Citizens of Russia continue to buy real estate in Turkey, despite the recent crisis in relations between the two countries following the incident in which a Russian plane that was shot down for violating Turkish airspace. Last year, real estate sales to Russians totaled $398 million worth of property.
Fatih Elibol, senior manager at the international real estate investment consultancy Realty-TR, noted in an interview with an AA reporter that Russians continue to buy property in Turkey despite the crisis. According to Elibol, even after the crisis property sales came to $37 million.
“These obstacles have not touched Russians, and demand for real estate in Turkey has not decreased. The trend of sales to foreigners is in progress during the three last years,” he said. "The company performed a mediating role in the sale of property to Russian citizens in an amount of $185 million in 2015. And after the crisis, sales made up $11 million,” added Elibol.
“In recent years, mainly due to visa exemptions, the number of Russian tourists and the volume of trade between the two countries had increased, and that led to a growth in demand ofTurkish real estate from the Russian side,” he said.
"The incident with the downed aircraft had a negative impact on all spheres of the economic relations between the two countries. First of all, it concerns the food sector and tourism. But real estate sales continue. The Russians continue to hope that this crisis will be resolved. That is why so far there are no problems in the housing sector. Liveliness continues on the housing market in Turkey,” said the senior manager of the company. "In 2015, most of all house-buying foreigners bought property in Istanbul."
Elibol noted that Istanbul sold the most property to foreigners in Turkey in 2015, when 600 units of housing were taken off the market. Antalya was the second highest seller with 426 units sold, followed by Bursa at 149, Yalova at 138 and Sakarya at 87.
"Nearly all housing units were sold to citizens of Iraq. In December alone, they bought 375 residential estates. They were followed by citizens of Saudi Arabia at 226 homes purchased, Kuwait at 193, Russia at 109, and Afghanistan at 98. The top ten countries whose citizens purchased the most property in Turkey are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United States, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Kuwait, Britain, Qatar and Azerbaijan", Elibol said.
Those from the Arab states generally do not buy apartments in Turkey. Elibol adds that "They prefer to live in separate luxurious villas with a garden. Despite this, the Arabs buy apartments with an aim to profit, and then rent them out. Russians love the landscapes; they want to see nature and sea. The Europeans are not against apartments, they do not like big villas. Luxurious mansions are no longer in vogue. Half-story units are now more preferred.
Despite the crisis between Russia and Turkey, Mrs. Varvara Borzenko, a Russian citizen, bought a studio in Marmaris. She said she was the administrator in a company that produces yachts and ships. "About three years we’ve been going to rent a shipyard building in the coastal cities of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas for the repair of private yachts and boats coming from Turkey. In the end, we decided to buy 13 thousand square meters of land in Marmaris as a workshop. The crisis between Russia and Turkey influenced us. There is no problem between the citizens, and the problem between the two countries is not our business,"- she said.”
Natalia Ivanova, staying in Turkey for the first time, spent a four-day vacation in Marmaris, after which she spoke about her love of the friendly Turks, sea and sun. Ivanova said that she decided to buy a house in Marmaris, which is one of the most beautiful beach cities in the country that experiences all four seasons. "We bought our first calm, cozy and quiet house with a garden, which our family had long dreamt about. Then, by father’s decision, we have acquired two more houses in Marmaris and after that another one in Istanbul," she said.
Elena Senchakovich reported that after the crisis in Russia, with the increase of the dollar currency rate, she had to close her restaurant in Moscow, which she had headed for 7 years. "Having lost hope that things will get better in the country, I decided to buy a restaurant in Marmaris. However, my savings were not enough and that is why I sold two houses in Moscow and purchased restaurants within several tourist areas in Turkey. My husband and I have been living in Turkey for two years already. We are proud to be able to work in this beautiful country, in which we could earlier come only for recreation. We love Turkey very much," she said.