This week’s guests of the program İz Bırakanlar were Ercan Saatçi and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of arsaVev, Bülent Öztürk. We heard from Bülent Öztürk about the past, present and future of the land sector, which recorded a significant increase in sales in the first 6 months in the real estate sector in Turkey.
We have experienced great turning points in our lives with the pandemic. In addition to the use of remote working and homeoffice terms in our lives, there has been a significant increase in the number of people who want to escape from the city and live in nature. In addition to all these changes, the increases in housing prices when we were experiencing the economic crisis led the buyers to the land.
Emphasizing that the profile of the land investor has changed, Öztürk continued as follows.
“With the pandemic in 2020, the land investor changed his profile. White-collar workers have now started to buy land. Before the pandemic, professional land investors, industrialists and business people were predominantly buying.”
Sharing Economy Model in Land
Stating that they interpret the sharing economy as a solidarity economy and integrate it into company policies, Öztürk , “No matter which project a person buys from, they can also use the social areas of our other projects. However, in individual applications
infrastructure is subject to certain deadlines. When you go to institutions because I want to build a house here, water, electricity and internet may not be brought immediately. When we sell 300-400 lands in a region, we actually make a consolidation and we bring the infrastructure to the land collectively by financing ourselves and negotiating with the regional authority. This is a solidarity economy based on a shared land structure.” said.
Disasters Direct to the Plot
Stating that the demand for land increased with the pandemic, but the main factor that triggered this increase was the companies that facilitate the technical structure of the land, Öztürk, “The change started with the pandemic. We had a share in this situation by meeting with 100 thousands of people. People wanted to buy land, but they preferred housing as an investment. This was due to the lack of standardization in the plot. Land is a technical business. We and companies like us have simplified this. He made it understandable. The pandemic has mobilized us to approach nature along with isolation. With this, the first stage wave started. Then we had four major earthquakes in a row. “After the Elazığ, İzmir and February 6 earthquakes, people started to invest in places with shorter floors and more reliable places, and suddenly, since we did not have stock in the rural area, people met this demand with land.” said.
950,000 Plot Sales in the First 6 Months
Öztürk underlined that the tremendous increases in housing prices and high loan interest rates were among the other reasons for the tendency towards land, and examined the real estate sales data in the first 6 months.
“According to data in August 2023, 950,000 plots of land were sold
Land sales, also known as non-residential real estate sales, broke a record this year. A total of 1,600,000 real estate properties were sold in the first 6 months, 950,000 of which were land. This means that two of the three properties sold were land.”
Stating that they do not expect a decrease in housing prices, Öztürk emphasized that there is a need for around 700 thousand new houses annually due to reasons arising from Turkey’s social structure.
“Frankly, I don’t think anything will change much unless there is a radical intervention on this issue. The most important reasons for this can be listed as follows. Population growth and decrease in the number of households due to migration and birth rates. There is a need for around 700 thousand housing units every year. Unfortunately, due to cost increases, contractors can only produce 200,000-250,000 units of it. We continue to have a housing deficit of around 400,000-450,000 every year. It seems that the increase in both housing and rental prices will continue due to the supply-demand imbalance. “If flat-for-floor housing can be built on the purchased lands, at least some of this stock can be reduced in this way.”
Buy land, buy a house for free
Stating that they made people homeowners with the price they paid for the land, Öztürk stated that they made flat-in-return agreements with the people who bought the land with their business partners, and that the contractors would build houses on the land and give it to the owners.
“We are trying to produce effective solutions on this issue. In other words, the business has both a commercial and a social dimension, because housing means a home and there is no alternative. If you don’t have a car, you can go to work by bus, but if you don’t have a home, you can’t live in a tent. Shelter is a basic need. For this reason, under the leadership of EKMAS Investment, we make people homeowners for small amounts with the traditional flat in return contract.”