1,774 houses were sold to foreigners in August
By Roxanne James

Turkish Real Estate on the Radar of Foreign Buyers

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The number of house sales to foreign buyers in Turkey almost doubled in August compared to the same period last year.

Despite the geo-political instability in the region, foreign buyers boosted the Turkish real estate sector by just under €1bn in the first four months of 2014, with transaction volumes continuing to gain momentum in subsequent months.

While neighbouring countries are embroiled in conflict, their economies collapsing around them, Turkey continues to attract rising interest from overseas buyers. In August alone, house sales to foreigners increased by a staggering 97%, compared to the same month last year.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), a total of 1,774 houses were sold to foreigners in August, displaying a significant contrast to the 890 homes sold last year.

The most properties were sold to foreigners in the city of Antalya with 591 transactions recorded, followed by Istanbul with 511 sales and Muğla with 133.

Turkey continues to attract rising interest from overseas buyers

Turkey's Ministry of Economy said in its Foreign Direct Investment Bulletin that foreigners invested €6.2bn from January to July, a quarter of which was in real estate. A total of 12,485 foreigners of 104 different nationalities purchased 12,543 areas of land and real estate in Turkey through to May, according to the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning – an increase of 48% over 2013.

Foreign investors in Turkey's property market also received a boost this year, as restrictions on the sale of real estate to foreigners were reduced. Major infrastructure projects have also underpinned property investment in the country, with more large-scale projects in the pipeline.

The infrastructure project which will have arguably the largest impact on Turkish real estate is the planned construction of the Istanbul Canal, Turkey's most adventurous project to date. The canal will connect the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, transforming the land along its route and attracting more Gulf investment to the country.

With fewer restrictions on foreign property purchases, mortgage availability also increased in August after declining for the preceding seven months. The number of mortgages given saw an annual increase of 12% in August with 35,338 approvals comparing with 31,599 for the same month last year.

House prices in Turkey climbed 1.6% in September nationally, with coastal regions enjoying the most price growth in response to popularity of resort areas for foreign investors. Foreign investors are predominantly from Britain, Germany and Russia, attracted by the high yields available in Turkey's many tourist hotspots.

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