Turkey sees 27 percent decrease in housing sales in November

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An aerial view of roads as traffic eased off after citizens left the city on the first day of Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) in Istanbul, Turkey on August 21, 2018. AFP PHOTO

The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) has announced that 89,626 houses were sold nationwide in November 2018, a 27 percent decrease over the same period last year, the Diken news website reported on Thursday.

İstanbul had the biggest share of housing sales with 16,058 transactions, followed by Ankara with 7,834 and İzmir with 4,773.

First-time house sales nationwide fell by 31.2 percent compared to November 2017, declining to 40,821 and accounting for 45.5 percent of overall housing sales.

The decline in sales came in spite of a sharp surge of 117.1 percent in housing sales to foreign citizens, which rose to 4,672 in November 2018.

Among the foreign buyers of Turkish housing, Iraqis took first place with a purchase of 1,003 houses, followed by Iranians with 463, Afghans and Russians with 261 and Saudis with 233 houses.

This year, after a currency crisis that saw a dramatic loss in value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar, the Turkish government had tried to incentivize real estate sales to foreign citizens by slashing investment criteria for acquiring Turkish citizenship.

The numbers also indicate that Turkey’s housing stock has reached some 2 million, including units that are currently under construction.

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