REAL ESTATE

Housing prices register fall of 37 percent since 2007 highs

But new figures show that decline is starting to slow

The IMF and ratings agencies say that prices must still fall further in Spain.
The IMF and ratings agencies say that prices must still fall further in Spain.EFE

Housing prices dropped again in the last three months of 2013, representing an accumulated fall of 37 percent since the highs of 2007.

But the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as ratings agencies such as S&P warn that prices in the Spanish real estate market must fall even more before the sector will reach a full adjustment.

According to the Index of Housing Prices, updated by the National Statistics Institute (INE), average house prices dropped 7.8 percent between October and December 2013 compared with the same period in 2012. This decline is one-tenth of a percentage point lower than the previous quarter, and represents the smallest drop since the summer of 2011.

The INE figures, together with those released by the Public Works Ministry, represent the best official database to analyze the evolution of the sector. But there are also reports by valuation firms that provide accurate assessments of the average prices of free-market homes.

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