According to figures prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK – Türkstat), domestic property sales in general in Turkey, that is including both Turkish and foreign nationals, fell by 31.3% in May 2019 to 82,252 units compared with the same month of the previous year. Property sales to foreigners in May 2019 were 3,925 units, 4.8% of the total, and 62.5% higher than the figure for the same month of the previous year, though lower than the record figure of 6,276 units for the month of October 2018.
The deepening economic crisis in Turkey is clearly being reflected by the dramatic fall in property sales. With withering demand, the Turkish construction industry has been forced to halt new projects and is facing tremendous difficulties in completing and marketing projects in process. Many construction companies have had to be supported by banks with prodding from the Turkish government to prevent them from going into liquidation. This situation does not apply to sales to foreigners who comtinue to show keen interest as a result of falling property prices, the incentive of Turkish citizenship, and the weak Turkish lira.
In the year 2018, property sales to foreigners were 39,663 units, 78.4% higher than the figure for the previous year 2017. The reason for the high number of property sales to foreigners in the latter half of 2018 and into 2019 is no doubt the government’s easing of citizenship requirements for foreigners, who can now obtain Turkish citizenship if they own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of USD 250,000.
In May 2019, sales to middle-eastern nationals continue at close to 60% of the total. Highest sales were to Iraq nationals with 594 units, followed by Iranian nationals with 509 units, Russian nationals with 285 units, Afghanistan nationals with 183 units, Saudi Arabian nationals with 157 units, Yemeni and German nationals with 155 units apiece, and Kuwait nationals with 152 units. In 2018, of the total 39,663 units sold, highest sales were to Iraq nationals with 8,205 units, followed by Iranian nationals with 3,652 units, Saudi nationals with 2,718 units, Russian nationals with 2,297 units, Kuwait nationals with 2,199 units, and Afghanistan nationals with 2,084 units.
Istanbul was the number one province attracting property sales to foreigners with 1,734 units in May 2019. The Mediterranean resort of Antalya was the second most popular province with 850 units, followed by the capitol Ankara with 216 units, and the north-western provinces of Bursa and Yalova with 187 units and 136 units respectively. Of total sales in 2018, 14,270 units were sold in Istanbul, 7,938 units were sold in Antalya, 2,720 units were sold in Bursa, 2,133 units were sold in Ankara, and 2,063 units were sold in Yalova.