ANKARA / EMIRATES BUSINESS
Kuwaiti investors will have a unique opportunity to discover Turkey’s diverse real estate landscape and meet with leading local and international developers and market experts at next month’s inaugural Cityscape Turkey exhibition, which will be held from 24-26 March, 2016 at the Istanbul Congress Center.
The latest addition to the Cityscape portfolio of global events, the new destination showcase follows on the back of the success of the Turkey pavilion at Cityscape Global 2015, with a surge in investor interest prompting the launch of a dedicated in-country exhibition.
In 2015, over 500,000 GCC residents visited Turkey with investments from the Gulf accounting for almost 30% of total transactions. According to Turkey’s Ministry of Land Registry, 2,130 Kuwaiti citizens purchased property in 2015 amounting to 675,000 square metres. Investment from the GCC state has more than doubled in the last 24 months, and doubled again in terms of total square meterage.
“Turkey appeals to the Kuwaiti investor on multiple levels from the comfort factor of cultural similarities such as halal food and plentiful mosques, through to the cosmopolitan positioning of a city like Istanbul, or the upscale resort communities found on the various coasts, an abundance of quality retail locations and growing presence from renowned international hotel chains. Couple this with steady high returns and a wealth of prime developments that meet stringent international construction standards, and you have a formula for investment success,” said Wouter Molman, Director, Cityscape Global. The sixth largest European economy with current GDP in excess of US$800 billion, Turkey is also the 17th largest economy in the world and sixth most popular tourism destination, attracting 37 million international visitors in 2014. The country’s real estate sector continues to attract significant levels of foreign direct investment, reaching almost US$5 billion in the first nine months of 2015, according to Gyoder, the country’s association of real estate investment companies.
FDI inflow to the real estate and construction sector totalled US$4.8 billion in 2015 and is expected to top US$10 billion in the medium term. Infrastructure development is also being prioritised, with a third Istanbul airport in the pipeline, and with the introduction of the urban regeneration law, which will see US4400 billion invested into housing projects over the next 20 years, the Turkish government is putting real estate development at the top of its economic agenda.
The Turkey event will bring together over 50 high profile exhibitors across 7,000 square metres of exhibition floor space, with more than 5,000 regional and international visitors expected to attend. In a unique and innovative move, the Cityscape Turkey team will also invite a select number of prospective Kuwaiti investors to attend through its exclusive invitation-only hosted buyer programme.
“We want to connect serious investors with participating developers and reputable brokers directly and, under this programme, we will bear the cost of their five-star hotel accommodation and airport transfers and arrange a series of pre-qualified one-on-one meetings to fast track the experience and showcase a tailored collection of quality projects and existing developments that meet clients’ exacting requirements,” remarked Molman.
In addition, hosted buyers will be accorded VIP status and also receive an invitation to attend the official Cityscape Turkey Networking Reception.
Current investment hotspots for Kuwaiti nationals are Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, as well as Trabzon on the Black Sea coastline, and Yalova and Bursa in the northwest of the country.
“As of 2016, Kuwait now ranks in the top 10 of inward real estate investment and is the third largest foreign purchaser of property in the country, which confirms the attraction of Turkey as a secure investment environment and a destination that delivers on quality, backed by a stable economy and acknowledged regulatory transparency, both of which are also key to ensuring investor confidence,” said Ali Agaoglu
The 2012 amendment to Turkey’s reciprocity law, which made it easier for foreigners to invest in the market, and purchase a maximum of 60 hectares – increased from the original 2.5 hectares – has also boosted demand from Kuwaiti investors.
Steady growth in terms of house prices has been recorded over the last three years, with residential rental rates in key cities also rising by 20 per cent over the last 24 months, as per Gyoder.