Housing sales in Turkey dropped by 1.9 percent, or 26,669 units, last year compared to the previous year, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday, based on data provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Some 1.35 million housing units were sold in the country last year, the statistical authority announced.
Nearly 511,700 houses were first-time sales, while the remainder were previously sold homes in the January to December period.
İstanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, had the biggest share of housing sales with 17.6 percent, or 237,675 units, during the year.
Official data showed that the capital Ankara and the Aegean city of İzmir had 132,486 (9.8 percent) and 79,221 (5.9 percent) of total housing sales, respectively.
Houses financed through a mortgage were recorded at 332,508 – a 24.7 percent share of all sales over the same period.
In December 2019 housing sales rose by 47.7 percent to reach some 202,000 units, 75,480 new and almost 126,600 previously sold, on a yearly basis.
Last year, some 45,500 houses were bought by foreigners, up 14.7 percent compared to 2018.
İstanbul was the top city for foreigners, with 20,857 property sales in 2019, while the Mediterranean resort city Antalya (8,951 sales), the capital Ankara (2,539 sales) and the northwestern city of Bursa (2,213 sales) followed.
Iraqi citizens were the top buyers of Turkish properties with 7,596 sales. Iranians, Russians, Saudis and Afghans were among top five.
In December foreigners bought some 5,300 housing units, up 16.2 percent on a yearly basis. Nearly 900 houses were bought by Iraqis, some 76 by Iranians and 362 by Russians.
Turkey recently adopted regulations to offer citizenship to foreigners in return for real estate purchases worth $250,000 to shore up its weakened currency and reverse the contraction of the construction sector.