Turkish Industrial Development Bank (TSKB) Real Estate Value Assessment General Manager Makbule Yönel Maya said foreigners from the Arab Gulf prefer the European side in Istanbul. Talking to an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter, Maya highlighted the distances to Taksim and Istanbul Atatürk International Airport are the main determinants among real estate buyers from the Arab Gulf region. According to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the number of house sales to foreigners increased 22 percent in the first six months of 2015 compared to the same period of last year. Maya said the number of houses located in Istanbul that were sold to foreigners increased 36 percent within the same period. Maya claimed these statistics indicate foreigners prefer Istanbul the most, tourism attractions and investing being the driving force behind this preference. Maya also added that the foreigners look for central locations, residence projects and housing projects with a reputable brand name. Underlining that the districts with residence projects receive more demand from foreign buyers, Maya expressed that new projects in other districts make those places appealing for investors as well, mentioning that apart from Istanbul, foreigners show interest in buying property particularly from Sapanca, Bursa, Yalova and Trabzon. The construction of the third Bosporus bridge is affecting the real estate valuation of some nearby districts. TSKB Real Estate Value Assessment Administrative Affairs and Business Development Manager Özge Aklar said the property prices along the route of the third Bosporus bridge are seeing value changes as well, with the Başakşehir and Arnavutköy districts on European side and the Beykoz and Sancaktepe districts on the Anatolian side affected. İş GYO General Manager Turgay Tanes said Kartal has become an appealing location for both domestic and foreign real estate investors lately as well. Tanes highlighted that Kartal is an important outer center for the Istanbul provincial environmental plan, and institutions like Justice Palace and the state hospital are all contributing to Kartal's climbing value. "The district's transformation from being an industrial zone to a residential area has allured a number of real estate developers since there are no major issues regarding land property," Tanes claimed, adding: "With the increased transportation possibilities thanks to the Marmaray project, Kartal is becoming a desirable location."