Founded as Byzantium on the impregnable Sarayburnu promontory in ca. 660 BCE, modern-day Istanbul is one of the world's most historically rich cities. It is also one of the fastest growing in both Europe and Asia, as it straddles the Bosphorus Strait that divides Europe from Asia. Istanbul is a blend of extremes of microclimates and architecture, but manages to combine ultra-modern sky scraper developments with the ancient beauty of its historic city centre, part of which carries UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Apartments for sale in Istanbul can therefore be cheap and cheerful in one district, ranging from £50,000 to £100,000 depending on size, or be amazingly expensive in other districts.
Historic Istanbul features some of the world's most beautiful monuments, squares, bazaars and mansions. Sultanahmet district is where the Aya Sofia is located. Commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian and consecrated as a Christian church in 537, Aya Sofia was converted into a mosque by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. Since 1935 it has been a museum. Aya Sofia is one of the world's most beautiful buildings, and one that is richer in tempestuous history than most.
S'leymaniye Mosque in the Bazaar district crowns one of İstanbul's seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn, Istanbul's magnificent natural harbour. The mosque is one of the Ottoman's grandest and most beautiful buildings, commissioned by S'leyman I, known as “The Magnificent”. Surrounded by a beautiful walled garden, this true magnificent complex of buildings is a highlight for the 12.5 million tourists visiting Istanbul every year.
Shopping is rarely more enjoyable than at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, located in the same district as S'leyman I's mosque. This is the true historic heart of Istanbul. Initially a small vaulted warehouse (bedesten) built by order of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1461, the single warehouse soon grew into a vast complex of narrow lanes between bedesten, turning this part of Istanbul into a magical, unforgettable labyrinth for bargain hunters.
Studios and one bedroom apartments for sale in Istanbul's Bahcesehir complex can be as little as £48,000. The more prestigious apartment blocks are nearly always located on the Asian site of the city. Apartments for sale in Istanbul's luxurious Besiktas development start at ca. £490,000 for a two-bedroom apartment with views of the Bosphorus Strait. In Kagithane, where the TUR080 luxury apartment complex was built ca. two years ago, there are two blocks with 137 apartments each to choose from. A typical three-bedroom apartment costs ca. £280,000.
A similar sized and priced apartment on the European side can be found in Kadik'y, which sits directly on the highway and has a Metrobus station in front, allowing residents easy access to all parts of the city. Apartments for sale in Istanbul can also be part of luxury hotel complexes, such as the 2-bedroomed apartments at the Park Inn Hotel in Büyükçekmece in Esenyurt, where prices start at £217,872.
A typical down-payment is twenty per cent, with the balance falling due over the next 48 months. Cash buyers can get up to 25 per cent discount when paying the full purchase price at once for an off-plan apartment for sale in Istanbul.
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