Turkish home sales rise to highest level since December

Sales of houses and apartments in Turkey increased by an annual 20.6 percent in March to the highest level since December, despite a surge in annual inflation.

Home sales rose to 134,170 units last month, driven by purchases of existing rather than new homes, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Friday. They had stood at 97,587 units in February and 88,306 units in January.

Turkey’s government is seeking to encourage home ownership to help drive economic growth in a country that suffered a currency crisis last year. It has instructed the central bank to cut interest rates and then hold them steady despite a jump in annual inflation to a two-decade high.

Purchases of homes via mortgages grew by an annual 38.8 percent to 30,271 units, the institute said.

The average cost of mortgage borrowing was an annual 18.09 percent in the week ending April 8, according to central bank data. Consumer price inflation in the country accelerated to a two-decade high of 61.1 percent in March.  

Sales of homes to foreigners rose by 3 percent to 5,567 units, it said.

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