Residential property sales in Turkey bounced back in September following three months of decline, official data showed Wednesday, with foreigners ratcheting up their purchases.
A total of 147,143 residential properties changed hands last month, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data, marking the highest level in the last 13 months.
In contrast to last year’s upward trend that was mainly driven by cheap credit, as the central bank lowered its policy rate to fend off the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and state banks ramped up lending, the tight monetary policy rise that increased the borrowing costs has weighed in on sales this year.
The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) had raised its policy rate – the one-week repo rate – to 19% to tackle inflation, before delivering a 100-basis-point cut last month.
Sales had exceeded 100,000 units in March, before slightly falling to around 95,000 in April. The trend was further disrupted by a strict nationwide lockdown that covered the first half of May to curb the rise in daily COVID-19 cases.
Mortgaged house sales in September decreased by 16.4% year-on-year to 29,759 units, the data showed.
The most sales were made in Turkey’s most populous province, Istanbul, with 28,229 sales last month, followed by the capital Ankara with 14,218 and the Aegean province of Izmir with 8,806.
In January-September, house sales are down by 18.3% year-on-year to 949,138.
Cheap loans drove the 11.2% year-on-year rise in the overall sales in 2020, when nearly 1.5 million houses, an all-time high, changed hands.
Property sales to foreigners in Turkey rose by 25.8% annually last month, the data showed.
Foreigners bought 6,630 properties during the month, accounting for around 4.5% of the overall sales.
Istanbul ranked first with 2,995 sales, followed by the Mediterranean resort province of Antalya with 1,358 and Ankara with 408.
The largest share of houses sold went to Iranians, who purchased 1,323 units over the month, followed by Iraqis with 990 and Russians with 540.
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