Foreigners and finance availability driving Turkey’s market in 2015

Posted on 26 March 2015

The Turkish property market is gaining momentum in 2015, according to recent statistics that show sales in February were up a hefty 15 per cent compared to the same month in 2014, with mortgage availability driving much of this growth.

Figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) reveal that the number of Turkish properties bought with a mortgage in February grew by a staggering 53.6 per cent year-on-year. Of the 95,021 properties bought during the month, 36,952 were with a mortgage, said TurkStat.

Unsurprisingly, Istanbul is spearheading Turkey’s rising market, racking up the highest share (18.6 per cent) of house sales out of all Turkish provinces in February, with 17,690 transactions. Following Istanbul were Ankara with 11,063 (11.6 per cent) house sales and Izmir 5,850 (6.2 per cent) house sales.

Meanwhile, foreign buyers accounted for 1,369 of total sales in February, representing a rise of 28 per cent compared with 1,071 in the same month last year. Istanbul’s total of 466 sales to foreigners was the highest of all Turkish provinces, followed by Antalya with 356 house sales, Bursa with 106 house sales, Yalova with 77 house sales, Mugla with 75 house sales and Aydin with 65 house sales.

Looking closer at houses bought with finance, 38.9 per cent of all Turkish house sales in February were with a mortgage, with 7,886 of these taking place in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, Istanbul has been ranked the 20th most important ‘Market to watch’ in the PWC ‘Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2015’. This is a fall from its previous ranking in the top 10, however, PWC puts this down to the political developments in neighbouring Syria and Iraq continuing to have an impact on the Turkish economy. The report also notes that “the removal of uncertainty over the identity of the Prime Minister and cabinet following the presidential elections in Turkey in August has eased political risks”.

Adds the report: “One sector that is gaining traction and could appeal to institutional investors is student housing. Growth in this sector is driven by demand for higher education as a result of Turkey’s young and growing population and increasing household incomes. Dubai-based private equity firm the Abraaj Group has already bought a number of student housing properties in Turkey in the past 18 months. The investments include properties in Ortakoy and Buyucekmece – both strong catchment areas for students in Istanbul.”

Elsewhere, the upmarket district of Beylikduzu continues to gain popularity with foreign investors and middle class Turks – and is an area to watch in 2015. A shopping hub and a cultural melting pot, it has become a symbol of Istanbul’s contemporary transformation, with its large-scale ongoing international projects combined with good infrastructure.

The population of Beylikduzu has doubled in the last five years and rents for furnished apartments have grown by around 30-40 per cent over the past two alone. This makes the district especially attractive to buy-to-let investors, as well as lifestyle buyers.

Finally, Beylikduzu is set to benefit from Istanbul’s future transport infrastructure upgrades, namely the third bridge over the Bosphorus, Istanbul’s third airport – which would become the world’s largest – and the proposed new Istanbul Canal connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.

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