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The Impact of the Ukraine-Russia War on Turkey’s Real Estate

The Impact of the Ukraine-Russia War on Turkey’s Real Estate


The conflict between Ukraine and Russia, initiated in 2022. This war also had a profound impact on Turkey’s real estate sector. Traditionally, Turkey was known as a popular summer destination for tourists. In recent times, Turkey has transformed into a longer-term safe haven or even a permanent home for nationals from both sides of the conflict in Ukraine-Russia War. This article delves into the evolving trends in real estate purchases, migration patterns, and the socioeconomic ties between Turkey. Ukraine, and Russia.

Historical Context:

In 2021, Türkiye’s total exports amounted to 225 billion dollars. Below picture outlines the primary destinations for Türkiye’s exports. Russia, contributing 4.5 billion dollars, secured the tenth position on this list. Notably, Russian exports constituted 2% of Türkiye’s overall export volume for the year.

Before the conflict, Turkey had steadily become a major destination for tourists and migrants. Migrants included Ukraine, Russia, and other former Soviet states since the 1990s. The yearly influx of Russian tourists reached a peak of 7 million in 2019, making them the highest number among all nationalities. Similarly, Ukrainians flocked to Turkey, especially during the summer. This led to a substantial increase from 93,794 visitors in 1996 to 1.5 million in 2019. This growing influx had began to reshape Turkey’s destination cities. Lastly, Russian becoming a prevalent language in tourist hubs like Antalya.

Migration Channels & Influx During the War:

Ukraine-Russia WarAs the conflict between the countries initiated. Turkey adopted a nuanced policy, remaining “pro-Ukraine but not anti-Russia.” Moreover, Ankara opened its doors to both Ukrainian and Russian nationals seeking refuge, resulting in a significant influx. By September of the same year, Turkey was hosting at least 145,000 Ukrainian refugees, a number that later decreased to 46,000. Simultaneously, Turkey welcomed a greater influx of Russian migrants.

Ukrainians and Russians in turkey had golden visa option to secure a longer or permanent stay in Turkey. This involves obtaining residence permits or citizenship in exchange for substantial investments. Options include storing a minimum of $500,000 in Turkish banks or state funds. Purchasing government bonds, creating jobs, or purchasing real estate worth at least $400,000. This influx of migrants, especially through real estate purchases, has led to a reshaping of Turkey’s social and economic landscape.

Real Estate Purchases and Market Impact:

Ukraine-Russia WarRussian and Ukrainian home purchases in Turkey experienced a growth. With Ukrainians witnessing a 106.4% increase between 2021 and 2022. Russian home purchases tripled in 2022, making them the top foreign buyers in the real estate market. Russians bought a record 16,312 houses, constituting almost a quarter of all sales to foreign buyers. This surge in real estate transactions also led to a significant increase in housing prices.

  • Russian demand for Turkish real estate, although down by 17%, remains the highest among foreigners.
  • Overall Turkish residential real estate demand dropped by 14% in 2023 due to factors like an earthquake and geopolitical tensions.
  • Inflation led to a 35% growth in real estate prices in dollars, increasing by 6% in the last 5 months.
  • About 994 thousand residential properties were sold in Turkey from January to October 2023, with secondary housing transactions down by 15%.
  • New buildings comprised 30% of demand, with 297.8 thousand lots sold in the primary market, reflecting a 14% decrease from the first 10 months of 2022.
  • Foreign demand decreased by 44%, with Russians still leading at 30% of the overall demand among foreign buyers by October 2023.
  • Antalya (37%) and Istanbul (32%) remain the top choices among foreign home buyers in the first 10 months of 2023.

The growth in foreign real estate purchases has caused a pricing out effect for many Turks in areas like Antalya. Additionally, the impact of the war on the Turkish real estate market has been notable. The influx of settlers, coupled with the pre-existing demand, has heightened the importance of the real estate sector as a crucial economic contributor.

Conclusion:Ukraine-Russia War

After the Ukraine-Russia war, Turkey’s real estate sector experienced significant changes. The conflict brought an influx of Ukrainian and Russian nationals seeking refuge and investment. Resulting in a notable increase in real estate transactions. Despite the sector becoming a vital economic player, challenges like rising housing prices and potential impacts on local residents emphasize the importance of strategic planning to navigate the uncertainties and opportunities in Turkey’s real estate market.

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