Istanbul, houses by the Bosphorus

Coronavirus pandemic slumps home sales to foreigners

Home and property sales to foreigners in Turkey have fallen 20% so far this year. Istanbul, Antalya and Ankara are the preferred places to buy houses.

The current coronavirus pandemic, which has already left almost 15 million infected worldwide, 220,000 of them in Turkey, is severely affecting home sales to foreigners in this country, according to the latest official data, after several consecutive years of record numbers thanks in part to government incentives to grant Turkish citizenship to foreigners who invest or buy property in Turkey.

According to data provided by the General Directorate of the Property Registry in Turkey, foreign citizens bought some 16,000 homes and about 980 plots of land in Turkey during the first six months of 2020, figures approximately 20% less than the 20,000 houses and more than 1,100 parcels that were acquired by foreigners during the same period of the previous year.

As usual, Istanbul -the most populous province in Turkey with some 16 million inhabitants- and Antalya, a well-known tourist destination on the country’s Mediterranean coast, were foreigners’ favourite places to buy properties in the Eurasian country.

Specifically, between January and June foreigners bought more than 8,100 homes in Istanbul, while in Antalya the acquired properties totalled about 2,800. For their part, in Turkey’s capital Ankara, non-Turkish citizens bought over 1,000 houses. The fourth place was occupied by the city of Bursa, located in the northwest of the country and an important industrial centre in the Marmara region, where 504 homes passed into the hands of foreigners.

By nationality, the Iranians were the main recipients of the sale of homes to foreigners in Turkey during the first half of the year, with some 2,900 houses purchased between January and June; the Iraqis followed with 2,500, while the third and fourth place among the main property buyers in Turkey was occupied by the Russians (984) and the Afghans (958).