The Power of Economy: Real Estate
Interview Oct 02, 2020
We talked to Bahaş Holdıng’s ceo Abdüssamet Bahadır about the many aspects of the real estate industry in Turkey. Bahadır also expressed his suggestions to make the real estate market more dynamic in Turkey via Explore Turkish Realty.
Could you give us information on the activity areas, solution offers, and investments of Bahaş Holding?
Bahaş Holding entered the business world in the jewellery industry in 1990. With the hard work of everyone involved, Bahaş is now a 30-year old family operating in the construction, healthcare, tourism, industry, toy, oil, technology, and agriculture & livestock industries… As to our activities, we have completed nearly 100 projects within these 30 years in the contracting side of the construction industry, our main operation area. Two of the three projects that we have developed as landholders in real estate are living spaces now. Our other project also started accommodating life partially and will very soon be completed. Apart from that, the construction and sales of our projects called Meydan Ardıçlı and GOP Plevne are currently in progress. I would also like to mention that we have many locations waiting as building land and others that are undergoing urban transformation, and we will start construction in those areas as well. Bahaş is open to and takes into consideration export-oriented technological investments with high added-value.
What would you say about the real estate market in Turkey? Where does our country stand compared to other countries in real estate?
The real estate sector in Turkey is known to bring stable and steady income to investors. And this shows how reliable real estate is as an investment tool. Real estate in Turkey is in a better place than many European countries due to factors such as high rental income and value-adding. To speak in figures, Turkey ranked the 14th this year among the most valuable real estate markets in the world. Our country got past countries such as Greece and Portugal with its growth rate, living costs, innovative investments and breakthroughs, achievements and stability in healthcare and tourism sectors, and citizenship incentives in return for $250 thousand. While the housing prices in the countries that we got past are around €500 thousand, these figures are three times less costly in our country. I believe that average house prices in Turkey will increase especially in metropolises with the advancing construction quality and supply-demand balance.
How is the sale of real estate to international investors reflected on the country’s economy?
Although it is not seen as exports, selling real estate to international buyers brings a substantial amount of foreign currency into the country. And that amount of money remains in the country for longer periods of time, especially in sales made for citizenship. Therefore, international investors also make trade investments as they get to know the country and contribute to the economy by decorating the real estate they have bought. Those people also bring tourism income to the country when they choose Turkey for holidays. And some of these families prefer Turkey for the education of their children. In a nutshell, selling real estate to foreign investors also brings many benefits to other areas of the economy. And these benefits multiply when investors decide to stay and live in the country.
How did/does the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) affect the real estate sector? Could you tell us about your evaluations on a national and global level?
COVID-19 left a negative impact and brought uncertainty to the real estate globally as well as other financial markets and economies. Sales offices were closed, and people were locked into their houses to avoid the virus. Travel bans prevented international investors from coming to the country. We still feel the impact of the pandemic greatly. However, I must also state that the rapid moves and accurate calculations of our government helped us greatly. Owning a house during the crisis has turned into an advantage with long term and low-interest credits, and sales records were made in the domestic market. While we were expecting price drops, the real estate sector made around 30% profit. We continue to make online presentations and digital sales for international investors. I also do not believe that we have seen extreme adversities globally either. The main reason for this is that no matter which part of the world they are in, people will need a place to live and shelter themselves. Although the needs and demands vary according to the seasons and the real estate type – demands for detached houses have increased during the pandemic, for example – real estate, in general, continues to be a reliable investment tool nationally and globally.
You are one of the founding members of the Real Estate International Promotion Association (GİGDER). Could you tell us your motivation in founding the Association?
As Bahaş Holding, while we develop our real estate activities, we are also a leader in promoting the houses in Turkey abroad with our international house marketing companies such as Türkiye Gayrimenkul Platformu (Turkish Real Estate Platform – TGP Invest) and Istanbul Global Partners (IGP). Since we both produce and sell our products in the industry, GİGDER was just the right institution for us. Because we can address every aspect of the industry. Selling real estate to international investors is quite popular in Turkey now. International investors, professional marketing companies, and real estate producers in our country were facing serious problems due to unlicensed companies and persons. We undertook the task of solving these issues, regulating the legal deficiencies in the industry, and most importantly, promoting Turkey in the international area much better, thus attracting more international investors into our country.
As a founding member, could you tell us about the activities and goals of GİGDER?
I see GİGDER as Turkish real estate’s door to the world and carrying the flag of the sector. The Association was founded to be the face of the real estate sector, one of the driving forces of the economy of Turkey. We came together to strengthen international real estate investments in our country, turn Turkey into the base of the international real estate investments, and to express the expectations of the real estate actors and sector representatives more clearly in national and international platforms. As GİGDER, we try to serve as an exemplary non-governmental organisation in real estate sales to international investors. We also try to increase our property sales to international investors to $15 billion especially by 2023, placing our country among the top 5 countries that attract the most investment in international real estate markets.
What do you think would be helpful in increasing real estate sales in Turkey?
In my opinion, it is useful to address real estate separately as the domestic and foreign markets.
I think that the following issues should be considered to achieve positive sustainability in real estate sales in the short and medium-term in the domestic market:
- Maintaining the low loan rates and long-term repayment conditions,
- Concentrating more on urban transformation and strengthening legal grounds,
- Constructing quality buildings that comply with earthquake regulations, are loyal to urban planning, with less contact, smart and offering more living space to users,
- Providing licenses to project sales and real estate agencies and their employees and auditing them.
- I can also list the topics that will benefit the international market as follows:
- Organising virtual fairs,
- Speeding up the process of obtaining citizenship,
- Assisting international investors in opening accounts in Turkish banks,
- Preventing the marketing activities of unlicensed marketing companies,
- Extending the network of real estate procedures in Turkish embassies.
Abdüssamet Bahadır, CEO at Bahaş Holding, Interview Questions
Interview: Serdar Ergün