Türkiye fines people who 'scream' at house prices on the online market

The Turkish Ministry of Commerce fined more than 500 people a total of $2 million for posting online real estate ads at inflated prices.

The agency said it has carefully reviewed real estate advertisements on digital platforms. As a result, they identified 545 individuals who increased their home asking price by 100% or more. Officials believe that such an excessive increase will violate competition in the real estate market and harm buyers.

Pursuant to the regulation that real estate traders "shall not engage in unfair and unlawful commercial acts and practices", they were fined 100,000 liras each, equivalent to a total of 54.5 million liras (2 million USD).

The country's Ministry of Commerce announced that it will continue to investigate and review details of signs that may disturb the market. "All speculative actions and misleading advertising that lead to exorbitant prices are carefully examined," the ministry said.

A corner of Istanbul on March 21. Photo: Reuters

House prices in Türkiye are increasing sharply due to the slide in inflation. According to data published by the Central Bank of this country, the housing price index (RPPI) in June increased by an average of 95.9% across the country compared to the same period in 2022. On average, each square meter of housing has a price 24,598.6 liras (885 USD).

In Istanbul, the country's most populous city, RPPI increased 85.1% from a year ago. This index in the capital Ankara increased by 106%, while in İzmir - the third largest city - increased by 100%.

Meanwhile, rental house prices increased even more sharply. Euronews said that rental house prices have increased by an average of 121% over the past year. In big cities like Ankara and Istanbul, rents have increased by up to 188%. Rent prices skyrocketed to the point that it led to violence between landlords and tenants, leading to media reports of 11 deaths and 46 injuries.

According to Turkish media, about 47,000 eviction trials and another 100,000 trials related to illegal rent increases were conducted in the first six months of 2023, more than double compared to the same period in 2022.

Households in this country see real estate as an attractive investment channel to protect themselves from persistent inflation. The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said the consumer price index (CPI) fell to a low of 38.21% in June but increased to 61.5% in September, marking a monthly increase. highest since the beginning of the year until now. In October 2022, inflation jumped to over 85%, the highest level in 25 years.

TurkStat said 122,000 homes were sold in the country in August, down 1.1% year-on-year, after recording an increase of nearly 17% in July. Leading the real estate market is Istanbul , where approximately 17,408 homes changed hands, accounting for 14.3% of total sales.

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