House sales increased by 13.5 percent in July compared to the same month of the previous year, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on Monday. Some 96,589 houses were sold in July.
Housing sales have increased for seven consecutive months annually, but dropped 12.7 percent from the previous month, the statement said. The reason for the decline, according to Turkey's All Real Estate Agents Federation President Haci Ali Taylan, was that the Ramadan period, which fell in the month of July this year, was a time when consumers did not make as many purchases, and because the exchange rate for the lira was low, and interest rates remained high. Many consumers delayed purchases, hoping for lower interest rates and an eventual rise in the value of the currency, he added. Of all the houses sold, Istanbul had the greatest share with 17.8 percent, which corresponds to 17,182 sales, followed by Ankara's 11.1 percent and İzmir's 6 percent, corresponding to 10,722 and 5,769 house sales respectively.
"Internal immigration towards Istanbul has increased since the 1950's, as it is the fastest growing industrial and trade center," Yaşar Ovalı, head of the Istanbul Real-Estate Agents Association, told Anadolu Agency. Istanbul's population increased to over 15 million this year from 1.5 million in 1955. Hakkari became the province with the least amount of house sales in July 2015 with only 14 houses sold, followed by Ardahan with 16 and Şırnak with 33. In terms of mortgaged house sales, July numbers fell 0.5 percent compared to same month of the previous year, realized at 30,754. These consisted of 31.8 percent of all house sales in Turkey.
The highest amount of mortgaged house sales happened in Istanbul in July with 6,465, while 50 percent of the houses sold in Hakkari were mortgaged. The number of houses that were sold for the first time increased 10.8 percent in July compared to the same month last year, reaching 43,623. Around 45.2 percent of all house sales in Turkey fall under this category. Once again, the highest number of first time house sales happened in Istanbul with 7,591, which made up 17.4 percent of all houses sold in Istanbul. Ankara and Izmir followed Istanbul in first time house sales with 4,294 and 2,234, respectively.