2020 – Turkish property sales to foreigners confounds the pandemic!

It has recently been announced that foreigners purchased a total of 4,427 properties in Turkey in December of last year, bringing the total for 2020 to 40,812.

The tourism sector has historically been one of the primary drivers of the ‘second home’ business in Turkey – given that tourism numbers worldwide were down by more than 70% last year, it was expected that the number of property sales to foreigners would also be similarly affected.

In order to compensate for worldwide travel bans, developers and agents turned to the internet in a way they would not have pre-Covid days, with online property presentations and virtual tours becoming the daily norm. As a result, the business has weathered the pandemic much better than even the most optimistic of us could have expected.

To put it into context, in 2019 (a record year for property sales), foreigners purchased 45,483 properties across all of Turkey. The figure of 40,182 properties for 2020 represents a year on year decline of just 8%. Given the pandemic, this is a quite remarkable achievement and would suggest tourism is no longer as strong a driver of the ‘second home’ business as it has been in previous years.

Once again, Istanbul and Antalya enjoyed the the lion’s share of the business last month, with these two provinces accounting for 70% (3,097 units) of property sales across all of Turkey.

With the hope that 2021 will be a year that is somewhat closer to ‘normality’ than the last, we look forward with renewed optimism and expectations for 2021.


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Umit Kozak