The number of residential properties sold in Turkey in May increased by 2.7 percent year-on-year, the national statistical body announced yesterday.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), some 119,655 houses were sold in the country last month. The institute added that around 55,500 of these houses were new while the rest were sold to their second owners. “In May, Istanbul led with 20,061 houses sold – the highest share accounting for 16.8 percent of all sales,” TurkStat said in a statement.

It was followed by capital Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir with 11,919 units (10 percent of all sales) and 7,028 units (5.9 percent of all sales), respectively.

Official data showed that property sales to foreigners in May rose by 36.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 2,415 units. Istanbul led with 854 sales, followed by Antalya, Bursa, Yalova, and Ankara.

Among foreigners, most sales were made to Iraqi nationals with 407 houses, TurkStat said.

“They were followed by Irani citizens with 217, Saudis with 206, Russians with 165 and Afghanistan with 131,” the national statistical body added. Last year, foreigners purchased over 22,000 properties in Turkey. Iraqis were the top buyers with 3,805 properties, followed by Saudis (3,345), Kuwaitis (1,691), Russians (1,331) and Afghans (1,078). The mortgaged house sales throughout Turkey stood at 36,865, with an 11.7 percent decrease compared to the same month of the previous year, TurkStat said. “House sales with a mortgage had a 30.8 percent share of all house sales in Turkey,” it added.

New house sales in Turkey hit 55,502 – 4.8 percent more compared to the same month of the previous year. New house sales held a 46.4 percent share among all sales, the institute said. On the other hand, second-hand house sales reached 64,153, increasing by 0.9 percent compared to the same month of the previous year. The number of property sales in Turkey rose 5.1 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.

House sales in 2017 exceeded the record from 2016, as more than 1.409 million residential properties were sold last year. The figure was 1.341 million units in 2016. Last year, Istanbul – Turkey’s largest city by population and one of its biggest tourist destinations – had the largest share of house sales with 16.9 percent or 238,383 houses. Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir racked up 150,561 (10.7 percent) and 84,184 (6 percent) of total housing sales, respectively.

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