Russians wanting to escape Western sanctions and Ukrainians fleeing their war-battered country are flocking to the Mediterranean province of Antalya to buy properties or rent houses, a weekly newspaper Oksijen report said on March 25.
Over a thousand kilometers away from their countries, Russians and Ukrainians are making Antalya their home.
While for Russians the city poses investment opportunities as the West tightens sanctions on them, Ukrainians are seeking short-term settlement, mostly renting flats, until the war ends.
According to data on the online real estate site Emlakjet, there was a 51 percent uptick in searches for property sales from Russia in February compared to the same month last year. Compared to the same period last year, there was a 63 percent increase from Ukraine in the searches.
The provinces of Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara and Bursa followed Antalya in the searches.
In January only, Russians bought 479 properties in Turkey, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), becoming third in the largest number of foreign buyers of houses, while Ukrainians bought 102 properties, ranking eighth. In February, 509 houses were sold to Russians, while 111 to Ukrainians.
Real estate experts expect an even greater surge in March, one month into the war.
The Turkish Lira’s declining value against foreign currencies is also a factor luring the Ukrainians and Russians, Antalya Trade and Industry Chamber chair Davut Çetin said.
He added that the number of Russians living in Antalya was nearing 30,000 and Ukrainians in the city was approaching 8,000.
In February, house purchases by Russians increased by 96 percent compared to the same month last year, while the figure was 85 percent for Ukrainians.
Rents have also skyrocketed in certain districts in Antalya. In Konyaaltı, rents increased by 100 percent.
A shortage of supply in housing stock is also pushing prices up in the city, Antalya Real Estate Commissioners Chamber chair İsmail Çağlar said.