Turkey’s property market looks set for a positive outlook in 2019, as foreign real estate purchases rise by a staggering 81% year-on-year. While domestic sales have slowed down because of rising interest rates, January continued to follow the success of 2018 as foreign buyers flocked to take advantage of a lucrative exchange rate. The result of 81% is a record high for Turkish house sales to foreigners. Across the country, they bought 3,168 homes compared to 1,742 for the same time last year.
While the number of houses sold was a welcoming surprise for many, the list of top destinations wasn’t as two places stayed true to form. Istanbul has always led the way for foreign house sales in Turkey, and in January, foreigners bought 1361 homes. As the country’s biggest and most prominent city, it's reinventing its real estate market with new build and off plan constructions on the city’s outskirt districts.
The Mediterranean region of Antalya rocked in at second place with foreign house sales of 601 units. As well as being popular with real estate investors, the city centre and smaller coastal resorts are the 2nd most popular tourist region. Places like Belek also have a leading edge as the golfing capital of Turkey. Three other areas emerging in popularity were Ankara, Bursa and Yalova which came in at 3rd, 4th and 5th place.
All indications are that January’s successful results are not a fluke and overall, the foreign housing market of Turkey will perform well in 2019. A rocky economy and high inflation have propelled the exchange rate to an average of 7 lira to the pound easily bringing investors who want to add assets to their financial portfolio.
Turkey also received attention when in September 2018, they dropped the minimum investment level for the citizenship by investment scheme from 1 million USD to 250, 000 USD. This scheme has appealed to Middle-eastern nationalities, who are eligible on the condition they keep the property for at least three years. Private campaigns, and sector appearances at real estate conventions all over the world, are also contributing towards increased interest.
For 2019, Turkey has set itself an ambitious target of 50,000 home sales to foreigners and if current trends continue, this amount is most certainly achievable. With aims to reach the same popularity as Spain, they won’t rest on their laurels yet though because the sector is continuing international promotion with a final target to achieve 15 billion in revenue every year.
Other contributing factors to Turkey’s foreign property market outlook include a time-honoured culture, ideal weather and frequent transport links. With the new Istanbul airport set to open fully in 2023, property owners in Istanbul will have instant flight access to over 300 destinations around the world. The three main touristic airports of Dalaman, Antalya and Bodrum have also seen an increase in flight schedules for 2019.
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