Turkey builder sees jump in property purchases by foreigners

Turkey will see sharp growth in property purchases by foreigners this year, according to a leading constructor.

Purchases may rise to 55,000 homes in 2020, an increase of more than 20 percent compared with last year, Selman Özgün, chairman of Helmann Yapı, said in an interview with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

The lifting this month of visa requirements for several European nations, along with the introduction of residence rights for buyers who invest more than $250,000, will help to spur demand for Turkish property, Özgün said.

Turkish construction firms are seeking to boost sales of new homes, helped by government incentives and lower mortgage rates offered by state-run banks, as they work to reverse a slump in demand caused by a currency crisis in 2018.

Sales of homes to foreigners climbed by an annual 23 percent to 3,907 units in January, data published by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Feb. 14 showed. The most sales were made to Iraqi citizens, followed by Iranians and Russians. In 2019, sales increased by 15 percent to 45,483 units.

Foreigners need to juggle the attraction of buying property in Turkey - prices are lower than in most European countries – with concerns about the value of the lira, which weakened by 28 percent against the dollar in 2018. The currency lost 11 percent of its value last year.