In the first 10 months of the year, a total of 30,431 properties have been sold in Turkey to foreigners with a 69.8 percent increase compared to the same period of last year. Foreign investors paid on average TL 850,000 per property and TL 150,000 on interior design, white goods and other furnishing materials. Sector representatives predict that the foreigners investing in the Turkish property market have so far paid more than TL 4.5 billion (approximately $837 million) for household goods. In October, house sales to foreigners recorded an all-time monthly high and reached 6,276 with a 134 percent increase compared to the same period of last year.
Last year, a total of 22,234 houses were sold to foreigners. The real estate sector expects to sell 40,000 units to foreigners this year.
Nevita International Chairman and Fuzul Grup board member Faruk Akbal also drew attention to the revenues generated by the foreign real estate investors in other sectors including entertainment, food and beverage, travel and social activities. Since these expenditures make contributions to the other sectors, more property sales to foreigners, he added, will boost income and decrease the current account deficit.
In addition to expansive campaigns and a currency exchange advantage, lowering the investment limit for citizenship from $1 million to $250,000 in January have been effective in the jump in the housing sales to foreigners, Akbal stated. He emphasized that the sector had been waiting for this regulatory amendment and his company received applications from the foreigners who aspire to benefit from this right. Akbal stressed that investors from Middle Eastern and Gulf countries generally buy properties in Turkey to earn the right to Turkish citizenship. The preliminary contract for sale is also applicable for investors who want to acquire Turkish citizenship. In reference to the contract, Akbal stressed that this regulatory amendment will enable the real estate developers to sell more than 40,000 units next year.
Nuri Gürcan, the chairman of the Furniture Industry Businessmen Association (MOBSAD), said that foreigners who purchase housing in Turkey spend more on furniture than Turkish citizens, indicating that the furniture purchases are dominated by consumers from Russia and the Gulf countries. Gürcan said that even foreigners who do not purchase housing can come from neighboring countries to cities like Edirne to buy furniture. "Moreover, foreigners who buy housing bring us higher returns. Gulf countries dominate the residential purchases and they prefer high-priced furniture, providing foreign exchange inflow to Turkey," he added. İsmail Erdoğan, the chairman of the Turkish Housewares Association (ZÜCDER) noted that foreigners who purchase housing from Turkey buy kitchenware first in a wide range of products from plates to forks and knives, and from pots to the small household appliances. Erdoğan said that foreigners spend TL 23 million a year in Turkey with their debit cards, adding housewares hold a share in this figure as well. "Given the fact that 5 percent of the TL 23 million is spent on housewares, this figure corresponds to TL 1.15 million. We see that especially foreigners buying housing make serious kitchenware purchases," he said.