The recent plunge in value of the Turkish Lira has seen foreign investors surging to buy apartments in Istanbul at low prices, with most buyers coming from Gulf countries according to observations from Arab News.
With the lira depreciating by up to 40 per cent against the US Dollar since January 2018, buyers are rushing to secure properties at unbelievable prices before expected increases. Founder of Property Turkey, Cameron Deggin, says: “In the last few weeks, unique visitor traffic to our website has more than doubled to over 5,000 a day. We can see from the data that most of the interest is from GCC countries, with Saudi Arabia – as the most populous GCC state – in the lead by a significant margin.”
The past five years has seen a steady increase in the number of Gulf investors buying up apartments in Istanbul as second homes, with statistics suggesting that Gulf buyers are looking towards Turkey more because of an affinity with Turkey as a Muslim country and cultural appeal rather than as a potential investment.
Deggin continues: “You ask why GCC nationals are buying apartments that may fall further in value, and have already dropped about 35 per cent? Well, my answer is that it’s because GCC investors are buying from the heart. At each training session I tell my guys that GCC buyers might be saying they want an investment, but for 90 per cent of them the real motive is lifestyle. They just want a place in Istanbul. Investment is a secondary motive.”
As a stable country socially, culturally, and demographically, Turkey attracts many GCC nationals and Deggin suggests that once the Lira stabilises more buyers will surge in from other countries around the world as investors with deeper pockets are waiting for a bit of stability as they are more risk averse.
Data released by TURKSTAT (Turkish Statistical Office) shows that between January and March 2017 there were 4,316 real estate sales to foreign buyers in Turkey. The same period in 2018 has seen foreign sales rise to an incredible 5,367. A villa for sale at 1,900,000 US Dollars a few weeks ago would now cost just under 1,600,000 US Dollars, giving investors a saving of more than 300,000 US Dollars.
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