Newsletter Produced by Dizayn Homes Altinkum Real Estate Agency

To see a great range of properties, land and commercial opportunities in Altinkum, please view our amazing ALTINKUM PROPERTY list. Or you can browse the Dizayn Homes website from the main page at

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year, New Investment? The UK's Financial Times on why you should buy in Altinkum in 2009

New year, new investment?

By Liam Bailey and Nicholas Barnes, published in the Financial Times

Published: December 27 2008 00:09 | Last updated: December 27 2008 00:09

The unravelling of international financial systems and subsequent contagion into the broader world economy has clearly inflicted multiple wounds on residential property markets. Even the luxury end has been hit as high-net-worth individuals watch their investments in shares and, most recently oil, nosedive. The cost of existing debt has risen and new credit lines have become rarer and tighter. And we have seen huge and rapid currency fluctuations, which have a big effect on cross-border purchases.

Admittedly, it is an odd time to be recommending places to buy a house. But, as we move into 2009, with prices falling and more distressed sales coming to the market, it could just about make sense. Those with money are starting to scavenge for bargains.

Why anyone should listen to real estate industry analysts is a fairly important question. None of the agencies or organisations that regularly comment on the housing market predicted the 2008 crash so why should we think we know any more now?

But we are in a very different situation than we were a year ago. In 2007 we were at the top of a boom and the question was when it would turn to crash. Now we are in the crash and, whether prices fall 30 per cent or 50 per cent, at some point in 2009 the market is likely to hit bottom or be close to it. This is the time to prepare to buy before the herd moves in.

That’s not to say a random selection of investments through auction house repossession catalogues will do. Wise househunters will concentrate on areas poised to perform well over the medium- to long-term. Prices will take a long time to recover fully so think carefully about the outlook for a particular location, its infrastructure, accessibility, amenities and prospects for economic growth. Build-quality in an older home or new development is important, as is an established secondary sales market and a transparent legal framework. Only after examining these factors should you look at price.

We have selected 10 locations – a mix of city centre and resort areas – where we think people can safely buy primary or holiday homes next year.

1 London

Prices are already 20 per cent lower than the peak and those buying with other currencies can add further discounts due to sterling’s fall. But rather than focus on completely established – and still expensive areas – the place to look is Bayswater to Fitzrovia – an area north of super-prime London and south of the Paddington to King’s Cross regeneration zones. These neighbourhoods are full of period architecture ripe for individual refurbishments or big redevelopments. Average entry-level values for the better emerging markets in London are about £700 per sq ft, rising to about £1,000 per sq ft for the more established locations. Super-prime kicks in at about £3,000 per sq ft.

2 Paris

It is virtually impossible to find sites to develop in prime locations of the French capital, which means there is an undersupply of quality new stock. At the same time, demand from domestic and international buyers and renters remains strong. So the top-end market is still relatively robust. Values of the most coveted residential property – in the 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th arrondissements – start at about €12,000 per sq metre, while exceptional homes can comfortably exceed €20,000 per sq metre. Paris has not escaped the ravages of the credit crunch but there has been no tumble as witnessed in London.

3 New York

The New York real estate market has suffered along with Wall Street, with year-on-year sales volumes for single-family homes down 15 per cent in the 12 months to September and average property values falling in both the second and third quarters of this year. Some areas performed better than others – the median price of a Manhattan condominium or co-op sold in the third quarter was $928,300, up 7 per cent from the same period in 2007 – but pain in the broader market could continue until 2010. Still, thanks to tight supply in the best neighbourhoods, long-term employment growth trends and the inherent draw of the world’s first global city, the Big Apple should prove more resilient than almost any other US market. Submarkets to watch include SoHo and TriBeCa downtown and Carnegie Hill on the Upper East Side.

4 Montenegro

Montenegro appeared relatively recent on the second-home buyer radar – in effect only since its split from Serbia in June 2006. It has a small but attractive coastline with little room for significant resort development, limiting the risk of oversupply. And property prices – at €1,550-€3,100 per sq metre on average for new developments – are cheap when compared with many established European locations although they can go as high as €4,000-€5,500 per sq metre. In the longer term, Montenegro aspires to European Union membership, which will significantly lower its risk profile. Locations worth considering are Budva, Tivat and Sveti Stefan.

