Multinational real estate firms have confidence in a Turkish market with impressive potential.

Anthony Labadie
Managing Director
CBRE Turkey
AvI Alkaş
Country Chairman
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Turkey

What growth sectors can you identify in the Turkish market?

ANTHONY LABADIE Turkey, and especially Istanbul, has been ranked as one of the highest in Europe for both investment opportunities and city development prospects, according to many independent real estate reports. On the back of sustained infrastructural investments, we have witnessed particularly strong growth potential in the office and industrial and logistic sectors. The office activity is mostly limited to Istanbul, with approximately 3.5 million sqm of institutional quality stock. The office market activity in Istanbul remains, in general, active with sustained rental growth and low vacancy rates in quality assets depending on their location. The hotel industry is also benefiting from an increase in the total number of tourist arrivals in 2013, and we expect this trend to continue over the next couple of years. From an investment perspective, although few transactions have happened over the past few years, we anticipate this activity will further develop, in line with the planned completion of new projects in the office, hotel, and retail sectors.

AVİ ALKAŞ We are using our global network and our connections by becoming active in many international events and activities. For example, in April 2014 the European Shopping Center Conference was held in Istanbul. It ran from April 2-4 and was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of modern shopping history in Istanbul. Meanwhile, mixed-use developments are a new growth area. Land is scarce in city centers, and so its efficient use is crucial. Instead of old-style family-owned enterprises, today we generally see corporate or public companies investing in our neighborhoods, from which arises a need for strategic consultancy and advisory services. Hence, we are leveraging our connections with global cities where we at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) already have an active presence. This is a two-way communication and business relationship among all our JLL offices. JLL in Turkey pursues a global approach. Merging with the local team and bringing in the global expertise and power of JLL has created a competitive edge fuelling the expansion of services and growing in terms of employees and turnover.

What is your outlook for the industry?

AL Overall, the outlook for the Turkish real estate market is one of growth. Specific sectors such as office, hotel, industrial and logistics, and retail are expected to expand, driven by the sustained economic performance within the country. The completion of major infrastructural investments, such as the third bridge of Istanbul and the third airport in 2018, and the Izmit bridge in 2015, are expected to promote further growth in the market. The importance of Turkish Airlines in the region will also play a major part in attaining the tourism industry's target of 63 million visitors per year, while Istanbul will continue to attract most local and foreign investments.

AA I am optimistic for the growth of the industry, as we have been seeing steady growth on the commercial and especially the retail front. Our continuous research means that we are always scoping for new trends, and we are pleased to see that the fourth generation of retail centers has taken the stage in Turkey. I believe that this will be followed by office developments. Instead of having convergence offices in normal residential buildings, commercial property will be well planned and considered in relation to public transportation. International companies will be more attracted to Istanbul if this trend continues.