House sales in Turkey have recorded the second-best September on record, with representatives in property sales remaining optimistic about how the rest of the year will pan out – sales to foreign buyers are expected to exceed 40,000 by the end of 2020.
September is the fifth month in a row to see property sales to foreign buyers rise, bringing the market figures close to pre-pandemic statistics. However, for the first time in months, the overall sales dropped as the cheap mortgages came to an end and interest rates increased.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) in a recent report, residential sales fell by 6.9% when compared to other years, which equates to 136,744 less houses being sold.
However, house sales to foreign buyers increased by 35.3% to 5,269 units monthly and a yearly increase of 26.1%, marking the highest sales figures this year and the second-best September ever recorded.
Faruk Akbal, the Chairperson of the Real Estate International Promotion Association (GIGDER) confirmed that as the effects of COVID-19 decreased the sale of properties to foreign buyers increased. He went on to say: “Turkey’s leadership, which is growing in influence every day, gives confidence to international investors. Despite the pandemic, the factor that the figure of 5,000 has been exceeded is quite valuable.”
Real estate sales in Turkey
The largest number of house sales were recorded in Istanbul property and totalled 2,370 units. The holiday resort of Antalya followed with 1,018 properties, whilst the capital Ankara came in third place selling 347 property sales.
With regards to the buyers, Iranians purchased just over 900 units in September and topped the table of foreign buyers. Iraqis took second place purchasing 826 properties, with Russians buying 448 properties and taking the third spot.
Akbal went on to say that Turkey markets properties to foreign buyers effortlessly and, “It is a strong sign that we are now starting to take the lead on the competition with Europe.”
The head of the Housing Development and Investors Association, Altan Elmas commented that as buyers were from various countries around the world it demonstrates the strength of the real estate industry in Turkey. Elmas went on to say that: “Although the increase in the exchange rates reflects negatively on us, it has a positive effect on the sales to foreigners. In the next month’s data, we will talk about a further increase in sales to foreign buyers.”
An expert also said: “Foreign investors, who were on hold during the period when the shocking effects of the pandemic were seen, have turned to buying again under the influence of the successful pandemic management displayed by Turkey during this period.”
Sector optimism remains
Amid all the doom and gloom, sector representatives are optimistic that the remainder of this year will bring total sales figures that exceed 40,000 properties being purchased by foreign buyers. An expert added that foreign investors still have confidence and are interested in purchasing Turkish properties, explaining that the effects from the amended legislation and the easing of the minimum investment required to obtain Turkish Citizenship by Investment has helped fuel the increased demand in the country.
To encourage investments, in 2018 Turkey reduced the limits for foreigners to gain Turkish citizenship. Foreigners can now acquire citizenship when they purchase Turkish real estate worth 250,000 USD. The previous limit had been 1 million USD.
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