Demand for real estate investments — especially in housing — is forecast to stay strong in 2017, the head of a Turkish real estate body said on Tuesday.

Ali Taylan, chair of the Turkey Real Estate Advisory Agencies’ Federation (TEMFED), told Anadolu Agency his organization expected 2017 to be a good year for the country’s real estate sector.

He forecast demand to remain at strong levels throughout the year, saying the market reached its goals for 2016 despite the challenges inside and outside of the country.

“There are approximately 3.5-4 million people, especially from Syria, Libya and Iraq, who fled to our country from their homeland due to crisis in the region. Most of those people need housing.”

Taylan also said he expected Russian investments, especially in the Mediterranean region, to improve amid better relations between Ankara and Moscow.

As part of a package aimed at encouraging investment in Turkey, the government announced in its official gazette last Thursday that it would grant citizenship to foreign investors who bought real estate in Turkey worth a minimum $1 million on the special condition of not selling it for at least three years.

Taylan said with the help of low interest rates, measures from the government to boost foreign investors’ appetite plus Turkey’s young population, 2017 would be a good year for the sector, noting currently nearly 35 percent of Turkey’s population did not own a house, a leading indicator for market strength in the near future.

Source: AA