Housing sales to foreigners started to decline in March when the coronavirus epidemic was first seen in Turkey, the declined continued for 5 months. The sales started to rise again in August, increased by 26.1 percent in September and 23.1 percent in October. Housing sales to foreigners have been increasing for the last three months, also there are positive expectations for the remaining two months of 2020.
Housing sales to foreigners increased by 13.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019 and reached 10 thousand 948 units. In the second quarter, with the effect of the epidemic, the sales decreased by 67.9 percent to 3 thousand 314 units. In the third quarter, with the removal of restrictions and normalization steps, housing sales to foreigners reached a plateau compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 11 thousand 903 units.
In the first month of the fourth quarter, housing sales to foreigners increased by 23.1 percent compared to 2019 and rose from 4 thousand 272 to 5 thousand 258. Sector representatives stated that if similar numbers are reached in November and December, the highest fourth-quarter sales of all time can be seen.
46 out of every 100 houses purchased are in Istanbul
Istanbul continues to be the most preferred city for foreigners. Foreigners bought 2 thousand 458 houses from Istanbul in October 2020. Foreigner housing purchases in Istanbul increased by 20.3 percent in October compared to October 2019.
Antalya became the second most preferred city for foreigners with 928 housing sales in October. Antalya was followed by Ankara with 347 sales, Yalova with 187 sales and Bursa with 186 sales.
Foreigners bought 14 thousand 424 houses from Istanbul, 6 thousand 53 from Antalya, 2 thousand 176 from Ankara, 1068 from Bursa and 1008 from Yalova in the 10-month period.
Iraqis bought the most residences in October
In October, Iraqis bought the most houses with 900 units. The Iraqis were followed by Iranians with 849, Russians with 400, Afghans with 225 and Cossacks with 213.
Iranians bought 5565 houses in the January-October period while Iraqis bought 5 thousand 749 houses, Russians 2 thousand 295, Afghans 1502 and Azerbaijanis 1020 houses.
‘’We will survive the year with the least loss.’’
Omer Faruk Akbal, the President of Real Estate Overseas Promotion Association (GIGDER) stated that the increasing demand of international investors for housing is very important for the revival of the sector and that Turkey’s success in the fight against the pandemic gave confidence to international investors. Akbal noted that the sector is recovering gradually; and that for this reason, they could approach 40 thousand units in housing sales to foreigners throughout 2020 and they could get through the year with the least loss.
‘’In the housing sales market to foreigners we analysed in Europe we have seen that only Germany has a positive atmosphere just like in Turkey. However, existing housing sales in Germany throughout 2020 is only equivalent to a monthly figure of Turkey. The continuation of this stability we have achieved as a sector by improving further once again showed investors that Turkey is a safe haven.’’
Akbal stated that the acceleration experienced in the demand from the USA and the UK compared to the previous years was remarkable, and that the purchase of houses by US citizens, which was 57 in October 2019, reached 104.
‘’The sector continues to bring foreign currency to the country.’’
Altan Elmas, the Board Chairman of Sur Construction and Housing Developers and Investors Association (KONUTDER) stated that 5 thousand 258 houses were sold to foreigners in October. Stating that this number is very important, Elmas said:
‘’The sector continues to bring foreign currency to the country. This figure means approximately $800 million of foreign currency inflow in October. A foreign exchange input exceeding $1.5 billion was also achieved in September-October.
We continued to see the important effects of the lifting of travel bans and especially the high exchange rate for foreign investors in our housing sales. From now on, our country will continue to be the investment choice for citizens from all over the world.’’
‘’We can see the highest sales figure of all time happened in the fourth quarter.’’
Selman Ozgun, the Board Chairman of Helmann Construction pointed out that Turkey took proper measures and handled the pandemic in a good manner and that these appropriate measures encouraged foreigners to live here. He said:
‘’ High exchange rates, residence and passport incentives are important factors in purchasing real estate. There has been an increase in demand not only from the Gulf and Middle East but also from European, Asian and African countries.
We expect the strong and high sales figures experienced in October to continue in the remaining two months and to reach the highest 4th quarter figures of all time.’’
‘’Foreign investors covered the domestic loss.’’
Tamer Ozyurt, the board chairman of Ozyurtlar Holding stated that the 23.1 percent increase in foreign sales is a very satisfactory development, said:
‘’Foreigners took a position to buy housings again, despite the pandemic, seeing the favourable conditions.’’
Expressing that they received the biggest contribution from the right to citizenship in this period, Ozyurt made the following statements:
‘’When we look at the surrounding countries, we are the most stable. We sell 100 houses to foreigners per month.
Online sales are mainly made to foreign investors. However, money transfers hinder the protection barrier. This problem is mainly experienced in Algeria, Iran, and the Turkic Republics. I believe that this issue should be resolved. An invitation can be sent to those who want to buy housing through online sales. These purchases can be collected at the Turkish consulate. Investors may even be brought to Turkey via charter flights. Thus, we can compensate the loss of foreign currency in tourism, as well as close the loss in the local.’’
‘’Foreign investors rely on Turkey.’’
Abdulkadir Akkus, the board chairman of Akkus Group stated that the expectations of foreign investors accelerated in October, and that international investors observe the situation of the sector during the most critical period of the pandemic; thus, as a result of their confidence in Turkey, they are now prone to invest in the Turkish housing sector.
Akkus made the following evaluations:
‘’ Our new economic management and our President are giving very positive signals for the elimination of uncertainties in our economy. In this new period, the showcase of our country in the world is going through a serious change. This change brings African and Asian countries into our industry besides the Middle East. Especially Chinese investors are making serious purchases during this period. Demands are also coming from new markets such as Pakistan and India. ‘’
‘’Shortage of cash flow to Turkey should be solved.’’
Abdussamet Bahadir, Senior Manager (CEO) of Bahas Holding stated that the sector adds value to the Turkey’s showcase every day and that Turkey’s growing leadership vision among the world countries prompted the foreign investors. Bahadir noted that Turkey is ahead of many countries in the sector and this triggered the investors. He said:
‘’Movement in the exchange rates is upward and this is seen as an opportunity for foreign investors. It provided significant increases in the sales graph on both the unit and turnover basis in house sales to foreigners. The difficulties experienced in providing cash flow to Turkey needed to reach a solution. When this problem is eliminated, we think there will be a further increase in foreign investor traffic.’’
Ihsan Culhalik, the board chairman of Insay Construction, stated that the picture that emerged in foreign sales so far gives hope for the remaining two months. He noted that the new era started in the economy brought many opportunities for foreign investors and said:
‘’ With the increase in the rate of foreign investors in our industry, the investor profile has also gained a polyphonic structure. Purchases are made from different countries of the world. The foreigners do not just get housing from Turkey, they plan to make different investments in our country and continue their lives here. ‘’
source: AA / translated by Melisa Karayusufoglu