30 Mayıs 2011 Pazartesi

Istanbul’s house sales down by 37 percent

Despite the relatively positive outlook of the Turkish economy, Istanbul real estate sales dropped 37.5 percent by the first quarter of the year.

The Istanbul property market was going through a “super-saturation of the market,” according to a top professional, speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.

“Many housing projects including luxury accommodation accumulated quickly in the Istanbul property market, while the demand has not increased,” said Serdar Bacaksız, the board member of Limak Holding, in a phone interview. “Looking from an investor’s point of view, the property projects developed in Anatolian cities may be attractive with more affordable prices, compared to Istanbul,” Bacaksız told the Daily News.

“While looking around the city, I come across new giant projects almost everyday,” said Bacaksız, adding that the prices per square meter are hitting “astronomical levels,” which might be difficult for the average income consumers. “The market might be saturated already,” he said, referring to Istanbul’s property market.

Real estate sales in the Turkish market increased by 6.07 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TurkStat. On the other hand, the Istanbul property market experienced an “unexpected decline” in the number of houses sold, representing a 37.5 percent decrease in the first quarter of this year compared to last year. The figures showed that 91,071 houses were sold in the first quarter of 2011.

Housing bubble

Opposing the claims of a “housing bubble” in the Istanbul property market, İsmail Kazanç, vice general manager of Torunlar, said the figures “far from reflect today’s conditions and facts.”

“The figures basically reflect the past two years of the crisis rather than the demand and pre-sales agreements we have today,” Kazanç said.

The biggest rise in house sales was recorded in the eastern provinces of Ağrı, Kars, Iğdır and Ardahan, with over 90 percent in the fist quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, according to TurkStat.

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