Turkey records best-ever April property sales thanks to foreigners

Property in Istanbul

The property market in Turkey has experienced its best ever first quarter sales to foreigners, and the best April ever for housing sales in general according to new data.

For quite some time the property market has continued an upward trend. TurkStat (Turkish Statistical Institute) confirmed that foreigners purchased 3,720 houses in April, which made April the best month ever for sales in Turkey. Property sales in the first quarter of 2019 hit 13,338, which equates to an 82% increase from the 7,341 sales in the same period in 2018.

Top areas for buying properties in Turkey?

The favourite place for foreign buyers remains unchanged with 1,839 houses being sold in Istanbul in April alone. Once again this showed a huge rise of 172% when compared to the same period the year before. Data confirms that property in Antalya came in second with sales to foreigners standing at 676 in total. The capital Ankara came in third selling 210 properties, followed by Bursa with 201 sales, Yalova with 142 property sales and finally Trabzon where 100 properties were sold.

Collectively the Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul registered property sales to foreigners enjoyed huge increases of 366.7%, 280% and 172% respectively.

Why buys property in Turkey?

Once again Iraqi citizens topped the list of foreign buyers regarding nationality. Data showed that Iraqi buyers purchased 337 houses in April 2018; and this figure has increased to 533 properties this year.

Saudi Arabia nationals followed Iraq with 395 properties being purchased, followed by Iran nationals purchasing 322 properties and Russian and Kuwaiti citizens purchasing 202 properties respectively.

When looking at the period from January to April, the story appears very similar. Iraqis bought 2,314 properties with the Iranians hot on their heels buying 2,278 properties. People from Saudi purchased 835 houses, Russians 789, Afghans 696 and those from Kuwait investing in 605 properties for sale in Turkey.

Share of Sales

Data suggests that Istanbul held the highest share of total property sales, which equated to 18.3% and 15,481 houses sold in total. The capital Ankara came in next with 7,519 properties sold, and then Izmir recording 4,797 houses sales.

Official data shows that there were 33,443 new build properties sold for the first time, whilst the rest were made up from second hand sales. TurkStat confirmed just 10,793 houses purchased required a mortgage, with this figure falling 61.3% from the same time last year. Sales with a mortgage had a 12.8% share of all houses purchased over the same time frame.

Legislative Amendments

The huge increases in property sales could have something to do with legislation easing, which sees limits of what foreign citizens could spend lifted. The campaigns run by bank and real estate developers saw foreign currency purchasing increase by almost 80% in 2018 when compared to the same time the year before. Last year 39,663 total properties were sold to foreign investors in Turkey, up from 17,449 in 2017.


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