Rising property values, booming tourist numbers and ever-improving air access – Turkey’s attraction to foreign property-buyers has gained momentum during the first half of 2014 with a promising second half ahead, said property agency Spot Blue International Property in August.
Sales to foreigners in Turkey rose 60 per cent year-on-year during the first six months of 2014, totalling 8,507 property purchases. Figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute confirmed that for the same period, Istanbul alone recorded a 150 per cent increase in foreign buyers, putting it ahead of the tourist province of Antalya, home to the popular resorts of Alanya, Belek and Kalkan. Meanwhile, the average price of a new Turkish home was 12.05 per cent higher in June compared to June 2013.
June also proved to be one of the strongest months for the Turkish property market, with 600 foreign purchases in Istanbul, followed by: Antalya (586); Aydin (108), home to Altinkum and Kusadasi; Mugla (104), home to Bodrum and Fethiye; Bursa (88); and Yalova (63).
The Turkish Ministry of Economy confirmed that foreigners bought $1.26billion worth of Turkish real estate in the first four months of the year, which was $893million more than in the same period in 2013. Turkey received a total of $5.1billion in foreign direct investment between January and April - up 46 per cent from last year, with real estate accounting for nearly a quarter of the total.
“Istanbul has certainly been a winner for us this year,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “Interest has been strong from Middle Eastern buyers in particular, with most buying one or more buy-to-lets in the mushrooming suburbs of the city, such as Beylikduzu and Bahcesehir.”
Foreign visitors to Turkey increased 3.24 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2014, reaching 4.35 million, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The second quarter recorded even greater growth, so that between April and June foreign tourist numbers increased 6.8 per cent year-on-year, peaking at 10.9 million. In terms of revenue, tourism generated a record high of $8.9 billion in the second quarter of 2014, a 7.9 per cent hike over the same period last year.
Turkey welcomed more than 35 million foreign visitors in 2013, becoming the sixth most popular travel destination in the world, but is forecast to receive a staggering 43 million tourists in 2014, with the sector generating revenue of $36billion.
“Increased tourists not only stimulate the property market in terms of sales,” added Mr Walker, “but they also are encouraging for foreign owners who let their property to holidaymakers.”
2014 has seen Turkey’s global air links and air traffic continue to grow, with interest in the Middle East driving much of this. In June, a record 16 million passengers passed Turkish airports, while in May, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport broke a European record for the highest number of landings, namely 1,267, in any one day.
At Istanbul’s second airport, Sabiha Gökçen, Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines has make progress in 2014 to becoming the fourth largest low-cost carrier in Europe. Results from the first quarter of this year showed the airline carried over four million annual passengers, representing growth of over 25 per cent. Meanwhile, in June, Turkey’s flagship national carrier, Turkish Airlines, launched its 257th destination, cementing its position as one of the world’s leading carriers.