Property sales to foreigners in Turkey are at an all-time high, and with the weak Turkish lira making the country more affordable, this trend is expected to continue throughout 2014.
Recent figures show that in the past decade, the annual revenue to Turkey from sales of property to non-residents has risen to $3billion in 2013 from $1billion in 2003, helped largely by changes in legislation in 2012 that removed restrictions on many nationals owning in the country.
During 2013, foreigners bought more than 12,000 properties in Turkey, with the southern province of Antalya recording the highest number of transactions to non-nationals, according to Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Of the total 1.157 million properties purchased in Turkey last year, overseas buyers accounted for 5,548 in Antalya, 2,447 in Istanbul, 1,112 in Aydin and 1,053 in Mulga.
However, for overall house purchases in 2013, to Turks as well as foreigners, Istanbul was the number one spot, recording 234,789 sales, accounting for 20.3 per cent of total sales.
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“Antalya is home not only to the vibrant city of the same name, but also to a string of popular resorts,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “These include Alanya, Side, Belek, Kalkan, Kas and Kemer. Aydin include Altinkum and Kusadasi, while within Mugla are the hot spots of the Bodrum Peninsula, Marmaris and Fethiye.”
Just looking at January 2014, there were 1,207 sales to foreigners, including 464 in Antalya, followed by 243 in Istanbul, 119 in Sakarya, 75 in Mugla and 70 in Aydin. For overall sales, Istanbul attracted the highest share (20 per cent) of house sales.
Meanwhile, developers in Istanbul have reported a hike in interest to foreign investors in recent weeks, fueled by the slump in the value of the Turkish Lira.
Foreign investors have seen their spending power surge in Turkey, as the value of the lira against the US Dollar and Sterling has plummeted, namely by 37 per cent against the latter.
The Turkish Government’s recent interest rate increase to try to control the value of its currency could have a dampening effect on property prices in the short term, as the cost of having a mortgage rises. “This can be advantageous to foreign buy-to-let investors though,” explained Walker, “as more expensive mortgages mean fewer local Turks can afford to buy a home and instead will opt to rent.”
Property prices in Istanbul grew by more than 13 per cent last year, with the average house price in the city increasing by nearly 50 per cent in the four years since January 2010.