The new head of Turkey’s central bank said she has been priced out of Istanbul’s property market by rampant inflation, leaving no choice for the former finance executive but to move back in with her parents.
“We haven’t found a home in Istanbul. It’s terribly expensive. We’ve moved in with my parents,” 44-year-old Hafize Gaye Erkan, who took up her post in June after two decades in the United States, told the Hurriyet newspaper.
Erkan previously worked at firms including Goldman Sachs and First Republic Bank — and is now getting a crash course in the soaring prices that have seen many young people struggling to find lodgings.
“Is it possible that Istanbul has gotten more expensive than Manhattan?” she said.
Year-on-year inflation stood at 61 percent in November as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has allowed the lira currency to weaken while promising that a new team of economists with Wall Street experience would tackle years of economic crisis.
To quell growing anger, officials also capped rent increases at 25 percent — though experts say that has only amplified the housing tensions, as owners try to push out occupants, sometimes fraudulently, in order to set new and higher rents.
The central bank last month pushed up benchmark lending rates to 40 percent in a bid to get inflation under control.
“We’re nearing the end of our monetary tightening measures,” Erkan told the paper.
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