The chairman of the Real Estate International Promotion Association (GIGDER), Faruk Akbal stated that foreign buyers have purchased properties in Turkey online worth more than 100 million Turkish Lira (14.3 million USD) in March 2020, as the industry evolves during the coronavirus pandemic.
Why have sales soared?
Akbal explained that online Turkish real estate sales to foreign buyers has increased so quickly due to the current coronavirus pandemic. He also went on to say that that agents have encouraged the attention of foreigners who cannot travel to Turkey by using online platforms, for example: Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime.
Why the shift of attention?
Akbal said that: “By using the innovative perspective, technological possibilities and the momentum our country has achieved in health care, we have created an international demand which has turned into pre-sales and reservations with digital tools.” Akbal added that members on these platforms have registered reservations and sales totalling 120 properties during March, with this generating an income exceeding 100 million Turkish Lira.
Property market in Turkey
With these number of sales and reservations, Akbal said it shows how strong the housing market is in Turkey and how Turkish companies are at the forefront of the changing trends. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), during the period of January – March overall property sales were up by 33% to total 341,038 sales. The data shows that sales of real estate to foreigners was up by 13.8% when compared with sales in the same period last year.
House Sales in 2019 in Turkey
In 2019 there was a total of almost 1.35 million houses sold across Turkey, and this includes 45,500 homes that were purchased by foreign buyers, which was an increase of 14.7% on the number of foreign sales completed in 2018.
How has coronavirus changed things?
From the beginning of the outbreak of coronavirus, Akbal explained that virtual property tours were put in place for foreign customers complete with online tools to help to maintain sales. He went on to say that the trend, first captured in March, was laying the foundation for the future of property sales. There has been an evolution in the way property is being marketed, and vast improvements in the sales and management processes.
Akbal stressed that there are certain regulations that are needed for developing the systems that they now have in place before confirming that: “The industry is rapidly changing in many areas such as virtual and augmented reality technologies, automation, CRM services, digital-oriented advertisement and announcement services, crowdfunding, blockchain and adviser scores.”
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