Economy

Turkey: House sales up 23.5% in 1st half of 2020

Total of 624,769 housing units sold in January-June period, according to TurkStat data

Gokhan Ergocun   | 14.07.2020
Turkey: House sales up 23.5% in 1st half of 2020

ISTANBUL 

A total of 624,769 residential properties in Turkey were sold in the first half of 2020, the country’s statistical authority announced on Tuesday.

Housing sales increased 23.5% or 118,973 units in the six-month period year-on-year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data.

During the first six months of this year, 197,772 new housing units were sold, while the second-hand sales constituted the rest.

Istanbul -- Turkey's largest city by population and a top tourist center -- took the lion’s share in housing sales with 106,311 units over the same period.

Official data showed the capital Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir followed Istanbul with 69,078 and 39,331 housing sales, respectively.

Mortgaged housing sales were recorded at 266,734 -- a 42.5% share of all sales over the same period.

In June, housing sales increased rapidly by 109.7% to reach 190,012 units -- 58,632 new and around 131,400 second-hand sales -- on a yearly basis.

Turkish state-lenders lowered interest rates for housing loans in June -- 0.64% for new houses and 0.74% for second-hand houses -- and extended loan's maturity up to 15 years.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said low interest rates took effect and housing sales last month reached the historical high recorded in any June so far.

The minister tweeted that housing sector also influences 250 subsectors.

Ahmet Erkurtoglu, the deputy head of the Contractors' Association of Istanbul's Anatolian Side, said lowered interest rates and extended maturity term upheld the construction sector and recovered housing sales during the pandemic period. 

Statistics showed that the sector will close this year with better housing sales figures than 2019, he said.

He also said the pandemic period hit housing sales to foreigners but it is remarkable that Chinese people are among top five.

"We expect that Chinese people's demand for housing projects in Turkey will continue due to the One Belt One Road project," he added.

One Belt One Road Initiative, also known as the Silk Railroad, aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe via road and sea lanes uninterruptedly.

Housing sales to foreigners

In January-June, 14,262 housing units were bought by foreigners, down from 19,952 units in the first half of 2019.

Istanbul was the top city for foreigners with 6,902 property sales, and the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya (2,708 sales) and the capital Ankara (964 sales) followed it.

Iranian citizens were top buyers of Turkish properties with 2,628 housing units. Iraqis, Chinese, Azerbaijanis, and Russians were among the top five.

In June 2020, foreigners bought 1,664 housing units, down from 2,689 on an annual basis.

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