Without making a fuss, Bursa is one of Turkey's most dynamic economic regions. A large population growing in affluence makes for a good property investment opportunity writes Aydin Cakir of Turkey property agent New Home in Turkey.
Little-heard-of Bursa is a massively important cog in the Turkish economic wheel — a wheel which is known to be whirring at hyper speed having driven the economy to 8.6% GDP growth in 2010 — 4% of all goods and services produced and supplied in Turkey emanate from Bursa. It is the second highest exporting province in Turkey after Istanbul, and has the fourth largest regional after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. All the above are becoming known as property investment hotspots, and we thought it was time that Bursa got a share of the limelight.
The Bursa package doesn't stop there. Income per capita in Bursa in 2009 was $9686, higher than the national income per capita which stood at $8590. The population of Bursa is just over two and a half million and it is home to a number of technology institutions which provide highly skilled workers.
The two main industries in the region are textiles and the car industry, with the car industry being especially important as a number of well-known foreign brands have their headquarters in the city.
Nearly 60% of the 1.1 million vehicles produced in Turkey last year came from Bursa, with nearly 70% of exported vehicles going to the Euro zone. Renault has one of its largest plants in Bursa, producing the Clio and Megane hatchback models. Fiat and Peugeot are also located here and the factories produce one or more of their models.
The textile industry has been active in this city since the 15th century and it is famous for its silk products. Exports of textiles accounted for $800 million at the end of 2009, with cotton weaving, synthetic yarn and ready to wear clothing being popular products. This industry is also important for employment in the region.
The thriving industrial scene means this is a region growing in affluence and with a large population. This points to growing demand for property, which is still being sold a lot cheaper than you will find in Istanbul. Finally Bursa is known as green Bursa because it has a large number of parks and green areas.
However, Bursa is a residential investment market, very unsuitable to holiday home investment, not least because it is relatively inaccessible, with few international flights.
This problem is set to become less pronounced when the Istanbul-Izmir highway is completed. This will put Istanbul's Sabiha Gocken airport within an hour's drive of Bursa. There are also plans for a Bursa-Istanbul Fast Train project, and also to link Turkey's ports with the rail network to reduce export costs. Turkey is hoping to increase exports to $500 billion by 2023
There is little doubt that the Bursa is one of the most important industrialised zones in the country. Investment from the public and private sectors should improve its accessibility and will help to raise its profile internationally. All this makes currently-cheap Bursa properties a fantastic investment, one which can only get better as industry grows and accessibility improves.