5 Majorca

The much-publicised Spanish property downturn has not had much of an impact on the main luxury market in the Balearics because of a balanced supply-and-demand situation driven by fairly tight control on new development and continued purchases by domestic and overseas buyers . Recent road improvements have added to the island’s appeal, low-cost airlines have improved flight frequency and 2009 will see the extension of the rail network link from Palma via Inca and Manacor to Arta. The prime locations are Puerto de Andratx and Palma Old Town in the south-west, Puerto de Soller, Valldemossa and Deia in the west and Formentor in the north, with average prices from €6,000-€7,000 per sq metre.

6 Austrian Alps

With high altitude and reliable early snow, the Austrian Tyrol is emerging as a good-quality alternative to the more traditional Swiss and French resorts in the Alps. Since the country joined the EU in the mid-1990s, foreign ownership laws have been relaxed in many areas and new resorts have sprung up in Kitzbühel, Seefeld, Mayrhofen, Sölden, Ischgl and around Innsbruck. Prices are still much lower than in Switzerland and France. Between mid-2007 and mid-2008, average new development values in the Kitzbühel region rose by 0.8 per cent to just under €2,100 per sq metre.

7 Southern Cyprus

Cyprus offers exotic landscapes, archaeological sites, a range of sport and leisure activities and an excellent climate. There are sandy beaches – notably around Limassol and Paphos – and mountains, with skiing facilities on the 1,950 metre Troodos peak. There can be tax advantages if home purchases are structured in the right way and the island has the lowest crime rate in the EU. So far, residential property values have held firm. Average prices are just south of the €200,000 mark, while luxury values range from €4,000-€5,000 per sq metre or higher in the top beach-front locations. Still, with transactions down and new-build developments hard hit, buyers should be able to negotiate attractive deals in 2009.

8 Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers a rare combination of idyllic climate, political stability and – by international standards – attractive prices. A recent World Economic Forum report ranked it as the most attractive destination in Central America and second best in Latin America and the Caribbean. And the government realises the importance of sustainable development. Foreigners have the same rights when purchasing as locals do, except in cases of beachfront concession property, where special rules apply. Although prices have been rising for several years, average values for the best new-build properties are still reasonable – at $2,500-$3,000 per sq metre.

9 Turkey

With its substantial and beautiful coastline, Turkey is rapidly emerging as second-home market and while most development has so far been aimed at the mass- and mid-markets, higher-quality projects are beginning to appear. There are limits on foreign buyers – they can’t buy land of strategic, religious or cultural importance – but the country is mainly open (so long as Turks can buy in the foreigner’s country too). Prices in prime coastal areas typically range from €1,200-€2,600 per sq metre. Locations worthy of investigation include Belek, Altinkum and the less developed areas aound Bodrum.

10 Cambridge, UK

Since the 1970s the university town of Cambridge, eastern England, has been a hotbed for small technology companies, which has made the local economy relatively resilient. Over the next 10 years the city is expected to see 30,000 new jobs created, pushing the total to 100,000, and over the next 50 years the population is forecast to grow by 44 per cent. Development has traditionally been limited by a closely guarded green belt but the city recently decided to allow controlled expansion, creating thousands of homes in new communities. Still, it’s unlikely that supply will keep pace with household and income growth, which will boost property values over the long term. Average prices range from £300-£500 per sq ft.

Liam Bailey and Nicholas Barnes are, respectively, heads of residential and international research at estate agency Knight Frank.

Source: Financial Times newspaper, 27 December 2008

Monday, November 5, 2007

New Tesco Kipa Complex rumoured for Altinkum Didim

UK supermarket megabrand Tesco took over the Turkish market chain Kipa in 2003, since when it has been working hard to move its market position from 6th to 1st among major grocery retailers in Turkey (Migros and Carrefour currently occupy the top two spots). Tesco Kipa owns markets and hypermarkets in Bodrum, Izmir and Antalya, as well as other 11 locations, and is hoping to expand its reach by announcing 8 new locations by the end of 2007.

