House sales in decline as high rates, politics take toll
Around 82,600 houses were sold in February, with a 7 percent lower than last year’s same month, the TÜİK has said. HÜRRİYET photoThe higher interest rates, political stability concerns and high base effect have kept Turks from buying new residences in February, fresh house sale data showed on March 24.
The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said 82,597 houses were sold throughout February in Turkey, marking a 7 percent decline compared to last year’s same month. The number of houses sold plunged 6 percent compared to the previous month as well, as house sales had totaled 87,639 in January.
The Central Bank’s massive interest rate hike move that pushed mortgage rates high, as well as political tension emerged after a Dec.17, 2013 graft investigation hurt sales in February, as expected. In addition to new developments that put downward pressure on the housing market, analysts said last year’s sales were also above normal as the debt costs were at historically low levels. Moreover, people who wanted to buy houses before new value-added tax regulations that hiked tax shares took effect had boosted the demand.
Of the sold houses, around 46 percent were new house sales, while over 44,500 previously-owned houses were sold during the month, according to the house sales statistics announced by TÜİK.