Housing sales to foreigners are hitting a record high. Of course, there are many factors that have led to this result. Among them are, the political situation in the neighbouring countries of Turkey and in the Middle East in general as well as Turkey’s relative political situation has been a major factor. Another factor is the oil prices that hit record highs before the commodity prices began to fall down a couple of years ago. Additionally, recent policy of Turkey concerning simplification of the real estate purchasing process for foreigners and especially for Middle Easterns in order to sell more houses, and finally, reciprocal exchange rates have been among the major factors that have lead to the current status of housing sales to foreigners.
Who is buying? / Turkish Originated Immigrants in Germany
For decades, Turkish originated immigrants working abroad were the primary buyers of houses that have been sold to foreigners, especially to Turkish immigrants that are German citizens. The fact that Germany does not accept dual citizenship has a role in this outcome. However, now that the Turkish originated population has been living in Germany long enough that almost the fourth generation today are in the ages, in which they are at the age of purchasing a house. Unfortunately, current Turkish originated generation in Germany understandably does not feel much connected to Turkey and they prefer buying a house in Germany rather than in Turkey unlike their forefathers, who have been only investing in Turkey thinking that they will be back to Turkey at one point of time. Today’s Turkish originated German citizens of Turkey however do not tihnk of coming back to Turkey at all. The impact of Turkish immigrants to Germany in specific and to Europe in general on the housing sales of Turkey had been almost equal on each regions of Turkey with a slightly more impact on the Black Sea region for decades.
Who is buying? / Syrian Refugees
Along the lines of the Turkey’s zero problem foreign policy with the former prime minister and minister of foreign relations Ahmet Davutoğlu, there has been a time, when once ever enemies Syria and Turkey have become good friends. Visas were lifted and beginning with the touristic journeys back and forth, citizens of each country have started to know each other, which was felt a lot more intensely at the border cities. This has lasted about 5 years and as a result, citizens of Syria, who were not allowed to purchase houses in Turkey, were allowed to do so. Today, Syrians purchasing houses in Turkey is mostly out of necessity rather than an investment as it was before the civil war inside Syria. Even the refugees those have already moved to Europe for a better life or the ones those plan on moving purchase houses in Turkey, especially from the border cities like Hatay or Gaziantep, as they feel like these are the places that feel like home to them as they are the closest places to the places once they were calling home. The impact of Syrians on the housing sales of Turkey had been felt mostly in the Southeast of Turkey, however with the recent policy of Turkey to distribute the Syrian refugees to all around Turkey, their impact began to be felt in other parts of Turkey as well, and especially in Istanbul.
Who is buying? / Iraqi Citizens
Iraq has been in political turmoil since almost 1980s. Thus, the recent policy of Turkey regarding the simplification and facilitation of house purchasing process had probably increased mostly the number of Iraqi house buyers in Turkey and especially in Istanbul. This oil rich country’s citizens have a lot of cushion of capital money that they could not make use of due to the political instability in their country, which they believe will never resolve now, thus they prefer to invest in Turkey, which is one of the few countries, where they can enter without a visa and buy houses, and it is their neighbour country, from which there are many flights in and out to their country, as it has become kind of the gateway of Iraq to the world as well. Iraqis also consider that one day they may have to come to Turkey to live as they follow the things happening in Syria.
Who is buying? / Iranian Citizens
As Turkey now have problems with its neighbours on the other sides, Iran has once again become a country, where Turkey has eyed on to increase its tourism revenues as well as housing sales. Iranians have been known to buy houses in places like Istanbul, Yalova and border city Van; but now there has been an increase on the number of sales and where they buy from with respect to Iranians, as well.
Who is buying? / Citizens of Gulf Countries
Citizens of oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain have also increasingly made housing purchases in Turkey due to the successful marketing strategies of both the Government of Turkey and the respetive companies of the sector in the recent years. This however may decline due to the lowered commodity prices and the political crisis between Qatar and the rest of the said Gulf countries, in which Turkey has been lined with Qatar.