Russians up front among foreign property buyers in Turkey
House sales to Russians in Turkey neared all other nationalities combined in Turkey in November, as residents in a south coastal city protested the surge, saying Russian influx has driven up costs and rents.
In November, Russian citizens bought 2.575 houses from Turkey, from a total of 6.083 houses sold to all the foreigners, according to data compiled by Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK.)
The followers of Russians were Iranians with 510 house sales, Iraqis with 331 house sales and Ukrainians with 277 house sales, TUIK said.
In the January-November period, house sales to foreigners increased by 20.4% compared to the same period of the previous year and became 61 thousand 104.
The south coast city of Antalya ranked first with 2 thousand 616 sales to foreigners, according to TUIK.
Last month, some 13,000 people in the Mediterranean city signed a petition seeking a ban on foreigners in the real estate market, worried their arrival has driven up house prices and rents.
"WE CAN NOT RETURN TO OUR HOME COUNTRY"
It is a bit sad that we are not wanted here while we cannot return to our home country," said Anzhelika, who had managed a furniture store in Moscow before moving to Antalya in April with her husband to provide a better future for their two children.
"I believe foreigners coming here can contribute a lot to Antalya," she said in an interview with Reuters, when asked about the petition. "We did not come here for pleasure, we had to come here leaving behind our lives and homes."
The 40 year-old Russian immigrant said she paid monthly rent of about 16,000 lira ($859) for her flat, while neighbors said it had been on the market for just 5,000-6,000 lira just a couple of months before she took it.
RUSSIANS OVERTOOK IRANIANS
Russians overtook Iranians as Turkey's biggest foreign home buyers, purchasing 13,834 properties nationwide in the first 11 months of the year, or a fifth of total foreign purchases. Those spending $400,000 or more are granted Turkish citizenship.
Researchers from the Russian consulting company NF Group said Turkey is currently one of the three most popular spots for Russians buying abroad with Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates as the other two.
THREE MAIN FACTORS
Turkey has become a leader due to a large number of advantages, but mainly due to a combination of three main factors, said Anna Larina, head of projects at the overseas property department of NF Group.
”The country makes it possible to obtain citizenship through investment in real estate with minimal effort to collect documents. Also, after obtaining a passport, you can get a migration visa to the United States E-2, which is currently not available to Russians. In addition, if you inves in an object under construction, you can also earn capital gains. And Turkey allows you to pay for housing from unauthorized Russian banks,” she said.