Global property giant enters the Turkish market

Hurriyet Daily News - International Realty Plus real estate franchising and Turkey's Liman Holding launched IRP Turkey, their joint venture, in Istanbul. International Realty Plus currently operates in six countries. In the USA, its annual turnover stood at USD 50 million last year. Huseyin Altas, CEO of IRP Turkey, said Liman Holding decided to import the IRP franchising brand to Turkey in order to make use of the existing opportunities in Turkey's growing real estate market. "At present, 95 percent of real estate transactions take place through individual real estate agencies that do not work under any franchising brand. Also the low mortgage to gross national product ratio shows the potential in Turkey," Altas said. Mortgage to gross national product ratio in Turkey stands at 3.3 percent, whilst the European Union average is 41 percent. In Greece, the corresponding figure is 17 percent, whereas it stands at 12 percent in Italy. IRP Turkey will largely focus on marketing its activities for international investors, Altas noted. "Turkey has become an attractive country for international property investors in recent years. So far, sales have largely focused on the southern parts of the country, such as Kas, Kalkan, Bodrum and Didim. However, we have reached the point where even selling units in Batman (a southeastern Turkish province) for the British investors is possible," Altas claimed. IRP Turkey is currently investigating expansion opportunities from Turkey to nearby countries. "We are evaluating opportunities in Azerbaijan and Russia. In Libya we are gathering data on the firms that could execute our projects. Our goal is to become active in these countries by 2010," he said. Over the first year of operations, IRP Turkey aims to reach a business volume of USD 700 million and open 50 franchise offices. "The number of residential units in Turkey currently stands at around 15.5 million, with around 3 million of these being located in the Marmara region," he said. "New residential units see substantial demand in Turkey, which means there is serious potential in the sector. This is the reason why we invested in this sector and brought IRP to Turkey” Altas stressed. Liman Holding expects to finish the sales of its newest project, the EUR 35 million Eviva Residence in Istanbul's Beylikduzu district by the end of the month. "We have sold half of the units to the UK investors within one month. The project will be completed by December 2010,” he added.