REAL ESTATE

Turkish housing sales up in September

Property sales to foreigners see yearly increase of 75.2 percent in September, official data show

Anadolu Agency

The number of residential properties sold in Turkey soared by 28.8 percent annually in September, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said on Tuesday.

A total of 140,298 houses changed hands in September, up by 16.7 percent compared to a month earlier.

The number of properties sold to foreigners jumped by 75.2 percent year-on-year in the month, TurkStat revealed.

Of the total sales, 2,236 houses were sold to foreigners, with approximately 35.6 percent (or 797 units) of them in Istanbul, the country's largest city by population.

Following Istanbul, the Mediterranean holiday resort city of Antalya came second with sales of 520 properties, while the Aegean province of Aydin, the northwestern province of Bursa and the Black Sea coast province of Trabzon shared third place with sales of 119 properties.

Official data showed that Iraqis topped the list of buyers in September with 383 properties. Saudi Arabians followed with 344 units, Kuwaitis 160, Russians 129 and British 103.

- New record in house sales is on the way

Commenting on the September figures, the head of the Istanbul Constructors' Association (INDER), Nazmi Durbakayim said the upward trend in house sales had continued even in the more-stagnant period of the year-- summer-- and jumped in September with the effects of housing campaigns.

"We can close the year with total sales of 1.5 million via the continuation of campaigns and the launching of new projects along with an expectation of a reduction in interest rates [on home loans]," Durbakayim stated.

Currently, the mortgage rate for 120 months is between 1.06 percent and 1.50 percent per month in Turkey.

Melih Tavukcuoglu, the head of the Istanbul Anatolian-side Contractors’ Association, said an increase of 28.8 percent is a sign of a new record for the end of this year.

"We estimate that house sales will continue increasingly in the last quarter and we are planning to close the year with a new sales record," Tavukcuoglu added.

Turkish house sales hit an all-time record with total sales of 1.3 million units in 2016, according to TurkStat.

Official data showed that the number of residential properties sold in Turkey reached nearly one million units in the first nine months of this year.

Tavukcuoglu noted that the housing sector has been quite active in this summer despite Ramadan and the slow pace of sales in summer seasons.

Both discounts in value-added tax and campaigns for big housing projects galvanized buyers, Tavukcuoglu added.

Pointing to the rise in the number of properties sold to foreigners, Tavukcuoglu said that the total number of houses sold to foreigners would exceed last years' numbers.

The number of properties sold to foreigners stood at 18,189 units in 2016 but has already reached 15,241 in January-September of this year, according to TurkStat.

Tavukcuoglu noted that houses sold to foreigners in Istanbul climbed by 146.7 percent yearly in September 2017.

"The increase in house sales to foreigners shows confidence in Turkey has increased and discounts in value-added tax for foreigners as well as granting citizenship to foreigners who buy real estate in Turkey worth a minimum $1 million had a positive effect on house sales," he stated.

The chairman of the Association of Housing Developers and Investors, Ziya Altan Elmas, also underlined that property sales to foreigners had increased steadily.

"House sales to foreigners will continue in last the [last] three months of the year," Elmas added.

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