Struggling economy pushes Russians to sell their houses in Antalya

Published 02.09.2015 00:00

The economic crisis in Russia, which has had sanctions imposed on it by Europe and the U.S., has affected the construction, tourism and food sectors in Turkey. House sales to Russians in Antalya fell 90 percent, and Russian homeowners have started to sell their properties in Turkey.

Speaking to Turkish daily Dünya, Yıldırım Özden, the owner of Tolerance Yatırım ve Danışmanlık, which is a construction company in the Russian market, said that the number of Russians who are selling their houses and going back to Russia were around 2 to 3 percent. "However, because of the economic crisis in Russia, house sales to Russians fell 90 percent. The Russian crisis affected not only tourism and food sectors, but also the construction sector. "We had to close our office in Moscow. Sales came to a halt suddenly," Özden said. He emphasized that they had sold houses to Irish and British people for years and the real crisis was occurring in Europe. "There is a serious decrease in house sales in the European market. Sales to British people nearly stopped," Özden said.

Mustafa Demir, who is the owner of an Antalya-based real estate company named Emlak, Gayrimenkul ve Danışmanlık, which has been effective in the Russian market, said that they had some Russian customers who faced financial difficulties since they do business in dollars and euros in their countries. "Our 30 to 40 customers are trying to escape the crisis by selling their houses and real estate in Antalya in dollars or euros. On the other hand, there are some who want to invest in Antalya in dollars and euros and buy houses still under construction. They even buy real estate valued at 10 million to 15 million euros. Russians who buy houses for investment purposes make both their vacations and gain profits by renting their houses to other Russians," Demir said, adding that Antalya is a center of tourism and although it seems the number of Russian tourists has fallen, they actually prefer not to leave their hotels. "Additionally, Russians living in houses spend their money on shopping and traveling. As a result, Antalya wins," Demir said.

Şeref Sağlam, chairman of the Antalya Chamber of Real Estate Agents, said claims that Russians are selling their houses and going back to their countries are not true. "Russians especially prefer the Konyaaltı district. The number of Russians who sold their houses in Antalya because of the economic crisis in their country is very low. Those who sell their houses and go back to their country are very old and live alone. They want to go back to their children and grandchildren but this is not true for Russians. There might be some who want to buy houses cheaply by spreading these rumors," Sağlam claimed.

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