After the 2012 legislation that removed the obstacles on foreigners who want to buy real estate in Turkey, especially Russian, Middle Eastern and Asian investors are attracted. Istanbul, as a metropolis supported by a strong economy and benefiting from an emerging market, remains as one of the favorites of foreign investors in 2014. According to “the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014” report, released by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Istanbul is still in the Top-10 European cities for investment in the 7th place. Last year, foreigners who bought property in Turkey started to be given residence permits. The fact that the period for residence permits is also increased from three months to a year has become an advantage for those who want to sell the real estate that they own in Turkey. Before the 2012 law, 2-4 percent of real estate buyers were foreigners. Now, this ratio has increased to 5-10 percent on average, and even to 20-30 percent in some projects.
Real estate sector in Turkey will have 5 billion dollars in revenue in the short term, which would rise to 10 billion dollars in medium term. It is predicted that the number of foreigners buying real estate in Turkey will increase even more in 2014. “Until today, foreigners had been buying real estates which were designed for Turkish customers. From now on, we’ll also design projects for foreigners,” officials say.
Istanbul among 10 cities in Europe for real estate investment
1,207 properties sold to foreign investors
Around 1.1 million (1,157,190) houses were sold in 2013 across Turkey. With a calculation, it means 3,170 houses changed owners in a day, which makes 132 houses an hour in 2013. During the period in question, the number of houses sold in a minute was two. The construction sector, which has broken the sales records over the past five years, started 2014 with high motivation. The number of houses sold in January 2014 was 87,639. The number of houses sold to foreigners last month was 1,207, which is 36 percent more than the sales to foreigners in January 2013. Antalya ranked first in housing sales to foreigners in January with 464 houses. It is followed by Istanbul with 243 house sales, Sakarya with 119 house sales, Muğla with 75 house sales and Aydın with 70 house sales. In total housing sales, Istanbul ranked first with 17,489 housing sales. Ankara ranked second with 10,141, and İzmir came third with 5,300.
Fairs increase sales
TSKB Real Estate Evaluation General Manager Makbule Yönel Maya said contractors enabled increasing their sale volumes in the fairs they attend and by using contracted marketing firms. Maya said the rate of sales to foreigners in branded residence projects in Istanbul had reached 10 percent over the past two years. Foreign individuals in high-income groups are choosing particularly Istanbul’s central districts and areas that have a seaside view, said Maya, adding districts such as Beşiktaş, Şişli, Kağıthane, Ataşehir and Zeytinburnu are among those areas. Maya said individual investors who have lower amounts in their investments prefer sub-centers such as Bahçeşehir and Ispartakule. Maya said apart from individual investors, corporate firms are also attracted to the Turkish property market.