It is anyone’s guess as to the huge increase in Turkish property sales to foreigners going through the roof according to data recently released on 19th October by the national statistical body. In September the figures reached an incredible 5,615 units sold to foreign buyers seeing property sales surge by 151.1% year on year. The number of property purchases by foreigners from the beginning of this year until September had exceeded the figures for sales from the whole of 2017.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) it was during this time in September that most properties in Istanbul were sold to foreigners who preferred to invest in this city more than any other in Turkey with sales amounting to 1,799. Antalya in the Mediterranean was next with sales of 1,038, Bursa followed with 424 sales, Ankara with 386 and last but not least the up and coming city of Yalova with 333 sales to foreign buyers.
Who is buying real estate? Official data shows that the Iraqis led the house sales with 1,351 property sales in September. They were followed by 538 sales to Iranian nationals, buyers from Kuwait invested in 360 house sales, Saudi Arabia nationals bought 312 and Germans bought a total of 299 a representative from TurkSat confirmed. The figures also highlighted that a total of around 24,000 residential properties had been bought by foreign nationals in Turkey in the first 9 months of the year as opposed 22,000 properties sold to foreigners throughout the whole of 2017.
In September alone there were 127,000 property sales in Turkey which is a decrease of 9.2% year on year. Istanbul came out on top with 15.9% with 20,216 houses sold. Next is Ankara with 8.9% with 11,368 houses sold and Izmir with 4.9% and 6,207 houses sold. The figures were supplied by TurkStat.
A total of 11,330 of house sales across Turkey were obtained by a mortgage which saw a decrease by 72% compared to September 2017. 8.9% of sales made up the total number that had been bought with a mortgage TurkSat added. In total there were around 750,000 residential property sales throughout Turkey from January to September of this year and the total by the end of this year is expected to be significantly higher. In 2017 there were 1.4 million residential homes sold across Turkey which saw an annual rise of 5.1% from the previous year.
The significant rise in property sales to foreigners can be attributed to the government drastically reducing the criteria for foreigners to apply for Turkish citizenship to boost investment, according to new regulations published in the country’s Official Gazette on 19th September. Foreigners, who invest in real estate in Turkey with a minimum investment of $250,000, can now apply for Turkish citizenship. The sum was initially $1 million so it’s no surprise there has been a flurry of house sales bought by foreign nationals in September after the announcement. From January to September of this year, foreigners bought 24,155 residential houses which saw an increase year on year of 58.5% across Turkey.
The new criteria for foreigners investing in Turkish property will see a huge boost to the economy in the real estate sector and the building sector. Already, many potential buyers have been inquiring about Turkish citizenship and how the citizenship works. Many have thought about buying two properties to equal $250,000 to live in one and rent the other out. The Government will put a charge on the property/properties for a period of 3 years when the term is up they will release the property and you may sell if you so desire.
Once the property has its charge lifted you, your wife/husband and any children under the age of 18 will be granted Turkish citizenship. The advantage of investing in Turkey is they allow dual citizenship with your own country so you don’t need to cut your own nationality ties with them. Once you have Turkish citizenship it gives you another passport, you can work freely in Turkey and you can vote, plus you don’t need to renew residency or work visas anymore.
This new Golden Visa scheme will be a massive plus for Turkey as they are now the most affordable country to offer citizenship for $250,000. What it does offer is choices for you and your family, a second passport is very handy to have in your possession. It will bring an influx of foreign buyers to Turkey which can only be a good thing!