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 5.1% in August 2019 to 110,538 units compared with the same month of the previous year. Following the slump in the property market over the last year or so, this is a welcome development. Mortgage sales, which made up 30.9% of all property sales, increased by 168% in August, 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 36.8% of total property sales, fell by 17.7% in August 2019 compared with the same month of the precious year. There was an increase of 25.3% for used property in August 2019.
Property sales to foreigners in August 2019 were 3,604 units, 3.3% of the total, and 6.8% 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 August 2019, sales to middle-eastern nationals continue at around 55% of the total. Highest sales were to Iraq nationals with 675 units, followed by Iranian nationals with 469 units, Russian nationals with 212 units, Kuwaiti nationals with 159 units, German nationals with 149 units, Saudi Arabian and Afghan nationals with 146 units apiece, and Jordanian nationals with 105 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 1,549 units in August 2019. The Mediterranean resort of Antalya was the second most popular province with 656 units, followed by the north-western province of Bursa with 228 units, the capitol Ankara with 213 units, and the north-western province of Yalova with 169 units. 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.