October 12, 2020
Iranians are rushing to buy real estate in Turkey to transfer their funds outside the country in light of sharp decline of the local currency.
They are transferring their money for better opportunities, taking advantage of the new Turkish law issued during the economic crisis in 2018, which allow foreigners to obtain Turkish citizenship if they are willing to spend at least $250,000 on property.
Iranians topped the list of foreign property buyers in Turkey, according to official figures which revealed that their purchases peaked in August, with 640 homes, the highest number since this year’s first quarter.
During the first eight months of the year, Iranians bought about 3,808 housing units in Turkey, a 20 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Turkey closed its land and air borders on February 25 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran. However, Iranians found means to circumvent the restrictions on transferring money in Iran and seized the opportunity to buy houses, as prices decreased during the lockdown imposed by the pandemic.
The rate of foreigners buying real estate with the aim of obtaining citizenship and residency in Turkey decreased 29 percent during the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period last year.
The increased Iranian investments in Turkey, especially in real estate, have raised concerns among officials in Tehran.
This was evident in state media, such as Tasnim and Mehr, which reported on the issue.
Chairman of the Real Estate Agencies Union in Iran, Mostafa Qoli Khosravi, had warned of the increased demand of Iranian citizens to buy real estate in Turkey aiming to obtain its citizenship.
He said that Turkish laws only grant citizenship for those who carry the property’s ownership, meaning families will not benefit by extension.
In August, real estate sales in Turkey increased by 54.2 percent compared to the same month last year. While real estate prices rose by 4.7 percent worldwide during the second quarter of the year, they increased in Turkey by 25 percent year-on-year.