Property sales to foreigners continued to plunge in Turkey in February, while overall sales also saw a slight fall, official data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (Turkstat) showed.
Housing sales decreased by 0.2 percent in February compared to the same month of the previous year to 101,468 units, Turkstat announced.
Of those sales, 1,306 were to foreigners, with 35 percent of them in Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population. The figure showed a decline of over 17.6 percent compared with the same month last year.
Following Istanbul, the holiday resort city of Antalya came in second with 279 properties, while the northwestern province of Bursa ranked third with 119.
Iraqis topped the list of buyers with 282 properties, followed by Saudi Arabians with 143 units, Kuwaitis with 114 units, Afghans with 81 units and Russians with 77 units.
Turkey’s parliament in February approved an omnibus law introducing an exemption of 18 percent of value-added tax (VAT) for foreigners who invest in real estate in Turkey in a bid to boost sales.
The law, which was passed by parliament on 23 February, will also be applicable to Turks who live and work abroad for more than six months.
In the same month, the ownership of 38,676 properties changed by mortgage sales, with a 27 percent increase compared to the same month of the previous year.
House sales with mortgage had a 38.1 percent share in all property sales in Turkey.