ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Istanbul's Avcılar district, which was devastated during the 1999 Marmara earthquake, is recovering gradually through a number of new construction projects.
During the quake, approximately 30 buildings completely collapsed while many of the remaining ones were badly damaged. Due to its strategic location as a venue to sea transportation, the district is beginning to attract numerous investors once again.
“Avcılar is improving day by day. Benefiting from the modern architectural design and technological innovations, the district has also become an attraction in terms of visual quality,” said Avcılar Mayor Mustafa Değirmenci.
Just before the earthquake, Avcılar was one of the fast growing districts in Istanbul. Before the earthquake, prices for property ranged between $100,000-$400,000, but fell drastically after the natural disaster.
“Most of the woes Avcılar experienced as a result of the quake have passed. Prices increased by 70 percent, in line with the rise in demand and they will continue to increase in the next period,” added Değirmenci, noting that it is not easy to identify risky regions and prevent damage in the case of huge natural disasters.
Prices per square in the district were between YTL 600-1,000 ($483.25-$805.43) before the quake, and have reached YTL 900-YTL 1,500 ($724.88-$1,208) after the district's recovery. According to this scale, a 90 square meter apartment in Avcılar should sell for YTL 90,000 ($72,488), while a 150 square meter apartment with a sea view would cost YTL 200,000 ($161,086).
The Mustafa Kemal Paşa and Üniversite Mahallesi, including Denizköşkler, Ambarlı and Merkez mahalleleri, are the most earthquake-safe quarters of the district, which has hosted more than 300 new construction projects recently.
“The offices located along the E-5 highway draw high demand. For instance, the rental for a 250 square meter shops on Reşitpaşa Street is YTL 2,500 ($2,013), while it even reaches YTL 25,000 ($20,135) on the same street towards the center,” said Başak Soner, chairman of Turkish marketing company TURYAP, noting that Avcılar is ranked one of the top districts for the possibility of a high return for real estate investors.