KONYA- Anatolia News Agency
HOME: Turkish families have always preferred to live in large homes, a tradition that has carried on even in times of crisis thanks to the declining price of iron as well as drops in mortgage interest rates. Hürriyet Daily News, Melek ALDEMİR
Turkish families have always preferred to live in large apartments, something they will not give up easily – not even in times of crisis.
Decreasing iron prices, construction companies’ need to clear their inventories and declining mortgage interest rates are all helping that tradition continue despite the tough economic times.
Last year, the price of iron dropped from 2 Turkish Liras per kilogram to 80 kuruş per kilogram, lowering construction companies’ costs. Declining demand then forced construction companies to stop building and generated an urgent need for them to empty their inventories, which have been ballooning since the beginning of the crisis.
Next came the reductions in mortgage loan interest rates provided by banks. As interest rates dropped below 1 percent, the market began to see a revival. Apartment prices per square meter dropped 5.6 percent, to 516 liras, during the first six months of the year, compared to same period last year.
The construction industry is now back on its feet in Konya, one of the most active cities in terms of its real estate sector. Many companies in the city, which tends to set the trend for Anatolia, have restarted construction work that they had left incomplete.
“Like everywhere in Turkey, large apartments are preferred in Konya,” said Ali Çınar, the chairman of the city’s branch of the Chamber of Engineers. “One of the main reasons is the fact that Turkish people love to have guests in their homes. Therefore, people who think they can afford to pay for a bigger house will always prefer to buy 150-square-meter to 230-square-meter apartments.”
In addition to size, Çınar noted some other factors that play a significant role in real estate sales. “In the apartment complexes with a playground, swimming pool and lots of green area, it is much easier to find a buyer for that property,” he added.
“When making a choice about living space, people’s needs play a major role as well, ” said Ahmet Buğa, managing director of Seha Yapı, a construction company. “Turkish families are giving birth to more children compared to families in Europe. After a certain age, the need to separate children’s rooms appear. And in order to do that, they need bigger homes.”