Turkiye: New railway project sparks interest in Thrace

The ongoing Halkalı-Kapıkule High-Speed Railway project, a key component of the Asia-Europe corridor, is driving investment in Thrace, a region bordering Istanbul.

The project, announced in 2019, is expected to significantly reduce travel time between Halkalı and Kapıkule, boosting both passenger and freight transportation.

“Türkiye is a bridge between Asia and Europe in terms of transportation,” said Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, emphasizing the project’s strategic importance.

The railway line, which will pass through several towns including Çerkezköy, Lüleburgaz and Edirne, is already impacting real estate prices. Data from Endeksa, a real estate valuation company, shows a 5 percent to 8 percent increase in property values in the region between January and May 2024.

Thrace’s proximity to Istanbul and the anticipated ease of transportation are attracting both real estate investors and manufacturers. The region has seen a surge in demand for residential properties, industrial facilities and agricultural land.

Bülent Öztürk, Chairman of the Board of arsaVev, a real estate company, noted, “People want to live outside the busy city life but still be close to the city center. They are looking for low-rise, safe and garden-style properties.”

The train line between Halkalı and Kapıkule starts from Halkalı and reaches Kapıkule with stations in Ispartakule, Çatalca, Çerkezköy, Büyükkarıştıran, Lüleburgaz, Babaeski and Edirne.The first phase of the project, the 153-kilometer section between Çerkezköy and Kapıkule, is planned to be completed by the end of 2025; the 67-kilometer section between Ispartakule and Çerkezköy and the nine-kilometer section between Halkalı and Ispartakule are planned to be completed by 2028.

The Halkalı-Kapıkule High-Speed Railway project has significantly impacted real estate prices in the Tekirdağ, Kırklareli and Edirne provinces, according to Onur Çelik, a valuation expert from EVA Real Estate Valuation.

Çelik noted that the pandemic and last year’s devastating earthquakes fueled demand, particularly from Istanbul residents, leading to a sharp rise in property values. “Transportation is a crucial factor in real estate appreciation,” Çelik said.

Central Bank data reveals a substantial increase in the housing price index for the three provinces combined: 153 basis points in 2021, 660 in 2022, 1,250 in 2023 and 1,368 in 2024.

The average price per square meter of housing units has also skyrocketed, from 2,000-2,500 Turkish Liras in 2020 to around 25,000 liras today. Çelik attributes this to an annual price increase of approximately two to three times since the pandemic and earthquake, with the railway line being a major demand driver.

Agricultural investments are also on the rise in Thrace, with a particular focus on vineyards and oilseeds. Land prices have reportedly increased by 600 percent in the last four years, while agricultural land prices have risen 10 to 15-fold per decare.

The Kırklareli region is also emerging as a tourism hotspot, with investments in “tiny house” accommodations gaining popularity.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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