Informally working real estate agents from Russia and Ukraine are adding to problems in Antalya’s property market, pushing up further already elevated prices and rents in the city.
The number of Russian and Ukrainian real estate agents, who work without a permit, has exceeded the number of local realtors with proper official documents, according to the Antalya Real Estate Brokers’ Association.
“The war in Ukraine has transformed the property market. We have seen rents skyrocket amid migration from Russia and Ukraine. They arrived in the city in a state of panic and were looking for a place to stay. Some of our colleagues and landlords saw opportunities in this,” said İsmail Çağlar,the head of the association.
The prices of furnished apartments tripled in a very short period of time, he said, adding other landlords started to hike rents for their existing tenants. “That shook up the local property market. The situation got even worse in July. Tenants failed to pay their rents, and landlords started to sue them.”
When things began to calm down, then appeared those foreign realtors, he said. There are now around 10,000 Russians and Ukrainians working informally in the property market in Antalya, which is home to 200,000 expats, according to Çağlar.
Those informally working people, who communicate via WhatsApp groups, wreak havoc on the market, he said.
“They do not add us to those groups. The price of a house increases from 5,000 liras,which is determined by our association, to 12,000 to 15,000 liras when they market the house. And the situation is no different for houses put up for sale,” Çağlar said.
Property owners chose to work with those people when they want to sell or lease out their houses, he added.
Locals are hugely affected by this situation because they cannot afford to pay those high rents, Çağlar said.
He added that they will present a report on those illegally working people to officials in Ankara at the end of the month.
One out of every three houses sold in the resort town of Antalya was bought by foreigners in October, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed earlier this month.
While the number of residences purchased by foreigners in Turkiye in October was nearly 5,400, more than 2,000 of the 6,233 residences sold in Antalya and more than 1,600 of the nearly 17,000 residences sold in Istanbul were purchased by foreigners.
In October, Russian citizens bought more than 2,000 residences from Turkiye. Russian citizens were followed by Iranians with 498 houses, Iraqis with 310 houses and Ukrainians with 216 houses.