More than 122,000 homes were sold in Turkiye last month, marking the highest level of sales this year.
Sales, however, fell by 1.1 percent in August from a year ago, after recording a 17 percent year-on-year increase in July, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed on Sept. 15.
Mortgaged sales were down 26 percent from August 2022 to 22,168, accounting for 13.4 percent of all residential property sales in the month.
As usual, Istanbul was the hottest property market in Türkiye. More than 14,000 homes changed in the country’s most populous city, making up 14 percent of all homes sold in the country.
Ankara ranked second at 11,000 sales, followed by the western province of İzmir at 6,500.
TÜİK data also showed that foreigners bought 3,000 homes in Türkiye last month, pointing to a 42 percent decline from a year ago.
Foreign homebuyers’ favorite city was Istanbul, where they purchased more than 1,000 properties. In Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, 919 homes were sold to foreign nationals.
Popular tourist destination Antalya has seen an influx of Russians and Ukrainians since the start of the war between the two countries.
The southern province of Mersin came third with 248 sales to foreigners.
Russians topped the list of foreign homebuyers as they bought 733 residential properties in Türkiye last month.
Iranians and Iraqis ranked second and third at 342, and 141 respectively. Ukrainians bought 135 homes in the country in August.
In the first eight months of 2023, total home sales were down 15.5 percent to 797,418.
Property prices and rents have been on the rise over the past two years, forcing the government to introduce a 25 percent cap on rent hikes, while construction companies complain that high materials, labor and land plot costs preventing them from producing enough houses.
The number of houses built declined by between 650,000 and 700,000 over the past three years, said Tahir Tellioğlu, the president of the Contractors’ Confederation (İMKON) this week.
The construction cost index climbed 62 percent in July from a year ago,the latest official data showed.
Meanwhile, Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Mehmet Özhaseki has announced certain discounts on the houses and workplaces bought from the projects developed by the Housing Development Administration of the Republic of Türkiye (TOKİ).
Those who purchased such properties from TOKİ will be entitled to a 25 percent discount if they agree to pay the remaining outstanding debt in cash.
Türkiye needs to speed up efforts for the implementation of the urban transformation projects because of the earthquake risks, Özhaseki also said.
Such projects will boost house supply in the market, which will in return lead property prices to decline within the next two to three years, he added.