Istanbul is riding high after official stats revealed its tourism market and foreign real estate sales are performing at record-breaking figures. The city took a downturn from 2014 to 2017 but started to rebound in the latter half of 2018. Officials are confident this newfound popularity will not only continue but also put it on the map as a global city matching the likes of Paris, Milan, and New York.
Foreign Real Estate Sales in Istanbul
While domestic house sales have slowed down in Turkey, foreign purchases are going from strength to strength with many buyers lured by a lucrative exchange rate, fast and easy buying process, and homes over $250,000, the chance to apply for citizenship.
May 2019 was the best month ever for house sales to foreigners with Istanbul leading the way in the most popular destinations. In 2018, foreigners purchased 854 properties while in 2019, this shot up to 1734 homes, resulting in a staggering increase of 103%.
From January to May 2019, foreign house sales in Turkey clocked up to 7894 homes. The top buying nationalities are Iraqis, Iranians, Russians, Afghans, Saudi Arabians, and Germans. As a surprising result, sales to Libyans, Yemenis, Americans, and Egyptians have also increased between 160 to 490 percent.
Industry insiders say that if Turkey can achieve 50,000 house sales to foreigners in 2019, this will result in 7.5 to 10 billion USD worth of foreign currency flowing into the country. In 2018, foreigners bought nearly 40,000 homes in Turkey, making it the most successful year to date.
Popular areas of Istanbul’s Housing Market: While property sales are surging, some areas are proving to be more popular than others with foreigners. Many of these are in the outskirt European districts which show much potential for investment.
Istanbul’s Tourism Market
From January to May 2019, 5.42 million tourists visited Istanbul to explore delights like the Sultanahmet area, holding UNESCO World Heritage buildings including the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and all-encompassing Blue mosque.
This was an 11% increase year-on-year, with officials saying 42 out of 100 people arriving in Turkey visit the former capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. These stats also made up a vast bulk of 12.8 million people who visited Turkey.
A statement released by the Provincial governorate said...
"Istanbul, which is one of the world's tourism capitals thanks to its historical, cultural and natural riches, set a five-year record by hosting 5.4 million tourists in the first five months of this year."
The top three visiting nationalities were Germans, Iranians, and Russians, which combined amounted to just over 1 million visitors.
When judging destinations by numbers of visitors, Istanbul is the third most popular destination in Europe and the 10th global, but these rankings could climb as it looks to host 15 million tourists this year.
The city offers a lot to anyone thinking of visiting, including cheap prices, a wide choice of accommodation, and many tourist attractions. The new airport is also proving to be super-efficient and will no doubt help the growing tourism industry.
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Investment in Istanbul
Istanbul’s roaring success is bringing in investors from all over the world, who are keen to tap into its future potential. To know more about investing in commercial or residential property, contact us today and speak with a local agent for more information. Also, see our extensive blog archives that talk more about Istanbul and its position as a global city.