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Russians-led foreign purchases lift Turkish house sales to record H1

Sales of residential properties in Turkey continued to move upward in June, driving the industry to a record first half of the year, propelled by foreign capital and locals’ view of real estate as an attractive investment tool.

Sales rose 11.7% last month on the year to 150,509 houses, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) showed on Tuesday. The figure lifted the total sales in the first six months to a record 726,400 units, a 31.4% year-over-year increase.

Sales are seen ending the year at more than 1.5 million, according to industry representatives.

The figure in June was up from 134,731 a year ago, when sales sprung back after lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

It followed a 107.5% year-over-year increase in May, as locals continued to opt for houses despite high borrowing costs and spiraling prices.

The data showed June mortgaged sales rose 40.6% from a year earlier to 40,610, accounting for 27% of the total sales in the period.

The rise comes amid declining supply and soaring prices, as households continue to view real estate as an attractive investment tool to shield themselves from inflation that runs at nearly 79%.

Foreigners snapped up 8,630 houses last month, marking the highest monthly figure ever and an 81.8% year-over-year increase. Their January-June purchases jumped 72.7% to 35,383 units, the highest first-half figure to date.

Russians topped the list in June with 1,887 houses purchased, reflecting how many have sought a financial haven in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the fallout of Western sanctions.

They were followed by Iranians with 987 and Iraqis with 807 among the foreign buyers. Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city in terms of population, enjoyed the lion’s share of sales to foreign buyers at 3,906 units.

The Mediterranean holiday resort city of Antalya followed with 2,534 properties, while the southern province of Mersin came third with 428.

Wealthy Russians have been pouring money into real estate in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid stifling Western sanctions, many property companies say.

It proved to be such a factor that Russians’ purchases in the first half of the year topped the figure registered in the whole of 2021.

They bought 5,849 houses from January through June this year, an increase of 234.5% from a year ago. The figure for the whole of 2021 amounted to 5,379 units.

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