Turkey building permits slide 58 percent in first nine months

Turkey approved permits for 33,684 buildings in the first nine months of the year, a decline of 58 percent from a year ago.

Permits dropped from 78,567 in the first nine months of 2018, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on its website on Tuesday.

The total value of the buildings granted construction permission fell to 73.1 billion liras, a 49 percent decline from the first nine months of 2018, the institute said. The decrease does not include the erosive effects of inflation, which averaged 18.3 percent in the 12 months to September.

Turkey’s construction industry, once a driver of economic growth, entered a slump in the summer of last year after a currency crisis swept through financial markets and caused an economic recession. The government has sought to arrest the decline with tax cuts and cheap lending from state-run banks.

House prices in Turkey fell in real terms on an annual basis in September, extending this year’s slide. Sales of new homes fell in October from a year earlier, according to data published on Monday.

Prices dropped by 2.69 percent during September, when including the erosive effects of inflation, the central bank said in a monthly report. Prices increased by 6.32 percent in nominal terms, it said.

The Turkish Statistical Institute said in a separate report on Monday that sales of homes fell by an annual 2.5 percent to 142,810 units in October, reversing two-straight months of advances. Sales via mortgages surged 525 percent to 50,411 units but purchases via other means dropped 33 percent to 92,399 units.