Real Estate

Turkey: foreigners break the 2nd highest record in property purchases despite pandemic

Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, over 40 thousand housing sales to foreigners last year met the expectations of industry representatives.

Despite the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, the second-highest annual figures in history were recorded in housing sales to foreigners, with over 40 thousand housing sales to foreigners last year.

Due to the worldwide impact of the epidemic and restrictions, housing sales to foreigners decreased by 28.5% in the first half of last year compared to the same period of 2019 and decreased from 19 thousand 952 to 14 thousand 262.

As of June, with the normalization steps taken, the lifting of restrictions, and the effect of economic stimulus packages, dynamism started to be experienced in the real estate sector. In the second half of 2020, housing sales to foreigners increased by 4% compared to the same period of 2019 and rose from 25 thousand 531 to 26 thousand 550.

Despite the sharp declines in the first half of last year, sales exceeded 40 thousand throughout the year, meeting the expectations of the sector representatives. Although housing sales to foreigners decreased by 10.3% in 2020 compared to the previous year and decreased from 45 thousand 483 to 40 thousand 812, it was recorded as the second-highest sales figure in history.

One of every 2 houses sold is in Istanbul

Istanbul was the city of choice for foreigners when buying houses. Last year, foreigners bought 19 thousand 175 houses from Istanbul, this number corresponded to 47% of the houses sold to foreigners. Istanbul was followed by Antalya with 7 thousand 735 houses, Ankara with 2 thousand 746 houses, Bursa with 1.340 houses, and Yalova with 1.321 houses.

Iranians bought the most housing in Turkey with 7 thousand 189 units. The Iranians were followed by Iraqis with 6,674 houses, Russians with 3,78 houses, Afghans with 1,929, and Kazakhs with 1,171 houses.

“We will pass the 50 thousand mark this year”

Real Estate Overseas Promotion Association (GIGDER) President Omer Faruk Akbal said that there was a 10.3% decline in housing sales to foreigners last year, and said that despite all the restrictions and prohibitions brought by the epidemic, the decline was limited.

Akbal said, “If we take into account the shrinkage between 50-80% in competing markets such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece in international real estate investments that have emerged with the epidemic, the 10% shrinkage we experience actually represents a positive divergence and therefore we do not see the figure as a decrease.”

Stating that this table encourages them for 2021, Akbal said, “This year, we aim to cross the 50 thousand mark in international real estate investments and to provide a foreign currency inflow of $7.5-8 billion.”

Akbal said that last year, in addition to China and Russia, there was an increase in demand from brother countries such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which are close to Turkey, and they expect an increase in Saudi Arabia.

Akbal reminded that they prepared a guide for foreigners in cooperation with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) and stated that their efforts to raise the awareness of foreign investors will continue.

Stating that companies that succeeded in digitalization and offer proactive solutions were profitable in 2020, Akbal said, “In 2021, this trend is inevitable. There are steps to be taken to make it easier for foreign investors to purchase housing even before they come to Turkey. It is not only the digitalization of the private sector, we hope that public institutions will proceed in this direction.”

“After China, new markets such as India and Pakistan are being discovered”

Altan Elmas, Chairman of the Housing Developers and Investors Organization (KONUTDER) and Sur Construction, emphasized that the foreign currency that comes to the country with the sale to foreigners is extremely valuable, even though it does not cover the foreign exchange inflow lost in tourism.

With the 2021 reform calendar of the government, there may be a little activity in the European market in sales to foreigners, Elmas said, “There is intense interest from the Chinese from Asia. However, we started to see demand from new markets such as Pakistan and India. 2021 will be a year in which we will diversify customers in foreign sales, discover new markets, and operate with the growth of this demand.”

“9 thousand 469 foreigners received Turkish citizenship with real estate investment”

Helmann Construction Chairman of the Board of Directors Selman Ozgun said that the success in combating the epidemic last year was added to the incentives such as the right to citizenship in Turkey, and that this situation attracted foreign investors.

Ozgun stated that citizens of 184 different countries have bought real estate in Turkey so far, “In addition, 9 thousand 469 people from 105 different countries acquired real estate from 43 different provinces and became Turkish citizens.”

Expressing that Turkey has a long way to go with the facilities and incentives to be realized in real estate sales to foreigners, Ozgun made the following evaluations:

“The annual figure of 100 thousand units is not a dream. There is an increase in interest in new markets such as Asia, South America, and Africa in our country. We can reach a sales figure of 50 thousand this year. On the other hand, the support and incentives to be given to companies for participation in international promotion organizations are very important in terms of increasing both sales figures and foreign currency inflow.”

“Success in combating the epidemic attracted foreign investors”

Bahas Holding Senior Manager (CEO) Abdussamet Bahadir said that thanks to the outstanding success in combating the epidemic, as well as incentives offered to foreigners such as citizenship rights, international investors have been directed to Turkey.

Stating that Turkey is not limited as before and it has started to be demanded by many countries, Bahadir said that investors from African and Asian countries are now starting to buy housing.

Bahadir said, “In 2021, when new projects will be developed, developing financial systems that reinforce the confidence of foreign investors in our country and our industry will increase sales.”

Ihsan Culhalik, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Insay Construction, stated that despite the uncertain environment during the epidemic process, foreign investors found the environment of trust and peace that they were seeking in Turkey.

Culhalik said, “Our country, which is among the top investment countries in every period, has reinforced this position. Investors who find their investment in Turkey safe and profitable want to move their lives and businesses to our country. Residential investments came to the fore instead of leasing investments. Our industry has come to the fore not only with the opportunities it offers to foreign investors but also with the gains it provides to the economy.”

Source: AA / Translated by Bazaar Times Team

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