Turkey’s residential property sales to foreigners rose drastically in January

Residential property sales to foreign buyers rose by 56.5 percent year on year to 4,186 units in January, according to data announced by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) on Feb. 18.

The Mediterranean province of Antalya, Turkey’s tourim heartland, followed with 914 properties, while the capital Ankara came third with 269 house sales.

In January, Iranian citizens bought 761 houses in Turkey. The followers of Iranian citizens were Iraqi citizens with 513 house sales and Russian citizens with 479 units.

Overall, 4.7 percent of all house sales in January was made to foreigners, the report underlined. Residential property sales in Turkey increased 25.1 percent year on year in January to 88,306 units.

Istanbul had the highest share with 17.1 percent, or 15,110 house sales, followed by Ankara (9.3 percent) with 8,255 sales and İzmir (6.2 percent) with 5,486 sales.

Ömer Faruk Akbal, the head of the Real Estate International Promotion Association (Gigder), has suggested that the commission rate taken by real estate agencies in sales to foreigners should be fixed at 7 percent in accordance with international standards.

“There’s no rule or regulation on this issue in Turkey,” he said on Feb. 18, complaining that some agencies or individuals demand commission rates as high as 30 percent.

Gigder has submitted a draft regulation to the Trade Ministry, he added.

The draft includes suggestions such as licensing of estate agencies to trade property sales to foreigners and a 7-percent commission to be taken from buyers instead of sellers.

A total of 1.49 million residential properties were sold in Turkey last year, according to TÜİK.

Istanbul had the highest share with 18.5 percent or 276,223 house sales. The followers of Istanbul were Ankara with 144,104 house sales and the Aegean province of İzmir with 86,722 house sales.

The overall figure was down by 0.5 percent from 2020, when the coronavirus hit the economy starting from the second quarter of the year.