Foreigners' investments in the Turkish housing sector have gained momentum, with almost 4% of houses sold to non-Turkish people in the first half of the year, the country's statistical authority said Friday.
According to information provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), a total of 505,796 houses were sold in the first half of 2019. Of them, 19,952 of the houses were sold to foreigners, a 69% rise from 2018.
Istanbul became the leading province that drew foreign attention, with 9,903 houses sold to foreigners. Antalya and Ankara provinces ranked second and third, with foreigners buying 4,093 and 1,111 houses, respectively. Iraqis, Russians, Saudis and Afghans were the top customers of the Turkish house sector.
Gökhan Taş, real estate giant Coldwell Banker's Turkey chair, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that house sales in Turkey were a success story.
"With the regulations actualized in recent years and the impact of foreign currency, Turkey has become a market for foreigners. The statistics confirm that. The foreigners' activity in the housing market is growing day by day," he said.
Emphasizing that foreigners' share in the housing market was merely 1% in 2013, when authorities first started to keep statistics, Taş said this figure climbed to almost 4%, and this was a "record in the history of the [Turkish] republic." He went on to underline that house sales to foreigners were of huge significance given that Turkey actively fought the current account deficit.
"Statistics demonstrate that foreigners pay an average of $150,000 to buy a house in Turkey, meaning the sales of 10,000 houses would bring $1.5 billion to the country," he said. Citing data by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) and TurkSatat, a recent report by Nevita International, which was established by Fuzul Group for real estate sales to foreigners, said foreign buyers spent $150,000 per house on average in the first half of the year. When taken into consideration that 19,952 houses were sold in the said period, the revenue generated from the sales amounted to nearly $3 billion.