follow) It’s an overcast day here in Istanbul after 2 weeks of steady sunshine and early summer heat. Tourist season seems to getting under full swing and I can notice Istiklal getting distinctly busier. Lots of events going on in town, too. Art festivals, fashion shows, gallery openings etc, which are all becoming de rigeur for Istanbul life.


Great fixer upper

Pretty street
Cute house on a pretty street