Skyscrapers in Levent and Beşiktaş, Istanbul

Latest earthquakes in Turkey trigger demand for lower flats

The demand for buildings of no more than 7 heights and more modern has increased by 35% following recent earthquakes. In Istanbul the demand is bigger on the Asian side, further from the fault.

The latest earthquakes that have hit several regions of Turkey in recent months, including Istanbul and the eastern province of Elazığ, have led to a change in the mentality of many Turkish homebuyers, who are now looking for lower flats and are more focused on aspects such as the age of the building, according to experts in the real estate sector.

In fact, the demand for buildings of 7 floors or less in Turkey has grown in recent months by no less than 35%, according to statistics, because at the end of last September Istanbul suffered its worst earthquake in 20 years and, more recently on January 24th, another 6.8-degree earthquake in eastern Turkey left 41 dead and hundreds of buildings damaged.

Gökhan Taş, president of the Turkish subsidiary of the real estate company Coldwell Banker, is one of those who confirms this increase – which amounts to 30% – in the demand for lower and newer buildings in the Eurasian country. “Buyers and tenants increasingly prefer buildings that are at most 7 years old. In Istanbul, older buildings have lost their popularity,” he says.

Demand for housing grows on the Asian side of Istanbul, further from the fault

Taş also points out another interesting fact: the demand for housing purchase in Istanbul is greater on the Asian side of the city, which is further away from the coast of the European district of Silivri, where the active fault line that has produced last earthquakes in the city is.

“We have seen an increase in the demand for rentals especially in the districts of Çekmeköy, Kartal, Maltepe and Ömerli, where the land is more stable and houses with less heights are generally more available. The demand for houses in Çekmeköy, for example , has risen 25%,” he says.

For his part, Nizamettin Aşa, president of the Chamber of Real Estate Agents, states that those residents who have doubts about the earthquake resistance of their homes, especially those who reside in buildings built before the Great Marmara earthquake of 1999 (after which legislation was hardened), are trying to move.

Aşa also confirms that recent earthquakes have triggered demand for lower flats in Turkey, while in Istanbul demand is growing in districts located on the Asian side, such as Kadıköy, and in those located in the European part but where there are more modern buildings, like Şişli, Mecidiyeköy or Beşiktaş.