Home sales in Spain fell 11.3 percent last year after a 17.7 percent decline in 2011, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said Monday.
Sales increased in August after 17 consecutive monthly declines, spurred by the impending end of a tax break for home purchases and a planned increase in the rate of value added tax levied on property transactions.
Purchases also climbed in September and October, but dropped in November before registering a 2.3 percent gain in the final month of 2012, the INE said.
Nearly 800,000 home sales took place in 2007, the peak of a decade-long real estate boom that made Spain's economy the envy of other European nations.
The bursting of the bubble combined with the 2008 global financial crisis to leave Spain mired in recession and struggling with a jobless rate of more than 26 percent. EFE