According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, foreign residential property sales in Istanbul and Antalya have been particularly noteworthy in the past two years.
Antalya is the second-largest destination for commercial investments after Istanbul, hosting 6,108 foreign-owned businesses. In the real estate sector, over 11,303 properties were sold to foreign investors this year alone.
Despite the rapid increase in property prices in Antalya, it has not negatively impacted property sales. In July 2022, Antalya surpassed Istanbul in foreign residential property sales for the first time, consistently maintaining the top position in provincial rankings for property sales to foreigners, except for September 2022 and August 2023.
In November 2022, when national housing sales to foreigners saw a slight decline, Antalya's housing sales continued to grow by 36.4%.
This indicates sustained interest and confidence among foreign investors in the Antalya real estate market, with Russian citizens being prominent among foreign buyers.
Antalya has long been a popular tourist destination for Russians. Since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War in early 2022, Russian citizens have led foreign property buyers in Turkey, seeking financial havens amid Western sanctions.
Russian companies established in Antalya exceed 1,220, constituting 20% of all foreign-owned enterprises in Antalya. Germany, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine follow with 751, 676, 302, and 270 companies, respectively.
Most foreign companies in Antalya engage in food wholesale and retail, followed by the real estate sector, construction industry, travel agencies, tour operators, and other reservation services, as well as agricultural product trade.
Despite a slight decline in overall housing sales this year, there is no sign of a slowdown in the trend of foreign investors purchasing property in Antalya, especially among Russian citizens.
Compiled data from the Turkish Statistical Institute in October 2022 showed that out of 6,323 homes sold in Antalya, 2,123 were sold to foreigners, accounting for 33.57% of total sales. In other words, one in three homes sold in Antalya in October was purchased by foreigners.
In October alone, Russian investors purchased 713 homes in Turkey, far exceeding the second-ranking Iranian investors (235 homes), with German and Ukrainian investors ranking third and fourth. Chinese investors purchased 28 properties in Turkey, ranking 16th.
However, in recent months, there has also been a trend of some foreigners leaving Antalya. According to data from the Antalya Immigration Administration, the number of foreign residents holding residence permits in the province decreased from 148,597 on June 22, 2023, to 131,659 on October 26, 2023. In other words, within four months, 17,000 foreign residents with residence permits left Antalya, and the number leaving this year has reached 25,000.
This phenomenon is partly attributed to the influx of Russian and Ukrainian citizens immigrating to Antalya after the Russo-Ukrainian War, leading to a rise in housing rents in the city. However, high inflation and living costs in Turkey, along with high rents, have led to a decrease in the number of foreigners residing in Antalya this year. Russian citizens, especially those who immigrated to Antalya due to the war, are returning to their home country.
Ismail Caglar, a real estate agent, car dealer, and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in Antalya, stated that the trend of immigrants from Russia has slowed down due to rising housing prices for citizenship and the difficulty in obtaining residence permits. Rental prices and sales are beginning to return to realistic figures.
Ali Bahar, chairman of the Antalya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ATSO), expects the number of foreigners residing in Antalya to decrease by about 10% in 2023 compared to the previous year. Bahar pointed out, "Rising rents have become a significant issue for foreigners residing in Antalya.
In recent years, rent increases in Antalya have exceeded the Turkish average, and the number of foreign companies has decreased. Although the number of new foreign enterprises opened within the first five months of this year is lower than last year, it is still higher than expected. The decrease in the number of foreigners residing in Antalya is due to various factors. However, the attractiveness of Antalya as an investment hub still exists."