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Rent in Istanbul has risen in price by more than 700% in 4 years

Rent in Istanbul has risen in price by more than 700% in 4 years

12 July 2023

Rates for renting housing in the largest Turkish metropolis have increased by 707% in just four years. Deputies are puzzled over how to solve the urgent housing issue.

One of the key reasons for the current crisis situation in the rental housing market, in addition to inflation, is a clear preponderance of demand over supply. The owners feel themselves masters of the situation and set the prices they want; they even evict the current tenants for this, including by illegal methods. As a result, all tenants suffer – especially poor, low-income people, pensioners, as well as civil servants. 

The dynamics are really frightening: for example, the rent for housing in Sultanbeyli in May 2019 was 1,121 Turkish lira (TL), and as of May 2023, this figure increased by 740.39% to 9422 TL. In Uskyudar, it rose from 2,142 to 17,257 TL; the percentage ratio is approximately the same – 705.67%.

As a result, civil servants are sometimes forced to refuse to transfer for work to Istanbul, because they cannot even rent an apartment for a family on their salary. What to say about those who live on a pension or a “minimum wage”.

Deputies complain that another reason for the housing crisis is uncontrolled migration. At one time, foreigners were especially blamed for allegedly buying apartments in Istanbul; however, we should not forget about the numerous refugees from Syria for example.

The Department of Mass Housing Construction has focused on the production of social housing, and this is good; however, in Istanbul alone, 450-750 thousand apartments need to be allocated for social apartments with preferential rents in order to at least partially reduce the “heat of passions” in the market. After all, there are not enough places in student dormitories.

So, among other possible measures is to promote the development of industrial construction methods for cheaper and faster housing construction; as well as a competent migration policy, plus control over illegal migration and encouraging refugees to return to their countries, to their homeland. 

Since September, the authorities have promised that disputes between owners and landlords, thanks to the newly introduced mediation system, will be settled in a maximum of a month – at least the bulk of these disputes. 

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    ARAVANA Capital management
    12 July 2023
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