There has been much speculation about the probability that Didim might be one of the planned locations for a Tesco Kipa hypermarket complex. Didim was included on the map of significantly populated towns in Turkey in a special presentation for Tesco Kipa investors earlier this year - even though that was based on the 2000 census results. The massive increase in population since foreigners have been allowed to directly own property here will have expanded numbers way beyond the 37,000 captured 7 years ago. Add to that Tourism Today's estimate that Didim's population swells tenfold in the summer months and the appeal to Tesco Kipa becomes even more evident.

According to The Didymian newspaper, Mayor of Didim Mumin Kamaci is aware of Tesco's interest in Didim and welcomes the plans, but has not been formally approached by the chain in regards to the project. It is believed that Tesco has already carried out a feasibility study on opening a mall in Didim and is in final negotations with landowners before making any official announcements.

The rumoured location of the mall is on the Akbuk Road, which runs from Yenihisar's Cumhuriyet Caddesi, out towards Akbuk and on towards Bodrum and the airport. It is hoped that the shopping complex will include a Tesco Kipa hypermarket, stores and a cinema, similar to the one opened last month in Kusadasi.

Sources: Tourism Today , The Didymian

Amazing new pictures of Didim's new Marina

These astonishing pictures from, the website of the company constructing Didim D-Marin show for the first time the true scale of the marina, set to transform the entire complexion of Didim and the surrounding area.

Doğus Holdings and the civil engineer in charge of the project hope that the marina will be finished 8 months before schedule, in January 2009. According to an interview in The Didymian, 03/11/07, Kemal Atabek says that interest in the project has been even greater than anticipated, and that in addition to the original plans, a ferry platform, depot and hangar have also been added to the plans.

Berths at the marina will be available for long leases directly from D-Marin and will offer incoming boats TV and internet connection, as well as electric and water services.

You can see the original pictures on the D-Marin website here and read more about the development of the marina in The Didymian newspaper, whose website can be found here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Massive increase in visitors to Turkey, and steady increase in returning Turks

According to a report released by the Turkish Institute of Statistics, Turkey is getting hotter! The number of visitors and returning citizens has seen a sharp increase over the same time last year, signalling a strong upturn in the fortunes of the Turkish tourist industry and indicating a resurgence in Turkey’s appeal to its expatriate citizens.

The numbers are taken from border control figures and measure the number of people entering and leaving Turkey via plane, boat, car and rail. These have been compared with data taken from the same period one year earlier and show an emphatic change both in visitor numbers and in nationalities.

The figures are those from September 2007, outside the main domestic tourist season but a popular month for visitors who are free from the restrictions of school term times, and are compared against September 2006.

The overall number of foreign visitors to Turkey went up by an impressive 23.5% to 2,799,276 from 2,267,146, with plane the most popular mode of entry - chosen by 29.6% more people this year than last. Arrivals by sea also increased impressively, by 14.6% - both figures suggesting wealthier overseas visitors compared with the previous year.

Wealth is also suggested by the top ten nations favouring Turkey as a destination (who make up an overwhelming 63.9% of Turkey’s foreign visitors): Germany, Russia, the UK, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Iran, USA, Ukraine, Israel and France; with popularity growing most among Americans and members of the former Soviet states. Obviously, even the fragile condition of the US economy and the poor performance of the dollar against the Turkish lira can’t put Americans off Turkey!

An upturn is also indicated in the number of Turkish citizens returning to Turkey, whether for a visit or more permanently: up by 11.3% from 587,845 to 654,362, though this is still outweighed by the number of departures in the same month, down 1.6% from 963,509 to 948,195.

The news is particularly pleasing for those who’ve been keen to see Turkey’s vitally important tourist industry thriving: investors both private and commercial; travel agencies; property developers; banks; and all the millions of companies offering services and products aimed at foreign visitors. It also underlines the wisdom of investment in quality attractions such as Didim D-Marin megayacht marina and the two golf courses planned for Altinkum at Third Beach and Mercimek.


