Turkey targets $ 7.5 billion in property sales to foreigners

Engin Esen – ISTANBUL

Expecting a total of nearly $ 7.5 billion in sales to foreigners this year, Turkey’s real estate market ranks among the top 10 in the world, according to an industry association official.

“The interest of foreign real estate buyers in Turkey has skyrocketed over the past two years,” said Hakan Bucak, board member of the Real Estate International Promotion Association (Gigder).

“Turkey attracts a huge demand from 80 countries on four continents, especially Iraq, Iran and Russia. With this performance, we ranked among the 10 countries with the highest number of real estate sales to foreigners in 2020, ”he told Daily News.

Bucak, who is also the founder and CEO of Mars Investment, said Spain, Portugal and Greece topped the list, which also included Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Montenegro.

Last year Turkey raked in nearly $ 6 billion in more than 40,000 real estate sales to buyers in other countries, up from around 45,000 in 2019.

Although the range is wide, the average price of a property for sale to a foreign customer is around $ 150,000.

“We expect to end the year at a level close to 50,000 [sales]”Bucak said.

In January-August, home sales to foreigners rose 47.6 percent from the same period of 2020 to 30,849, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) on September 14.

In August alone, 5,866 homes were sold to foreigners, a 50.7% year-over-year increase.

Istanbul takes the lion’s share with 2,729 units sold to foreigners, followed by the Mediterranean province of Antalya (976), the capital Ankara (400), the Mediterranean province of Mersin (242), the province of Yalova in the Marmara region, famous for its hot springs (233), Marmara province of Bursa (206), northwestern province of Sakarya (129), Aegean province of Izmir (121), Black Sea province of Samsun ( 102) and the southwestern province of Muğla (98).

“There is a misconception that demand comes mainly from the Arabian Peninsula and European investors in Europe. This conclusion could be realized until 5 to 8 years ago, ”Bucak said.

“US, Canadian and UK investors in particular are keeping a close eye on the Turkish real estate market. We are seeing that European investors are also buying properties and showing increased demand, ”he added, noting that investors from around 80 countries have bought houses in Turkey in recent months.

A large majority of foreign investors are looking to buy homes in the country, while the demand for office buildings increases in line with the flow of foreign investment to Turkey, he said.

Some Italian and Pakistani investors are even interested in buying building land, he said.

“The sale of real estate to foreign investors is an area that requires special attention. Today our competitors like Dubai, Portugal, Greece and Malta are ahead of us with their regulations. We believe that the organizational charters, certifications and criteria of employees of companies selling properties to foreigners should differ from those of other companies, ”Bucak said.

The Turkish Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance and Istanbul Ticaret University have collaborated to update the Directive on International Real Estate Trade. Gigder wants all companies in the industry to be certified.

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