Turkish house sales up 22 pct in Jan-April

The number of homes sold in the first four months of this year showed a 21.9 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago, surging to 416,535 units, the national statistics agency said on Monday.
The number of sales was 341,463 in the period of January-April 2014. A total of 119,317 housing units were sold in April alone, 42.7 percent higher than in April of last year. Second-hand home sales made up 56 percent of the total sales in April according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat).
The results come amid speculation in Turkish business circles that the government has allegedly manipulated official figures as part of a strategy to draw a rosy picture of the ailing construction sector.
Mondayand’s data also revealed that the number of homes sold with a mortgage skyrocketed by 96.5 percent in April compared to the same period a year ago, spiking to 46,063 units, while only 23,447 units were recorded in April of last year. The number of mortgaged homes sold in Turkey in the first four months of the year increased by 55.3 percent year-on-year, TurkStat said. While the highest number of mortgage-based housing units were sold in the metropolitan city of Istanbul, with 7,886 units, 51.1 percent of all homes sold in the northeastern province of Artvin in April were mortgage-based — the highest such percentage in Turkey.
While Istanbul topped the list with 23,197 sales in April, when looking at a city-based distribution of overall sales, Ankara came in the second place with 14,001 units and izmir followed in third place with 7,669 units. The fewest sales were made in the eastern provinces of Hakkari and Ardahan, with 15 and 19 units sold, respectively. With 48 homes each, another eastern province, Mui, and the northeastern province of Bayburt were third from last in the same ranking. TurkStat also said 1,847 homes were purchased by foreigners in April, among which 507 units were sold in Istanbul, 133 in both Bursa and Yalova, and 90 in Aydin.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman