Why buy property in Izmir
Izmir, Turkey's third biggest city, is probably the nearest you can get to a city with a Western vibe. Many have likened it to Paris or Madrid for its cosmopolitan, liberal atmosphere and living here is becoming an increasingly serious life choice for both Turks and foreign investors. With many new developments and infrastructure projects completed or underway, great cultural, art and live events across the city, its proximity to some of the best historical attractions in the world and its vibrancy, people are seriously looking for a slice of the Izmir real estate.
Areas of Izmir
For such a sprawling city, with more than 4 million people, Izmir is surprisingly easy to get around thanks to its motorway network and public transportation infrastructure. Property for sale in Izmir often goes quickly whether you're in the suburbs, in sought after areas like Bornova, Karşıyaka or Alsanack, or closer to the action of Kemeralti, or the outlying beauty of Balcova and Narlidere
Around 45 minutes away from Izmir's Konak centre, lies the upmarket town of Alacati, where many of Izmir's super rich hip youngsters and extreme sports fans can go to for a weekend of fine dining, windsurfing and lazy Sunday afternoons. Another 20 minutes on is the bustling coastal town of Cesme, a major holiday haven with a hundred years old castle and boutique shops. The Izmir real estate scene is diverse with coastal villas, city apartments and new builds offering excellent connections across the region.
If you have never been to the back streets of Kemeralti or the sublime cafes of the waterfront in Alsancak, then you don't know what you are missing. The brisk city life - with the idyllic leafy streets of Izmir Fuar close by - means that you can soak up the cafe lifestyle as if you were back in Paris.
Alsancak is a thriving waterfront area where cafe communities while away the hours people -watching, while art galleries and night clubs, and the small town centre give it a unique atmosphere. Izmir real estate here is strictly apartment life but gives you a fantastic base from which to search.
In the tumbledown, historic, claustrophobic streets of Kemeralti, you can literally buy any clothes for a couple of Turkish Lira compared to the glitzy shopping malls that have mushroomed around wealthier parts of Izmir. Getting lost around the crazy streets for an hour and shopping for bargains, as well as catching food on the go, is all in a day's work for the Izmir expat.
As well as city centre attractions, such as Izmir's Clock Tower in Konak Square; the Agora and the Kulturpark, there is a wealth of opportunity to soak up city life at your own pace.
The decisive factor for investors to consider invest in Izmir is the number of relative large-scale investment projects around the city. In the last ten years, the city has rapidly improved its road and rail network, as well as improving pedestrianization and traffic management.
The city opened a metro line running from Karşıyaka around the Bay of Izmir in April 2017, and a second metro line, 12.9km long, will open from the Konak side later 2018.
Turkey's government has also proposed a unique underwater tunnel and bridge, called the Izmir Gulf Package, to establish a ring around the city to help reduce traffic congestion.
Art, culture, shopping
Izmir has often been described as an art lover's treasure trove given the proliferation of art galleries, high-end cultural shows and performances, and then to top it off, the shopping meccas that dot the city. Embodying the cafe culture of Paris, the chic-ness of Madrid, the arty atmosphere of London's Convent Garden, and the cultural experiences of Athens, Izmir is a dazzling city. Whether it's browsing the Arkas Art Centre in the former French Consulate or enjoying dance and music performances in Alsancak, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Izmir is well renowned within the Aegean region for its dining and nightlife. The trouble is, there is so much going on that it's extremely hard to keep up with it. Most expats focus on the Alsancak area and around the Izmir Fuar area for eating traditional Turkish dishes, while the likes of Bornova and Balcova will often delight with quirky cafes.
While Alacati is becoming world-renowned for its European and Turkish cuisine, Izmir’s Gazi Kadinlar Sokagi is recognised as one of the heartbeats of the city's nightlife with a mix of restaurants and nightclubs all converged in one area.
Villas for sale in Izmir, or further afield in Cesme and Alacati are ideally located for a host of reasons. Izmir International Airport is just 45 minutes away, ensuring a quick and easy getaway; while the historic sites of Ephesus and Pergammon Ancient City are within easy reach. Izmir is also within a few hours travelling to other delightful town, such as Kusadasi and Bodrum, or the Yamanlardagi Park near Menemen.
So why buy in Izmir?
With a 22 percent increase in foreign property buys in Turkey in 2017 Izmir is also best placed to benefit from an increased interest from foreign investors due to its westernised attitudes and vibrant city life. In fact, it is probably the perfect city-by-the-sea for the all-round Aegean experience.