The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) has announced that houses financed by mortgages declined in March by 30.6 percent year-on-year, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.
The share of housing purchases secured by mortgages in overall sales shrank to 21.7 percent compared to the 29.6 percent of March 2018.
The contraction was attributed to credit-related difficulties encountered by the banking sector.
Overall housing sales saw a smaller decrease of 5.3 percent, dropping to 105,046 units in total.
Sales to foreign nationals, on the other hand, maintained an upward trend, growing by 71.3 percent, or 3,129 units.
İstanbul accounted for 18.2 percent of the sales, followed by Ankara with 10.1 percent and İzmir with 6.1 percent.
Iraqi nationals ranked first in terms of foreigners purchasing residences in Turkey, followed by Iranians, Saudis, Russians and Afghans.
The construction sector is considered to have been the main driving force of the country’s economy over the last 15 years, employing more than 2 million people.
In order to tackle the recent pressures on the industry, the Turkish government incentivized housing purchases through various means, including granting citizenship to foreigners buying properties worth at least $250,000.