Turkish property sales to foreigners jump 134 percent in October 2018.

Turkish property sales to foreigners jump 134 percent in October 2018.

Property sales to foreign buyers hit 6,276 units in October, pointing to a 134.4 percent increase. The boost in sales was largely supported by expansive campaigns launched by the government and real estate sector as well as legislative amendments in citizenship law

For another month, Turkish housing sales to foreigners recorded a 134.4 percent increase in October compared to the same period of last year, according to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Foreigners purchased a total of 30,431 housing units in the period of January to October this year, the data of the statistical body revealed.

Under regulations that went into effect this September, foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum $250,000 – down from $1 million – are eligible for Turkish citizenship. Some 6,276 houses were sold to foreigners, including 36 percent (or 2,283 units) in Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population.

Following Istanbul, the Mediterranean holiday resort of Antalya came second with sales of 1,160 properties, while the southern Marmara province of Bursa ranked third with 448 units.

Official data showed that Iraqis topped the list of buyers in October with 1,439 properties, followed by Iranians with 557 units, Kuwaitis with 378, Germans with 341, and Russians with 336 properties.

Melih Tavukçuoğlu, head of the Contractors’ Association on Istanbul’s Asian side, called October’s rise in housing sales to foreigners “historic.” He said easing the requirements for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship had helped spur sales. Tavukçuoğlu added that the number of properties sold to Germans, British and Swedes spiked sharply on an annual basis in October – up 222 percent, 131 percent, and 137 percent, respectively – thanks to the “recovery in tourism” this summer.

“We may sell 40,000 units to foreigners in 2018, this is a historic record for our country,” he said.

In a bid to boost property sales, the government lowered value-added tax from 18 percent to 8 percent and title deed fees to 3 percent from 4 percent. Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced the renewal of the campaign on Oct. 31, extending it to the end of year.

Leading real estate firms also launched a comprehensive campaign that lasted from Aug. 31 to Oct. 31 to increase their sales. The campaign included an interest rate support for real estate loans, discount on prices and eased down payment conditions.