Turkey tourist numbers and property sales smash records
Tourist favourite Antalya was the most popular property buying destination, with 5,486 homes in Antalya sold to foreign nationals in 2014 so far. Foreigners snapped up 4.546 properties in Istanbul - an increase of 150% on 2013 - while 1,018 were bought in Aydin (which includes Izmir), 903 in Mugla (which includes Bodrum, Fethiye and Marmaris) and 641 in Mersin.
Foreign buyers spent just over a billion Euros worth of Turkish real estate in the first four months of 2014 - €720m more than in the same period in 2013. Due to turmoil in Middle Eastern countries, as well as a relaxing of Turkish law to allow for outside investment, there are increasingly higher demands for luxury housing from Iraqi and Libyan buyers.
Cameron Deggin of Property Turkey says the increase is due to a number of factors. "France and Spain are not only overpriced, but their economies took a huge hit during the recession, which worries buyers looking for a holiday home in a country, where their investments will appreciate, not devalue," Deggin said. "Turkey's economy is strong, and property is still well priced. You can also live very affordably in Turkey, and flights now connect the coast with the rest of Europe all year long. In addition, landscape is simply beautiful with a vast unspoilt coastline that is nowadays hard to come by in the Mediterranean "
It's no coincidence that this year was also a bumper year for the tourism sector. Visitor numbers rose 3.24% over last year, generating a record 7.1 billion Euros - an increase of 7.9% on last year.
Deggin explains that there is a direct relationship between tourist numbers and property prices. "Investors need to know that the economy is booming and that there is a strong rental demand."
Last year 35 million foreign visitors went to Turkey, making the country the world's sixth most popular travel destination worldwide. It's expected this year's final tourist tally will reach 43 million, generating a staggering 28 billion Euros.
Will it last? Deggin is emphatic in his affirmative. "Turkey's economy is steady and sustainable. We're expecting more homes to be sold every year as more flights roll out and people begin to look to Turkey not as an alternative to France or Spain, but as a world class destination for lifestyle and investment."