Release: 19 November 2023
City Planner and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Secretary General Dr. Buğra Gökçe’s latest research is remarkable, but also points to a great danger.
Because according to him; The housing crisis is about to turn into a humanitarian crisis that will affect our survival.
Let’s look at the data first:
■ housing sales in October of the previous year
percent compared to October It fell by 8.7 percent.
■ On the other hand, according to Endeksa data; Housing prices in Turkey increased by 103 percent in the last year. While the increase in Istanbul was 89.6 percent, it was 121.1 percent in Ankara, 98 percent in Izmir, 91 percent in Antalya, 74.7 percent in Adana, 110 percent in Muğla, and 99 percent in Trabzon. It became 3.
■ While housing prices increased, housing rental prices also increased. Rental prices in Turkey increased by 127.8 percent in one year. The increase was 91 percent in Istanbul, 178 percent in Ankara, and 131 percent in Izmir.
■ Today, the average rent for a 100 square meter house in Istanbul is 17 thousand 111 liras. In other words, the minimum wage can only cover 67 percent of the housing rent with its entire salary. The rate is 82 percent in Ankara and 75 percent in Izmir…
■ While prices have increased to this extent, housing loans have also increased. Today, the average housing price of 100 square meters is 3 million 40 thousand liras… If a loan of 2.5 million liras with a maturity of 120 months is taken from public banks, the installment fee increases to 98 thousand 258 liras.
Therefore, 90 percent of the Turkish population does not have the opportunity to repay such a loan!..
So, with each ping day, the humanitarian crisis grows bigger and deeper…
Due to the increase in housing prices and housing rental prices, employees and laborers cannot own a house. A large segment of society is becoming dispossessed. While these people sell their houses due to increasing needs, the sold houses are bought by foreigners or high capital owners who already own more than one house. That’s why the home ownership rate has fallen from 73 percent in 2002 to 56 percent…
■ While our citizens are becoming dispossessed, new employees, minimum wage earners and employees do not have the opportunity to own a home. The average household income in Turkey is 8 thousand 201 liras per month. In this case, the average household’s 1 year income is just enough to pay 1 monthly installment of the mortgage loan!..
■ While deep dispossession increases poverty, especially those who start a new job, minimum wage earners, public servants and wage earners do not have the opportunity to shelter in metropolitan cities.. Let alone buying a house, even renting a house is becoming increasingly impossible.
For this reason, migration from Istanbul to Anatolia is accelerating!..
■ The housing crisis in metropolitan cities has two aspects: While those employed in critical sectors such as production and service sectors migrate to other cities because they cannot make ends meet with the income they earn, Our important sectors that create employment and production are also facing a serious employment crisis that will affect production! Since the increase in costs also increases inflation and average living expenses and the public administration does not protect the rights of workers with the right policies, Turkey’s production power or competitive power is decreasing. Just like in the meat, milk, egg, cheese, vegetable and fruit sectors Price increases due to production decreases in other sectors await us in the coming period!..
■ The increase in housing prices forces employees, laborers and retirees to live in residences with high disaster risk. It literally condemns them to live in their coffins!..
Those who cannot move to new housing continue to live in high-risk housing, knowing that they may die. This makes the disaster resilience of our cities weak. In case of an earthquake disaster, 4.5 million of our people in Istanbul alone will be left with a housing crisis!..
■ The housing crisis is especially brutal for retirees and those working in insecure jobs. Unfortunately, we see in the national press that every day an increasing number of our elderly citizens are being evicted from their homes because they cannot pay their rent. If this increase continues, Turkey will face a terrible humanitarian crisis in which people are homeless and have nowhere to go.
So what should be done?
■ We have been writing and singing for a while. The state needs to intervene in the housing market with rational and scientific methods. Until now, institutions such as TOKİ and Emlak Konut have preferred producing luxury housing and transferring rent to producing social housing. However, the right to housing included in the Constitution gives the state the duty to protect the right to housing by taking steps according to population growth and needs. We need a multidimensional, planned, programmed and rational social housing production.
■ We expect the decision makers in the authorities to put everything aside in the face of this situation and act with a spirit of mobilization by taking action in participatory, transparent processes and coordination with local governments and civil society.. We have to find and implement solutions before a more terrible picture emerges.
In summary; We are faced with a major survival problem that will even affect the national sovereignty of our country and needs to be addressed urgently!..