House sales in Turkey drop sharply in June

House sales in Turkey fell by nearly half in June compared to last year, the sharpest drop since the start of 2019, the Turkish Statistical Institute (Tüik) said on Wednesday. 

Some 61,355 houses sold in Turkey last month, a decline of 48.6 percent from June 2018. Istanbul led the way with 16.4 percent of sales, followed by Ankara and Antalya. 

Mortgaged house sales fell 84.6 percent compared to June 2018, while the overall share of house sales with mortgage was 11.9 percent. 

Homes sold to foreigners increased 30.5 percent on year-on-year basis in June, with 2,689 units sold. Iraqis ranked first among foreign nationals, with 429 houses purchased in June, followed by Iranians, Russians, Germans, and Britons.

According to Tüik figures, house sales fell to 505,796 properties in the first half of 2019, down 21.7 percent on a yearly basis.

House sales
Number of house sales, 2018-2019. (Source: Tüik)

Turkey’s housing market has contracted after a currency crisis last year sent interest rates on mortgages soaring and slashed consumer spending power. The government has cut taxes on home purchases and offered cheap lending via state-run banks to boost the industry and reduce stocks of new homes lying empty across Turkey’s major cities.

But according to Tüik, the number of houses sold for the first time decreased by 59.2 percent compared to the same month of the previous year despite the government’s measures and decreasing prices in real terms