Alanya’s property sector moribund

October 29, 2007, Monday/ 18:31:00/ AHMET YEŞİL
A dispute over property sales to foreigners has roiled the property and construction sectors in Alanya, a seaside resort in the southern province of Antalya. Offering luxurious home and business premises for almost half the price, contractors and real estate agencies claim that the construction sector in Alanya is in the throes of death. Claims that some 90 percent of properties sold in holiday resorts are carried out by unregistered real estate agencies have sparked a heated debate over the legitimacy of property sales to foreigners. The disputes for the most part affected the property sector in Alanya, which is second place in the country with regard to the percentage of real estate property owned by foreigners.

The head of the Alanya Real Estate Agencies Association, Kerim Balıktay, stated that some 16,000 homes and places of business constructed in Alanya with the objective of selling to foreigners remain unsold and added: “Contractors and real estate agencies offer these places at almost half-price, but locals still complain that the prices are high. The boom in the property sector has brought about an uncontrolled growth in the construction sector, and the disputes over property sales to foreigners have cut down the boom.” Balıktay expressed that Europeans used to compete with each other to purchase real estate in Alanya because they would view the houses they purchased in Turkey as a good investment, adding: “Players in the sector seek alternative ways to increase their sales due to the decrease in the property sector. They are now focused on Turks working and living abroad and locals residing in the region. But expat Turks are reluctant to invest in Turkey because of bad experiences in the past while the locals think houses for sale are expensive. Such reservations have dragged the Antalya property and construction sector into a deadlock.”

Alanya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALTSO) Vice President Hüseyin Erkek stressed that real estate agencies had introduced very cheap sales to sell off the homes and business places constructed for foreigners and added: “Unfortunately, Turkish customers do not show much interest in the property sector. We need to analyze the underlying reasons why the real estate sector is suffering such decline.”  Ali Oğraş, the founder and owner of the Palet Real Estate Agency -- a construction company distinguished by its luxury house sales to Europeans desiring to settle in Turkey -- said his agency has been erecting and selling houses in Alanya for several years, adding: “We decreased house prices almost by half but still cannot appeal to domestic customers. The property sector in Alanya is in a deadlock. I call on the authorities to take necessary measures to stop this decline.”

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