Residential property sales to foreigners rose by 20.4 per cent in Turkey during 2015 compared to 2014, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), whose data also showed that overall residential sales, including those to Turks, rose by 10.6 per cent year-on-year.
In total, Turkey recorded 1,289,320 residential property sales in 2015, including 22,830 to foreigners, said TurkStat. The largest group of non-Turkish buyers were Iraqis, who acquired 4,228 units. In second place were Saudi Arabians (2,704), followed by Kuwaitis (2,130), Russians (2,036) and Brits (1,054).
Istanbul was the most popular spot for non-Turkish property-buyers, attracting 7,493 foreign sales in 2015. Istanbul was followed by the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, which hosted the G20 Summit last year when it recorded 6,072 foreign sales, and the north-western province of Bursa, which accounted for 1,501 sales.
Looking at the market as a whole (including Turkish and non-Turkish sales), Istanbul again had the highest share with 18.6 per cent, accounting for 239,767 properties, followed by Ankara with 11.4 per cent (146,537 sales) and Izmir with six per cent (77,796 sales). TurkStat also revealed that mortgaged property sales accounted for 434,388 residences. Mortgages with Turkish banks have become more accessible to foreign buyers in recent years.
In further encouraging news, Turkey attracted $13.4 billion of foreign direct investments in the January-October period of 2015, according to Turkey’s Central Bank. This represented an increase of 29 per cent over a year earlier. Over 46,000 foreign companies are currently operating in Turkey.