House sales to foreigners soar, domestic sales decline in Turkey
The number of houses sold to foreigners surged 92 percent year-on-year to 3,321 units last month, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK).
The figure was up 78 percent last year compared to 2017, while it rose nearly 82 percent on an annual basis in January.
Turkey’s largest city by population, Istanbul was the most preferred location by foreigners with 1,440 sales in the month. It was followed by the resort city of Antalya with 672, and the capital Ankara with 196, TÜİK said.
Iraqis topped the list of buyers with 628 properties, followed by Iranians with 307 units, Russians with 236 and Afghans with 166.
TÜİK data also showed that domestic house sales declined by 18.2 percent on an annual basis to a total of 78,450 units.
That followed the 24.8 percent year-on-year decline in house sales recorded in January.
In Istanbul, house sales were down 11 percent to 14,462 units while home purchases in Ankara fell by 20.6 percent to 7,690 units in February.
In the month, mortgage sales in Turkey fell by 68.2 percent from a year ago to 8,890 units.
In the first two months of 2019, a total of 151,387 houses were sold across the country, a 22 percent decline compared to the same period of last year.
House prices rise 8 percent
On a related note, the Central Bank announced yesterday that the house price index increased by 7.6 percent in January from a year earlier.
According to data, house prices increased by 3.17 percent on an annual basis in Istanbul while prices rose by 8.63 percent year-on-year in Ankara.
The bank also said house price index for İzmir, Turkey’s third largest city, increased by 3.46 percent in the month from a year earlier.
The headline new housing price index rose 8.75 percent in January compared to the same month of last year while the existing housing price index showed a 7.07 percent rise.
In January, the Hedonic House Price Index (HHPI) increased monthly by 0.74 percent, recorded an annual increase of 4 percent in nominal terms and decreased by 13.59 percent in real terms, the Central Bank also said.
The HHPI measures quality adjusted price changes by controlling the observable characteristics of the houses in Turkey.
In the month, the HHPI decreased monthly by 0.96 percent in Istanbul and increased monthly by 1.2 and 5.52 percent in Ankara and İzmir respectively.
Istanbul recorded an annual decrease of 0.96 percent and Ankara and İzmir recorded annual increases of 1.20 and 5.52 percent respectively.