Residential property sales in Turkey were up 2.4% year-on-year in March as the country eased coronavirus measures, official data showed Thursday.
Some 111,241 houses were sold throughout the month, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said.
Month-on-month, sales were up nearly 37%, the data showed.
Turkey had started easing pandemic restrictions in March, before reimposing some, including weekend lockdowns, at the end of the month on surging infections.
The government this week further tightened measures that will last at least throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
The rise in borrowing costs from a summer low has continued to weigh in on mortgage sales, which dropped 49.7% year-on-year in March to 21,815 units. They accounted for 18.1% of the total sales in the month.
Property sales to foreigners jumped by 39% on an annual basis to 4,285 units in March.
Sales boomed last summer on the back of a state-driven lending spree but have skidded in recent months as the monetary tightening cycle began.
Cheap loans extended to ease economic fallout from the pandemic drove the 11.2% year-on-year rise in the overall house sales in the country in 2020, when nearly 1.5 million houses, an all-time high, changed hands.
Residential properties sold from January through March were down 23% year-on-year to 263,050, the data showed.
Some 182,680 houses were sold for the first time while the remaining were second-hand sales, according to TurkStat.
Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population and one of its top tourist centers, took the largest share of house sales with 20%, or 51,602 units.
The capital Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir racked up 25,395 (10%) and 15,358 (6%) of total housing sales, respectively.
Mortgaged house sales were recorded at 47,216, an 18% share of all house sales over the same period.
The data showed that the number of properties sold to foreigners fell 9.6% during the same period to 9,887 units.
Half of these, or 5,024 units, were sold in Istanbul, followed by the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya with sales of 1,884 properties.
Official data showed that Iranians topped the list of buyers in the first quarter with 1,599 properties. Iraqis followed with 1,461 units, Russians 938 units, Afghans 700 units and Kazakhs 354 units.
They had purchased around 40,812 houses throughout 2020, a 10.3% year-on-year decrease from 45,483 units in 2019. It still marked the second-highest annual figure ever.
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