Some 20 pct of foreign real estate buyers seek citizenship: Study
Some 22 percent of the real estate purchases by foreign nationals were conducted in order to obtain citizenship, a study has showed.
Foreign nationals, who buy a property worth at least $250,000, can apply for Turkish citizenship.
Last year, foreigners purchased a total of 68,168 real estates, including homes and other properties, and 22.1 percent of those transactions were made with the aim of obtaining citizenship, according to Eva Real Estate Appraisal Consultancy.
In 2021, foreign nationals invested in 15,000 real estate assets, apparently to benefit from the citizenship for real estate purchase scheme and 80 percent of those purchases were made in Istanbul, the country’s financial and commercial center.
In the previous year, 41,000 real estates were bought by foreign nationals and around 28 percent of those transactions, or 11,600 real estates, were made for obtaining citizenship, according to the study.
Iranians top the list of real estate purchases for citizenship, followed by Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Chinese. Egyptians, Jordanians and Pakistanis. Russians also bought Turkish real estates to be eligible to apply for citizenship.
Istanbul was the most preferred city in terms of foreign purchases of real estates. The popular holiday destination Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, the capital Ankara, the northwestern province of Yalova, İzmir, the country’s third largest city on the Aegean coast, and the southern province of Mersin were other popular locations among foreigners.
In Istanbul, foreigners purchased 31,478 real estates in 2021 and around 38 percent of those transactions were made in order to apply for citizenship.
Last month, Turkey made some changes in the conditions for obtaining citizenship through real estate purchases. Accordingly, the amount of the property will be determined in a foreign currency and this sum should be sold to the Central Bank. Foreign nationals cannot sell the real estate they bought in Turkey for three years if they want to apply for citizenship.
The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported last month that home sales to foreign nationals increased by 43.5 percent in 2021 from the previous year to a total of 58,576 units, which corresponded to 3.9 percent of all homes sales in the country last year. Foreigners bought some 26,500 homes in Istanbul in 2021, according to the TÜİK data.
In December 2021 alone, foreign nationals purchased 7,841 homes in Turkey, marking a strong 77 percent rise from the same month of 2020.