News Column

Home sales up 65 percent in 2013

February 24, 2014

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- The number of houses sold in Turkey rose by 65 percent in 2013 over the previous year, with 1.16 million home sales recorded compared to 701,621 in 2012.

The surge in sales was due to lower mortgage costs and declining interest rates during the last year and an increase in the housing stock, particularly because of massive production by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI). Urban transformation projects in a number of metropolitan municipalities also contributed to the availability of new housing. This increase is also reflected in loan stocks: As of last week, cumulative mortgages stood at $112 billion, a figure that was only approaching $80 billion early last year.

The city that saw the largest number of sales was Istanbul with 234,789, comprising 20.3 percent of total sales in 2013. Out of the house deeds changing hands across Turkey, only 40 percent were mortgage based.

According to the Turkish Statistics Institute's (TurkStat) House Sales Statistics report for January 2014, Ankara was on the heels of Istanbul with 137,773 (11.9 percent). Izmir was next with 72,421 (6.3 percent). The province with the least houses sold was Hakkari with 138 house sales.

In January 2014, 87,639 houses were sold, which was almost no change compared with the same month of the previous year. Istanbul again had the highest share with 17,489, or 20 percent. Ankara and Izmir had 11.6 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Hakkari was again at the bottom of the list with only three sales.

In January, for the first time, TurkStat began making a distinction between first and "second-hand," or previously owned home, sales. A first sale means simply the sale of a house for the first time since its construction, while a second-hand sale is any sale not directly from the builder or contractor.

First-time sales for the first month of the year amounted to 40,155, making up 45.8 percent of all house sales in Turkey that month. The number of second-hand sales was 47,484.

House sales to foreigners rose in January when compared to the same month of the previous year. In that month, 1,207 houses were sold to non-Turks. This number was 12,181 for all of 2013. In terms of house sales to foreigners, Antalya was the first province, with 464 sales in January of this year. Those following Antalya were Istanbul with 243 house sales, Sakarya with 119, Mugla with 75 and Aydin with 70 house sales.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CIHAN

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Source: Cihan News Agency (Turkey)

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