The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) has revealed that housing sales on a national scale declined by 24.8 percent in January over the same month last year, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Monday.
İstanbul represented the bulk with 18.4 percent, followed by Ankara and İzmir, whose shares were 9.3 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.
An even sharper fall of 77.2 percent was seen in purchases made through mortgages, which accounted for 9 percent of overall sales.
The figures were interpreted as bad news for Turkey’s construction sector, which has been the main driving force of the economy for the last 15 years, employing over 2 million people.
Month to month sales have also been dropping by around 10 percent.
In order to relieve pressures on the sector, the Turkish government has put in place several incentives including granting citizenship to foreigners who purchase properties worth $250,000.
Sales to foreign nationals have increased by 81.9 percent despite the overall decline.
Iraqis were the most prevalent buyers of Turkish real estate with 605 houses, while Iranians bought 305 houses, Russians 195, Afghans 191 and Jordanians 151.
Source: Turkish Minute