© Dizayn Homes 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007

More Foreigners Buying in Turkey

Some informative statistics from my favourite source again. Completed real estate sales to foreigners went up by an amazing 59% in 2006 on the year before, to a total $2.9 billion! Which is a lot of apartments, whatever way you look at it (I'm half english & half american so 1 billion to me is either 9 zeros or 12... how confusing....).

88% of foreign-owned property is located in 10 cities, the top 5 being Antalya with 14,610 properties; Istanbul with a surprisingly low 10,695; Mugla (the location of Bodrum) with 8,251; Aydin (home of me, Didim, Akbuk and Altinkum) with 5,839, and Izmir with 4,572 foreign-owned properties.
Source: Today's Zaman

To see what's inducing people to invest so much money in Aydin, take a look at our fantastic properties for sale in Akbuk - you will see for yourself why investment here is such a popular choice!

Altinkum Property Tax Evasion

There is a warning causing anxiety among Altinkum property buyers that I have been hearing frequently - that the Turkish government intends to crack down on property tax evasion and are out to get you! This is becoming an increasing issue as property prices rise, particularly in areas with a lot of foreign buyers. But the burden of suspicion here is NOT falling on foreign property buyers - despite what you may have read in other places including the Turkish Embassy in London's own website! The government's concern is that construction companies are effectively laundering their incomes by requesting payment in a combination of cash and bank transfers, persuading property buyers to under-declare the purchase value of the property on their title deeds, and then only declaring the minimum amount to the taxman.

Now if you've bought a property in Turkey before this may all sound rather familiar. Did you put down a deposit for your property and pay the rest in installments by bank transfer? Did you declare the council's assessed value for the property on your title deeds because your solicitor recommended it for tax reasons???

Well don't be scared. So did most people. And it's all perfectly legal. Even the Turkish Embassy admits it in a fairly dramatic u-turn on their informative (!) website: "Each of buyer and seller is to pay real estate sale-and-acquisition levy of 1.5%, based on the declared value of the asset (This value cannot be less than the threshold determined by authorities). It is collected in prior to the transfer of ownership at TAPU office." Which means that you CAN declare the council's assessed value of the property on your title deeds and pay tax accordingly. And as for paying in a cash/installments combination, nothing could be more sensible. Just make sure that you agree the payments in your sales contract arranged by your solicitor to make sure everything is above board. The real target of this worry-provoking campaign isn't you, it's the builder whose property you are buying. And how he declares his tax is his responsibility, not yours.

So what's the moral of the story? Leave a paper trail. NEVER buy a property without involving a solicitor and having a detailed intent-of-sale contract drawn up. Oh, and unless you are VERY confident about the buying process, don't bypass the estate agent just to save your 3%. We don't just exist to point you at properties you can find by yourself, we also understand the ins and outs of the property buying process in Turkey - which is more than I can say for the Turkish Embassy in London! (Sorry guys, but you're not good at this. Really. Pull yourselves together.)

To get the real lowdown on buying property in Akbuk safely and legally, contact Dizayn Homes at - we are happy to anwer any questions you have, no matter what your intention re buying property is. Or take a look at the Turkey Central forum, where more information is constantly being added about the local property-buying process in the Altinkum area.

Single-Day Altinkum Property Sales

According to Today's Zaman (my favourite source for news about Turkey), the security check process that until now has delayed property purchases in Altinkum by foreigners for as much as 12 months is soon to be speeded up. The Turkish Land Registry now has greater access to the information, kept by the Turkish Defense Ministry, about what property is militarily sensitive and thus can't be bought by foreigners.

Don't expect too much from this news just yet though - all it means in practical terms is that the Land Registry can carry out the checks themselves instead of passing the documentation to the Defense Ministry. But if this can be taken one step further and the information made available to the Land Registry at a local level, potentially foreign property buyers will be able to purchase Altinkum property in one day, just like Turkish buyers!
Source: Today's Zaman