The number of residential properties sold in Turkey decreased 23% year-on-year to 263,050 in the first quarter of this year, the country’s statistical office announced Thursday.

Some 182,680 houses were sold for the first time while the remaining were second-hand sales in January-March, according to TurkStat.

Istanbul — Turkey’s largest city by population and one of its top tourist centers — took the largest share of house sales with 20%, or 51,602 houses, in the first three months of this year.

The capital Ankara and the Aegean province of Izmir racked up 25,395 (10%) and 15,358 (6%) of total housing sales, respectively.

Mortgaged house sales were recorded at 47,216 — an 18% share of all house sales over the same period.

Housing sales to foreigners

TurkStat data showed that the number of properties sold to foreigners fell 9.6% during the same period.

Some 9,887 houses were sold to foreigners, with more than half, or 5,024 units, of them in Istanbul. It was followed by the Mediterranean holiday resort city of Antalya with sales of 1,884 properties.

Official data showed that Iranians topped the list of buyers in the first quarter with 1,599 properties. Iraqis followed with 1,461 units, Russians 938 units, Afghans 700 units, and Kazakhs 354 units.

Monthly figure

This March, a total of 111,241 houses changed hands in Turkey, a rise of 2.4% compared to a year ago.

Property sales to foreigners jumped by 39% on an annual basis to 4,285 units in March.

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