By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
Nearly 111,000 houses were sold in Turkey in March, marking a 14 percent drop over the same period last year, the country's statistics agency announced Friday.
Some 50,701 houses were sold for the first time while the rest were second-hand sales -- TurkStat reported.
"For the house sales of March 2018, Istanbul had the highest share [...] with 16.9 percent and 18,714 units," the agency said, noting that Turkey's largest city was followed by the capital Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir with 11,269 (10.2 percent) and 6,787 (6.1 percent) sales, respectively.
"House sales with a mortgage had a 29.6 percent share of all house sales in Turkey," it added.
Last year, the overall residential property sales amounted to 1.4 million in Turkey with a 5.1 percent annual hike over 2016.
Sales to foreigners
Official data showed that property sales to foreigners in March rose by 15.8 percent year-on-year, reaching 1,827 units.
Istanbul led with 556 sales, followed by Antalya, Bursa, Yalova, and Trabzon.
Among foreigners, most sales were made to Iraqi nationals with 348 houses, TurkStat said.
"Iraqis are followed by Saudis with 181 house sales, Iranians with 156 house sales, Russians with 120 house sales and Afghans with 108 house sales."
Last year, foreigners purchased over 22,000 properties in Turkey. Iraqis were again at the top spot with 3,805 house purchases, followed by Saudi nationals (3,345), Kuwaitis (1,691), Russians (1,331), and Afghans (1,078).
TurkStat will release its next property sales report -- for April -- on Friday, May 18.