Turkish housing slump eases in July

Sales of homes in Turkey fell at the slowest pace in three months in July.

House sales dropped by an annual 18 percent to 102,236 units last month, the Turkish Statistical Institute said in a report on Tuesday. It was the slowest annual decline since April. Some 61,000 homes were sold in June, a fall of 49 percent on a year earlier. 

Turkey’s government is seeking the means to stimulate demand in the construction sector and wider economy after a currency crisis that peaked a year ago ravaged economic growth. At the start of August, state-run banks Ziraat Bank, Halkbank and Vakıfbank slashed interest rates on their mortgages to 0.99 percent monthly from a previous 1.49 percent and allowed customers to repay the loans over a longer period. Home builders have also been cutting prices.

Sales of homes via mortgages fell an annual 57 percent in July to 13,064 units, the institute said. That figure compared with a decrease of 85 percent in June.

Ziraat Bank and Halkbank are controlled by Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, which is chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, is deputy head of the fund. Erdoğan and Albayrak took over leadership of the fund last summer.

Turkish house sales
Source: Turkish Statistical Institute