Mar 21 2018

Turkish house sales slide as mortgage lending slumps

Sales of housing in Turkey slid in February, led by a slump in mortgage lending as interest rates rose, according to data provided by the Turkish Statistical Insitute (TUIK).

Sales fell 5.4 percent from a year ago to 95,953 units. The number of houses purchased with a mortgage slumped 28 percent to 27,916 units, the institute said on Wednesday. The decline for the first two months was 24 percent compared with a year earlier.

Turkey’s government is seeking to stimulate economic growth before presidential and parliamentary elections, which are due to be held by November next year. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said it may introduce indirect financial support for house-buyers as part of those measures.

Interest rates on home loans have risen to almost 15 percent annually, the highest level in 8.5 years, according to data provided by Bloomberg, which also showed a decline in house prices in Istanbul.

Sales of houses by means other than mortgages rose 8.4 percent in February from a year earlier to 68,037 units.

Sales of houses in Istanbul dropped 8.6 percent annually to 16,247 units, the institute said.