The number of Russian, Iranian and Ukrainian real-estate buyers in Turkey has increased by 23%, official data released on Thursday showed.
According to May figures released by the country’s official Statistical Institute (TUIK), the number of foreign homebuyers has increased to 3,167 from 2,557 from the previous month, Al-Monitor reported.
The figures showed the three countries’ nationals have remained the top three foreign real-estate buyers in the country and that their number is on the rise. Russians, Iranians and Ukrainians bought 991, 503, and 175 houses in the country, respectively, the May figures showed.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 prompted Ukrainian citizens to join the largest number of foreigners purchasing houses in Turkey.
The number of Russian buyers, which was already high before the war, has also skyrocketed. Ankara’s refusal to join the Western sanctions against Moscow unlike the majority of its NATO allies has turned Turkey into a relatively suitable destination for Russian nationals.
The number of foreign homebuyers in Turkey has been steadily and significantly increasing since the government introduced its citizenship-for-property scheme in 2018. The threshold for citizenship has risen to $400,000 from $250,000 last year in the face of the dramatic devaluation of the Turkish lira against hard currency.
Until the Ukrainian war, Iraqis and Iranians were among the top homebuyers in Turkey along with Russians.
The data released on Thursday also showed the country’s Mediterranean resort of Antalya as the most popular province for foreign buyers in May, leaving Istanbul behind. The increasing foreign population in the province is causing major outrage from the local population due to skyrocketing housing and rent prices on top of breakneck inflation and an acute cost-of-living crisis facing the country. The Turkish Riviera is popular, particularly among Russians and Ukrainians.
According to TUIK, the number of foreign homebuyers declined by more than 37% between January and May from the same period last year.
The list of the top 20 countries whose nationals bought real estate in Turkey in May include the Russia Federation, Iran, Ukraine, Germany, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, China, Sweden, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
TUIK’s figures showed buyers from the United States also increased by 25% in May from the previous month. For the first time since the beginning of this year, consumers from Bosnia-Herzegovina have also made their way among the top 20 foreign buyers, data showed.