Demand for building plots in Turkey nearly doubled in the three months to September compared to the same period last year, according to real estate agents.
“Demand for land purchases increased to 83 percent on average in the June-August period compared to the same period last year,” said Kurtuluş Altun, general manager of Gayrimenkul Borsası (Gaboras), a real-estate company.
The total amount of building plot and land sales reached 89 billion Turkish Liras (nearly $11.5 billion) in the June-August period when the economy entered a quick recovery phase from the peak of the coronavirus pandemic with ultra-low housing and consumer loans. In the same three months of 2019 - when the lira was over 30 percent more valuable against the U.S. dollar - the total amount of land sales stood at 46 billion liras.
The number of building plot sales soared 295 percent in the Black Sea province of Sinop, uplifting the average price by 82 percent, he added.
With its history going back to 2,500 years, the UNESCO-listed Sinop Castle and the Black Sea coastal town, known for its restful atmosphere, has been drawing local and foreign tourists in recent years.
The southeastern province of Kilis, which hosts a large Syrian population, followed Sinop with an increase of 242 percent, and the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale has recorded a land sale growth of 238 percent, according to Gaboras data.
The northwestern industrial province of Kocaeli and the Aegean region’s largest province İzmir has recorded land sale growths of 151 percent, while the national capital Ankara and the country’s biggest commercial hub Istanbul’s land sales have expanded by 138 and 135 percent, respectively.
Sales in Istanbul exceed $2 billion
In terms of land and building plot sales volume, Istanbul has outpaced other provinces with 109,524 land and building plot sales worth around 15.3 billion liras ($2.2 billion according to average exchange rates) in the three months. It was followed by Ankara and İzmir with 7.5 billion liras ($1.1 billion) and 5.6 billion liras ($0.8 billion), respectively.
On average, land and building plot prices went up 35 percent this summer.
The price of one square-meter building plot has reached 548 liras ($70.4), whereas one square meter of farmland is priced around 45 liras ($5.7), according to real-estate data website Endeksa.com.
Demand for lands, building plots and garden houses in the Aegean coastal towns is traditionally higher than in other parts of Turkey.
On top of that, the coronavirus pandemic has fueled demand for other countryside properties with many people in big cities opting for town life and farming.
“Demand for Central Anatolian farms has risen because of the coronavirus. Farm prices will continue to increase as people fleeing from the cities boost demand,” said real-estate portal Tapu.com’s founder Emre Erşahin.
Residential property sales in Turkey hit 170,408 in August with an annual increase of 54.2 percent, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Housing sales to foreign buyers also increased during the same period, up by 8 percent to 3,893 units.
Istanbul enjoyed the lion’s share of sales to foreign buyers with 1,648 units. The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed with 784 properties, while the capital Ankara came third with 288.