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, increased by 15.4% in September 2019 to 146,903 units compared with the same month of the previous year. Following the slump in the property market over the last year or so, the increase in property sales which started in August is a welcome development. Mortgage sales, which made up 39.4% of all property sales, increased by 410.2% to 57,811 units in September, and the lower bank mortgage loan rates would have been the main reason for this improvement.
It should be noted though that the number of property units sold for the first time, which made up 35% of total property sales, fell by 14.7% in September 2019 compared with the same month of the precious year. There was an increase of 42.3% for used property in September 2019. The fall in the number of property units sold for the first time shows that the construction sector is still stuck in the ongoing economic recession.
Property sales to foreigners in September 2019 were 4,177 units, 2.8% of the total, and 25.6% lower than the figure for the same month of the previous year. There is still strong demand by foreigners for property in Turkey, though monthly figures are well below the sales record of 6,276 units in the month of October 2018.
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 September 2019, sales to middle-eastern nationals continue at around 55% of the total. Highest sales were to Iraq nationals with 781 units, followed by Iranian nationals with 489 units, Russian nationals with 248 units, Saudi Arabian nationals with 214 units, Kuwait nationals with 191 units, Afghan nationals with 182 units, and Jordanian nationals with 151 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 Arabian 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 1,924 units in September 2019. The Mediterranean resort of Antalya was the second most popular province with 744 units, followed by the capitol Ankara with 239 units, the north-western provinces of Bursa, Yalova and Sakarya with 213 units, 141 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.