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 16.2% in May 2021 to 59,166 units compared with the same month of the previous year. The reason for this increase was the lockdown in May 2020 due to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mortgage sales decreased by 42.9% to 10,560 units in May 2021, and made up 17.8% of all property sales compared with 36.3% in the same month of the previous year.
The number of property units sold for the first time, which made up 30.8% of total property sales, increased by 8% to 18,204 units in May 2021 compared with the same month of the previous year. Used property sales which made up 69.2% of total sales in May 2021 increased by 20.2% to 40,962 units.
For the year 2020, property sales in Turkey were 1,499,316 units, an increase of 11.2% on the previous year. Mortgage sales, which made up 38.2% of all property sales, increased by 72.4% to 573,337 units in 2020. The number of property units sold for the first time, 469,740 units, which made up 31.3% of total property sales, decreased by 8.2% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Used property sales, with 1,029,576 units, which made up 68.7% of total sales in 2020, increased by 23%.
Property sales to foreigners of 1,776 units in May 2021 showed a 106.5% increase on the figure for the same month of the previous year, a 56.4% decrease on the figure for the previous month of April, and represents 3% of total domestic sales in Turkey in May 2021. The reason for the increase in May 2021 compared with the same month of the previous year was the lockdown in May 2020 due to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the sales to foreigners represents a significant fall when compared to the previous months.
Property sales to foreigners for the year 2020 were 40,812 units, 2.7% of the total, and a decrease of 10.3% on the 45,483 units for 2019. Over the last three years there has been a significantly higher number of property sales to foreigners. This was due to the Turkish government’s easing of citizenship requirements in 2018 for foreigners, who can now obtain Turkish citizenship if they own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of USD 250,000.
In May 2021, sales to middle-eastern nationals were at around 45% of the total. Highest sales were to Iraqi nationals with 239 units, followed by Iranian nationals with 231 units, Russian nationals with 119 units, and Afghan nationals with 98 units. Of total property sales to foreigners in 2020, highest sales were to Iranian nationals with 7,189 units, followed by Iraqi nationals with 6,674 units, Russian nationals with 3,078 units, Afghan nationals with 1,929 units, Azerbaijan nationals with 1,279 units, German nationals with 1,265 units, Kuwaiti nationals with 1,231 units, Yemeni nationals with 1,181 units, Kazakhstan nationals with 1,171 units, and UK nationals with 1,126 units.
Istanbul was the number one province attracting property sales to foreigners with 818 units in May 2021. The Mediterranean resort of Antalya was the second most popular province with 341 units, followed by the capitol Ankara with 106 units. Of total sales in 2020 of 40,812 units, 19,175 units were sold in Istanbul, 7,735 units were sold in Antalya, 2,746 units were sold in Ankara, 1,340 units were sold in Bursa, 1,321 units were sold in Yalova, and 1,313 units were sold in Mersin.