Madrid – Home sales in Spain fell in June by 7.7 percent from the previous month and by a whopping 22.9 percent compared with June 2010, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said Wednesday.
Sales of existing residences accounted for 51.3 percent of the 28,612 transactions concluded in June, which was the fourth consecutive month of interannual declines, the INE said.
Spanish unemployment remains above 20 percent as the country's economy struggles to emerge from the dual shock of the global recession and the bursting of a decade-long property bubble.
Home prices in Spain have fallen to levels last seen in 2005, international real estate valuation firm Tinsa said in a report released in May.
The sharpest drop in housing prices, 8.1 percent, was registered in communities on Spain's Mediterranean coast, while prices in major cities and provincial capitals fell by an average of 6.7 percent.
An increase in mortgage interest rates was one of the factors exerting downward pressure on home prices, according to Tinsa's Index of Spanish Real Estate Markets.
Tinsa also blamed the elimination of the sales-tax exemption on housing purchases for people earning more than 24,000 euros ($35,000) a year - which took effect Jan. 1 - and the failure of incomes to keep pace with the cost of living.