The aim of this study is to answer the question of “why people prefer to live in gated communities in Istanbul?”. Qualitative research methods have been used to develop a conceptual model. Methodologies employed were in-depth interviews and interview forms, where the data were analyzed using content analysis. In-depth interviews employed 33 different household members in 9 different household types. The sample includes different housing types, security levels and income levels to determine the housing preferences in gated communities. The conceptual model is mainly based on household characteristics, project features of gated communities and opportunities offered by gated communities.