Turkish gov't plans to issue bonds via housing stock fund to boost real estate sales

SEDA TABAK
ISTANBUL
Published 05.11.2018 20:17

The government is preparing a new package for the real estate sector. With its completion, which is expected by this month, the recent stock problem that has been straining the country should be resolved. Housing stock will be taken to a fund and then sold by issuing Sharia-compliant bonds or sukuk - the undivided shares in the ownership of tangible assets relating to particular projects or special investment activity. The government is confronting the stock problem in the construction sector, which serves as the locomotive of the country's economy. Accordingly, in the new package, an asset pool will be created for the housing stock in the sector. Stocks are planned to be securitized through a fund to be established in this scope. The housing stocks of the companies will be added to the fund which is planned to be established within Emlak Bank. Then they will be securitized through issuance of sukuk or bonds. It is stated that the properties will be offered to consumers through various campaigns.

So, what about the countrywide stock figures? According to experts, the number of completed properties is 1 million, 20 percent of which are urban transformation projects, meaning that these properties have owners, and they are not to be sold. However, 800,000 housing units are open for sale. There are also 1 million dwellings that will be completed in one and a half years. The industry's firsthand sales are 650,000. There are approximately 187,000 competed properties waiting for sale in Istanbul. About 65,000 of these houses are incorporated by the companies that are members of associations and develop branded real estate. Some of these dwellings will also be included in the pool.

Ziya Altan Elmas, head of the Housing Development and Investors Association (KONUTDER), said the meeting with Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak was quite fruitful.

Feyzullah Yetgin, head of the Association of Real Estate Investment Companies (GYODER), noted that construction works are underway in Istanbul Financial Center.

"We also informed the minister about the ongoing works in the financial center. We got his opinion about our road map. Minister Albayrak said he will do what needs to be done immediately," he added.

The new package also includes projects to be carried out by the construction sector to increase the residential sales to foreigners and Turkish citizens living abroad to over $10 billion. The government will support the events to be held by the leading representatives of the real estate sector to explain the investment opportunities in Turkey and to promote the country especially in the target markets. Promotional activities will be organized for Turks living in Europe, as well as in the countries with high sales figures such as Gulf states, Iraq, Iran and Turkic republics.

Additionally, sales offices will be opened in target markets. Also, the reduction of deferred value-added tax (VAT) and the VAT burden in ongoing construction, as well as their financial solutions, will be included.

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