We left behind a period that the global crisis affecting our economy in the last few years relatively eased down. And among the dynamics behind this, we can name 2013 to be a year in which more positive steps were taken in the global sense compared to previous years and a period that the entire world experienced a recovery in the big picture although it is at a slow pace. Even though sometimes comments were made about the upcoming days being the final phase before the end of the crisis, the facts like the recession that still continues in the Euro Zone, the slowdown that is seen in China and the deviation of USA from monetary expansion policy indicate that it is still early to make this comment.
Within this general uncertainty that the crisis created, the driving force of the global economy had been the developing countries like Turkey. After the growth of 11% that Turkey achieved in 2011, it continued to progress without slowing down in 2012, too. And the growth for 2013 is estimated around 3.8%.
We estimate that the real estate sector, which is one of the leading sectors of economy, recorded a growth level around 5-6% in the year 2013. Residential sales data also confirmed this dynamism of the year with a figure above 860 thousand for the first 9 months. And with the contribution of VAT rate in real estate, urban transformation and law of reciprocity, we expect a highly hopeful picture for 2014, too.
As Yeşil REIT, our goal is to construct modern, technological and safe living spaces based on our unique projects. And with the business models that we created, we are already named as the first and the innovative in the sector. Of course, there lies stability, trust and transparency behind this perspective of ours that changes the customary standards.
Among our targets, increasing the value of our company also has an important place. And we continue to receive the fruits of the steps we took in this respect. Last year, Yeşil REIT rated as an investable company at the national scale by JCR Eurasia Rating, and its long term and short term national ratings were declared as A-. As the first REIT that asked for a credit rating in 2012, we once again showed our difference.
We made a significant progress with on-going and planned projects in 2013. With the handover of 3,293 residences in the Phase 3 of Innovia that is the largest private residential project of Europe, Innovia became a project where 25 thousand individuals live in a total of 8,100 handed over residences. And the construction and sales efforts for the final phase of Innovia that is one of the important projects of both its region and Turkey in the real estate field will be one of our main targets this year. On the other hand, this year, we also aim to begin the sales of Gulf of Izmit project in our portfolio.
As Yeşil REIT, we will continue to move forward on our path with the power we take from our achievements and the trust our investors have in us, and the projects that protects the interest of all our stakeholders and society with a sense of responsibility.
K.Engin Yeşil / Chairman