Property sales to foreigners in Turkey surged 151.1 percent in September year-on-year, hitting 5,615 units, official data has shown.
Data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) showed on Oct. 19 that most house sales were made to Iraqi citizens as they bought 1,351 properties last month.
Iranians followed with 538 units, Kuwaitis with 360 house sales, Saudis with 312 house sales and Germans with 299 units.
The significant rise in this area came after the government significantly eased the criteria for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship to encourage investment, according to new regulations published in the country’s Official Gazette on Sept. 19.
Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of $250,000, instead of $1 million, can now avail Turkish citizenship.
In the first nine months of the year, some 24,155 units were sold to foreigners with a 58.5 percent year-on-year increase.
Decline in mortgaged home sales
Turkey recorded over 127,000 house sales in September, falling 9.2 percent on a yearly basis, according to TÜİK data.
Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, saw the highest number of property sales with 20,216 units, accounting for some 15.9 percent of overall sales in September.
The capital Ankara and the Aegean province of İzmir followed Istanbul with 11,368 and 6,207 house sales, respectively.
The mortgaged house sales across Turkey were 11,330, a drop of 72 percent compared to the same month of the previous year, according to TÜİK data.
House sales with mortgage had an 8.9 percent share of all house sales in Turkey, TÜİK said.