A group of Turkish real estate firms said on Tuesday that home buyers would get a 20 percent discount on house prices and that down payments for mortgages would be reduced to 5 percent as part of a month-long drive to revive sagging property market.
Forty-one companies, including housing companies and construction firms, will participate in the initiative with some 150 housing projects, which comes as the Turkish government tries to address a recent sharp decline in house sales in the run-up to elections on June 24.
Last week two state-owned lenders lowered their mortgage rates as low as 0,98 percent after President Tayyip Recep Erdoğan urged local banks to help boost the real estate sector, one of the pillars of Turkey's economy. The government also announced a 10 percent cut in value added tax for certain buyers.
The one-month initiative is expected to generate around 3 billion Turkish liras ($678 million) worth of sales, Nazmi Durbakayim, chairman of the Istanbul Construction Companies Association (INDER) said in a news conference with the Real Estate Investment Companies Association (GYODER) and the Housing Developers Association (KONUTDER).
Their joint measures will be in effect until June 15, the three organizations said.
Turkey has around 2 million unsold houses, according to sector officials, a backlog worth three times average annual new housing sales. In March home sales fell 14 percent and mortgage sales declined 35 percent compared to a year earlier, official data showed.
"The measures ... have started to bring a breath of fresh air to real estate," Konutder head Ziya Altan Elmas said in a statement speaking in the name of all three associations.
"We expect the housing sales to revive in the coming days and we will finish 2018 with record sales."
Elmas noted that the real estate sector has an eight percent share in Turkey's economy and directly or indirectly affects 250 sub-sectors.
Turkey's lira slid to a record low and bond yields briefly touched their highest in at least eight years on Tuesday, after Erdoğan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after elections next month.
Turkey has called snap presidential and parliamentary elections for June 24 and polls show Erdoğan as the strongest candidate to win the presidential vote.
The companies taking part in the campaign are: Sur Yapı, Ağaoğlu, Artaş, Arven, Çukurova, DAP Yapı, Demir İnşaat, DKY İnşaat, Ege Yapı, EYG Group, Fer Yapı, Garanti Koza, Gürallar Yapı, İş GYO, Kuzu Grup, Mesa, Nef, Sinpaş, Solid, Torunlar GYO, Akkuş Gayrimenkul, Akzirve Gayrimenkul, AND Gayrimenkul, Antyapı, Babacan Holding, Baysaş, Cathay Group, Çalık Gayrimenkul, Gedizler, Haldız İnşaat, Halk GYO, Hasanoğlu Müh. İnş, Kiler GYO, Kütahya Seramik, Nuhoğlu, Obaköy Gayrimenkul, Polatyol, Tahincioğlu Gayrimenkul, Teknik Yapı, Yiğit Group ve 24 Gayrimenkul.
More information on the campaign and payment conditions can be obtained on company and project websites.