There are currently 600 waterside mansions—which are on the top of the list of luxury properties—on both sides of the Bosphorus and 366 of them are historical, Demirören News Agency reported on Sept. 25.
In addition to 60 mansions, around 40 mansion flats are on sale varying between a price range from $1.7 million to $12 million.
The most valuable place on the Bosphorus is between the Bogaziçi and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges. The mansions in the Bebek and Yeniköy neighborhoods on the European side and in Vaniköy, Kandilli and Anadoluhisarı on the Asian (or Anatolian) side are the most desirable ones.
“Foreigners have the following idea: The value of the dollar has risen, so our money has become valuable against the lira and the properties here [in Turkey] are sold on a lira basis, so I have more of a chance and can buy a much better property,” Sinem Ayıkcan Yılmaz, an Istanbul-based real estate investment consultant, told the agency.
Yılmaz also touched upon the recently issued decree that requires using the lira for buying, selling and renting real estate in a fresh step to support the local currency.
“There is a new law now, we can no longer sell [mansions] based on dollars or euros, so we have to convert all [sale] figures liras,” Yılmaz said, adding that the recent spike in the value of the United States dollar against the lira has resulted in an appreciation in the value of mansions in terms of liras and thereby has led domestic buyers to ask for a discount on the prices.
“Domestic buyers are demanding discounts of 40 percent and 50 percent. This is not just the case for mansions. This is the case [for all the properties] along the Bosphorus line,” Yılmaz said, emphasizing that mansion owners, however, are not giving discounts to foreign buyers.
Mansion owners “are categorizing those living in Turkey and abroad” differently, according to Yılmaz.
“There is mostly a demand from Arab countries. And it is especially from Qatar that we see a demand,” she said.
Yılmaz also urged potential buyers to consult the Development Directorate of the Bosphorus. “Even if you are to paint the exterior walls and building façades of properties located along the Bosphorus line, you need to receive permission from the Development Directorate,” she said.
On top of the Development Directorate of the Bosphorus, a further visit to the Council of Monuments is inevitable for potential buyers of mansions that have a legal status of “historical,” as such mansions are subject to additional laws, said Yılmaz.
Some of these waterside mansions are historical buildings dating back to the 17th century. During the Ottoman period, these mansions were called “Sahilhane.” A family who owned a waterside residence would spend some time in this usually secondary residence located by the seashore, as opposed to the “konak” or “köşk.”