1,612 properties have been sold to foreigners, with approximately one-third of them in Istanbul in May, TurkStat reports
Property sales in Turkey rose by 6.4 percent on an annual basis during May, Turkish Statistical Institute reported Friday.
According to the institute, 114,800 houses changed hands in Turkey during the month.
Of those sales, 1,612 were sold to foreigners, with approximately 30 percent (or 511 units) of them in Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population.
Following Istanbul, the holiday resort town of Antalya came in second with 407 properties. The northwestern province of Bursa ranked third with 118 properties.
Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property that deals with real estate in prime areas like Istanbul, said: “Turkey’s omission from the European Union together with its bullish economy and buoyant property market should make it an attractive destination to foreign investors.”
According to Walker, most property investors in Istanbul and wider Turkey were from the oil-rich Gulf states, in particular Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
“They will remain interested in Turkish property, continuing to drive the market and bring foreign money into the country.”
TurkStat data also reflected this trend, according to which Iraqis topped the list, who bought 193 properties, followed by Kuwaitis (182), Saudis (160), Afghans (125) and Russians (121).
Istanbul Anatolian-side Contractors Association head Melih Tavukçuoglu told Anadolu Agency that Turkey’s key geographical location was also crucial in attracting foreign buyers, especially since the country is just three hours by flight away from several destinations in Europe and the Middle East.
“Turkish Airlines are flying at all these destinations. This results in positive effects on demand for residential and commercial real estate by foreigners in Turkey,” Tavukcuoglu said.
The Turkish flag carrier flies to more countries than any other airline, with its 323 aircraft flying to 289 destinations worldwide.
He also said that Turkey offered competitively priced properties, making it very attractive to foreign buyers.
He said September was particularly an important time for house sales. “We expect sales to increase after the month,” he added.
In the overall sales, Istanbul has maintained its top spot with 18.8 percent of house transfers. The capital, Ankara, and the western province of Izmir followed, with 9.9 percent and 5.8 percent shares, respectively.
However, mortgages for house sales in the country decreased to 35,423, which is an increase of 11.6 percent compared to the same month last year.
House sales with mortgages had a 30.9 percent share of all house sales in Turkey. Currently, the mortgage rate is between 0.90 percent and 1.30 percent per month in Turkey.