Photo: Andrei Dimofte
Sales to foreigners in Turkey rose 60 per cent year-on-year during the first six months of 2014, totalling 8,507 property purchases, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. During that period, Istanbul alone recorded a 150 per cent increase in foreign buyers, putting it ahead of the tourist province of Antalya, home to the popular resorts of Alanya, Belek and Kalkan. Meanwhile, the average price of a new Turkish home was 12.05 per cent higher in June compared to June 2013.
Indeed, June also proved to be one of the strongest months for the Turkish property market, with 600 foreign purchases in Istanbul, notes estate agency Spot Blue International Property.
The Turkish Ministry of Economy confirmed that foreigners bought $1.26billion worth of Turkish real estate in the first four months of the year, which was $893million more than in the same period in 2013. Turkey received a total of $5.1billion in foreign direct investment between January and April – up 46 per cent from last year, with real estate accounting for nearly a quarter of the total.
Foreign visitors to Turkey also increased 3.24 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2014, reaching 4.35 million, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The second quarter recorded even greater growth, so that between April and June foreign tourist numbers increased 6.8 per cent year-on-year, peaking at 10.9 million. In terms of revenue, tourism generated a record high of $8.9 billion in the second quarter of 2014, a 7.9 per cent hike over the same period last year.
“Increased tourists not only stimulate the property market in terms of sales,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “but they also are encouraging for foreign owners who let their property to holidaymakers.”
Turkey welcomed more than 35 million foreign visitors in 2013, becoming the sixth most popular travel destination in the world, but is forecast to receive a staggering 43 million tourists in 2014, with the sector generating revenue of $36billion.
“Istanbul has certainly been a winner for us this year,” added Walker. “Interest has been strong from Middle Eastern buyers in particular, with most buying one or more buy-to-lets in the mushrooming suburbs of the city, such as Beylikduzu and Bahcesehir.”