Builders can’t see ahead due to costs, can’t get citizens: Housing crisis is at the door

In Turkey, which is rapidly advancing towards a housing crisis, the supply problem continues as well as high housing prices. The thesis of the representatives of the sector that the housing supply has decreased due to high costs for a long time was also reflected in the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK). According to TURKSTAT, the number of buildings for which construction permits were given by the municipalities in the first quarter of 2023, that is, the construction started, decreased by 9.2 percent. The number of licenses issued for 33 thousand 597 buildings in the first quarter of 2021 and for 26 thousand 141 buildings in the first quarter of 2022 was given for 23 thousand 743 buildings this year. This was the lowest level seen since the pandemic. Sector representatives, pointing to the increasing costs, said, “There is a housing supply crisis and if it is not resolved, this situation will turn into a housing crisis.”


Commenting on the data of TÜİK, Anatolian Side Builders Association President Melih Tavukçuoğlu said that this decrease is a reflection of the increase in costs. Chickençuoğlu said, “The stagnation due to the earthquake also has an effect, but the main factor is costs. 1 cubic meter of concrete, which was 800 liras last year, is now 2 thousand liras. It is very difficult to produce and sell houses. It’s like people have no way of housing. “The loans are both very high interest rates and non-existent,” he said. Saying that they expect the housing market to continue in this way during the summer months, Tavukçuoğlu said, “We expect a movement in the autumn. We hope that the newly established government will take a hand in the housing problem,” he said.

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Gökhan Taş, Head of the construction and real estate companies group MasterTürk, also pointed to the unforeseen cost increases for the reduction in licenses. Taş gave the following information: “The construction of a house takes two years. Contractors who cannot foresee what costs they will struggle with for two years in Turkey do not engage in new housing construction. This lowers the supply. The license numbers announced today had already dropped last year. In other words, when we look at the 5-year period, this decrease is much more than 9 percent. Therefore, the housing supply comes to a risky level. Unless the problem with housing supply is resolved, this will lead to a housing crisis.”

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While citizens lose their dream of owning a house, rental housing prices are increasing day by day. According to the analysis of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Secretary General Buğra Gökce, rents have increased by 583 percent in Turkey in the last four years. Sharing his analysis of rent increase rates on his social media account, Buğra gave the following information:

“The change in housing rents in the period of April 2019-April 2023 reveals a striking picture. In April 2019, the average rental price in 81 provinces was 728 lira per month, while today it has increased to 5058 lira. The rate of increase is 583 percent. While the rental price was only 27 percent of the average wage in April 2019 in Turkey, it has reached 45 percent today. The housing crisis is deeper than one might think. Especially in 30 metropolitan cities, where 75 percent of Turkey’s population lives, a significant portion of the income of the workers and wage earners goes to housing rent. Young people who have just started working do not have a chance to rent a house with their salaries.”

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