A new report by the Turkish Statistical Institute shows that Iranians are still at the top of the list of foreign residential property buyers in Turkey in March.

According to the report published on Friday, Turkey clinched its best March ever in terms of property sales as Iranian citizens bought 784 homes, topping the list followed by Iraqi citizens with 741 units and Russian citizens with 547.

Iranians bought 2,256 residential units in the first quarter of this year, while Turkey has recently increased the minimum monetary value needed by a foreigner to apply for citizenship investment program from $250 thousand to $400 thousand.

House sales to foreigners rose 31 percent in March compared to the same month last year to 5,567. The purchases by foreigners were over four percent of all home sales in March with Istanbul on top of the list followed by the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya and the capital Ankara.

Total Turkish annual home sales also rose 20.6 percent in March to 134,170 houses amid declining supply and soaring prices, but industry representatives say the data show that households continue to view real estate as an attractive investment tool.

A senior member of Iran’s parliament said in October 2021 that Iranians bought $7 billion of real estate in Turkey in about three years from 2018 to 2020, with estimates of 3,000 residential units every year.

By buying property in Turkey, Iranians try to protect their capital as the country’s currency keeps falling and hope to gain Turkish citizenship and be able to do business without being restricted by US sanctions, which make it hard for Iranians to even open bank accounts in other countries.

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