Nearly 1.35 million housing units were sold in Turkey last year, and of those sales, at least 45,500 houses and apartments were bought by foreigners, marking a 14.7% increase from the previous year, the official data shows.
For the first time, Russians were among the most active buyers of Turkish property. In 2019, Russians accounted for 2,893 property sales. The only two demographics purchasing more property than the Russians were Iraqis and Iranians, with 7,596 and 5,423 sales, respectively. In 2019, Russians bought 26% more apartments and houses in Turkey than in 2018.
Real estate experts attribute the increase in Russian sales to low prices. The depreciation of the Turkish lira provided many Russians the opportunity to purchase Turkish property.
As a rule, Russians choose properties located near the sea, which costs less than $1,000 per square meter, according to Anastasiya Falei, a real estate analyst with Prian.ru.
“For this money they get high-quality new complexes with swimming pools, gyms, playgrounds for children,” she told Al-Monitor. “New buildings in Turkey are very different from new buildings in Russia. Of course, comfort attracts a lot of Russian clients. Plus, the content of housing, taxes and the cost of living and recreation in Turkey are also relatively low.”
Russians have also been drawn to Turkey for its warm climate. Many Russians appreciate that swimming season in Turkish resort areas can last from May till November. The Turkish climate annually attracts millions of Russian tourists, so it is logical that some have decided to buy property. On top of that, Russians can travel to Turkey visa-free, and low-cost flights are always available from many Russian cities to Turkey.
Turkey is a top destination for Russian tourists. Last January, during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Moscow, Turkey and Russia declared 2019 a “tourism year” to boost the number of Russian visitors to Turkey and Turkish visitors to Russia. The target was easily reached.