Around 1.35 million houses were sold in Turkey in 2019 as the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced on Jan. 15.

House sales decreased by 1.9% or 26669 units in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

Approximately 511,700 houses were sold for the first time from January to December, while the rest were second-hand sales.

Istanbul – Turkey’s largest city in terms of population and one of its main tourist centers – has taken the most significant portion of house sales with 17.6%, a total of 237,675 houses in the year.

Official data showed that the capital Ankara and the Aegean region of Izmir achieved 132,486 (9.8%) and 79,221 (5.9%) of the total housing sales, respectively.

Mortgage sales of houses reached 332,508, representing a 24.7% share of all sales for the same period.

In December 2019, house sales increased by 47.7% to about 202,000 units – 75,480 new and almost 126,600 used – on an annual basis.

Houses Sold to Foreigners

Last year, around 45,500 houses were bought by foreigners, an increase of 14.7% compared to 2018.

Istanbul was the leading city for foreigners with 20,857 property sales in 2019, while the Mediterranean seaside resort, Antalya (8,951 sales), the capital, Ankara (2,539 sales), and the northwestern region, Bursa (2,213 sales) followed.

Iraqi citizens were the primary buyers of Turkish properties, with 7,596 house sales. Iranians, Russians, Saudis, and Afghans were among the top five.

In December 2019, foreigners bought about 5,300 houses, an increase of 16.2% on an annual basis. Nearly 900 houses were purchased by Iraqis, 76 by Iranians, and 362 by Russians.

Interest Rates Have A Negative Impact on House Sales

Ahmet Erkurtoglu, deputy head of the Association of Entrepreneurs of the Anatolian part of Istanbul, said: “Housing sales have exceeded the 100.000 barrier in recent months and broke through the 200.000 barrier last December for the first time,” he said.

Lower interest rates for housing loans and deposits have had a positive impact on house sales, he underlined.

The Turkish central bank has gradually lowered interest rates to 12% from 24% in eight monetary policy meetings in 2019 which helped houses to be sold in Turkey.

He estimated that the construction sector would concentrate on urban transformation projects in 2020 and will build new houses worth up to 1 million Turkish liras (about $169,500).

“We can again sell between 1.2 and 1.3 million houses in 2020, and we aim to sell 60,000 houses to foreigners in 2020,” he noted.

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