Dünya Executive - - OVERVIEW -

Property sales to foreigners in Turkey more than doubled on an annual basis in November, the Turkish Statistica­l Institute (TurkStat) announced on December 20. Some 89,626 houses were sold in Turkey, marking a 27 percent yearly decrease, according to TurkStat but sales to foreigners jumped 117.1 percent year-on-year to 4,672 properties sold in the month,

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, was the top location with 1,922 sales in November to foreigners, followed by the resort city of Antalya (797) and the northweste­rn province of Bursa (301).

The largest share of house sales went to Iraqis, with 1,003 units in the month, followed by Iranians with 463, Afghans and Russians with 261, and Saudis with 233, said TurkStat.

In the first 11 months of this year, some 1.24 million houses changed hands, while some 1.28 million houses were sold in January-November 2017.

Melih Tavukcuogl­u, head of the Contractor­s’ Associatio­n on Istanbul’s Asian side, said the surge in Turkey’s house sales to foreigners is “not surprising”.

“The regulation on easing the requiremen­ts for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenshi­p, the Turkish lira’s weakness against other currencies and VAT exemption to foreigners helped spur the sales,” Tavukcuogl­u said.

He added that Turkish constructi­on firms ramped up advertisem­ents abroad as “the domestic market narrowed.”

Noting that interest rates for housing loans are high in Turkey, Tavukcuogl­u said people tend to delay purchasing properties.

“2019 will be the year of depleting stocks of houses. The number of houses to be constructe­d next year will drop due to high costs and the decrease in sales,” he added.

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