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Just a day after Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said that the housing market was beginning to touch bottom in a recovery that is gathering pace, the National Statistics Institute (INE) on Tuesday announced that home sales plunged in November of last year to their second-lowest level since the crisis began around the start of 2008.

46353 1245080 foto 1 300x200 - Bad news for home sales in Spain, despite the fall in pricesThe INE said housing transactions in the month shrank by 15.7 percent to 21,847, a figure only above that of April 2012, which coincided with that year’s Easter holidays and therefore had fewer working days.

Despite an accumulated fall in prices since the highs set in 2007 of around 40 percent after a decade-long boom that suddenly burst, house sales have fallen for the last seven straight months. In the first 11 months of last year, home sales dropped 2.1 percent.

Demand is being restrained by a jobless rate of just under 26 percent and by falling wages as Spain strives to restore its competitiveness and export its way out of the crisis. Banks have also tightened lending conditions.
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