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Turkey: House sales up 13.5 percent in July

Homes sales in July were up 13.5 percent year-on-year, the Turkish Statistical Institute said in a statement on Monday.

Housing sales have increased for seven consecutive months annually, but dropped 12.7 percent from the previous month, the statement said. The reason for the decline was that the Ramadan period, which fell in the month of July this year, was a time when consumers did not make as many purchases, and because the exchange rate for the lira was low, and interest rates remained high, according to Turkey’s All Real Estate Agents Federation President Haci Ali Taylan. Many consumers delayed purchases, hoping for lower interest rates and an eventual rise in value of the currency, he added.

In overall sales, Istanbul maintained its top spot with almost 16.3 percent of house sales. The capital Ankara and the western province of Izmir followed with 6,895 and 3,696 houses respectively.

“Internal immigration towards Istanbul has increased since the 1950’s, as it is the fastest growing industrial and trade center,” Yasar Ovali, head of Istanbul Real-Estate Agents Association, told The Anadolu Agency.

Istanbul’s population increased to over 15 million this year from 1.5 million in 1955.

Foreigners bought 2,027 houses, an increase of 37.6 percent compared with 1,473 in the same month of last year, including 686 in the holiday resort province of Antalya and 541 houses in Istanbul and 127 houses in in the northwestern province of Yalova.

However, mortgages for home purchases in the country decreased to 30,754 in July, a decrease of 0.5 percent compared with the same month of the previous year.

House sales with mortgages had a 31.8 percent share of all sales in Turkey. Currently, the mortgage rate is between 0.76 and 1.25 percent on a monthly basis.

Home sales have been rising over the years in Turkey, as the number of houses sold per year increased from 701,621 in 2012 to 1,65,381 in 2014.