Praising the performance of Turkey's construction sector, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Monday the country saw the highest housing sales figure in July with 229,357 units.
Residential property sales in Turkey jumped 124.3% year-on-year in July, according to the country's statistical authority Monday.
A total of 229,357 houses changed hands last month, up from 190,012 in the same month last year, Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data showed.
Commenting on the July figures, Albayrak thanked state lenders for providing low-interest mortgages and drew attention to the importance of the construction sector in terms of other sectors it affects.
"The construction sector, which affects 250 subsectors, continues to see momentum. Housing sales reached their all-time best in July and broke a historical record,” Albayrak said.
Turkey’s public lenders unveiled mortgage loan packages at historically low interest rates in June to help avert the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and invigorate the transition to post-coronavirus normality while reviving social life.
Ziraat Bank, VakıfBank and Halkbank’s packages include mortgages for new and secondhand houses, and loans for vehicle purchases, locally manufactured goods and holiday expenses at annual interest rates running below inflation.
Mortgages for new homes were set to have up to 15 years' maturity, with interest rates as low as 0.64% and a grace period of up to 12 months, the banks announced at the time. Meanwhile, as the country’s macroeconomic indicators showed a rebound to the pre-pandemic period and as part of steps taken to exert downward pressure on exchange rates and inflation, the public banks again increased the interest rate applied for new and secondhand houses in the first week of this month.
The 0.64% interest rate set for new houses was raised to 0.87%, while mortgages will have a maturity period of up to 12 years. The grace period for up to 12 months for new houses was also removed.
Most of the residential property sales were made in Istanbul with a total of 39,432 units sold in July. The city took a 17.2% share of the total sales figures. The capital Ankara and western Izmir province followed Istanbul with 26,885 and 15,614 units sold, taking 11.7% and 6.8% shares, respectively. Eastern Hakkari, northeastern Ardahan and southeastern Şırnak provinces recorded the fewest sales with 19, 30 and 74 units, respectively.
Mortgage sales up 900%
Mortgage sales increased by 900.6% in July compared to the same month of the previous year and reached 130,721 units.
The share of mortgage sales in total house sales was 57%. Istanbul again ranked first with 24,000 housing units and an 18.4% share in mortgage sales. The province with the lowest share of mortgage sales was Hakkari with only seven units.
The number of houses sold for the first time increased by 74.5% in July compared to the same month of 2019 and reached 67,937 units. The share of the new houses in total house sales was 29.6%.
Istanbul took the highest share, 15.4%, with 10,429 new houses. The metropolis was followed by Ankara with 6,355 new house sales and Izmir with 4,524 sales.
Secondhand house sales, meanwhile, increased by 155% compared to the same period last year and reached 161,420 units in July.
Istanbul ranked first in this field, as well, with 29,003 secondhand house sales, an 18% share of the total. Ankara followed with 20,530 house sales and Izmir with 11,090 sales.
Sales to foreigners
Housing sales to foreign buyers slipped during the same period, down 34.6% to 2,741 units.
Istanbul enjoyed the lion's share of sales to foreign buyers, with 1,046 units. The Mediterranean holiday resort city of Antalya followed with 615 properties, while the capital Ankara came in third with 230.
The July data showed that Iranian citizens made up the largest group of foreign buyers based on nationality, as they bought 540 houses in Turkey. They were followed by Iraqis with 388 house sales, Russians with 154, Afghans with 149 and Germans with 143.
From January to July, 854,126 residential properties were sold in Turkey, rising 40.5% from the same period last year.
TurkStat said house sales to foreigners also fell 29.6% on an annual basis to 17,003 in the first seven months of this year.
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