The runaway rise in house prices in the Balearics is forecast to slow down as the year develops, despite the 18 per cent increase during the first financial period of this year. Yesterday Tasaciones Inmobiliarias (Tinsa) stated that, by the end of the year, the rise in house prices should have balanced out at between seven and ten per cent. The director general of Tinsa, Germán Pérez Barrio, said yesterday that the first financial term of this year has witnessed a slight deceleration in the rhythm at which house prices, both for new and old, have been rising over the past few years. His comments substantiate what independent estate agents have been saying this year, although some real estate agents claim they are having problems selling properties in certain areas because of inflated prices. The average price of a new house in Spain is 177'900 pesetas per square metre, up three per cent since the start of the year and 13 per cent over the past 12 months. For used or old housing, the average price is 141'000 pesetas per square metre, up three per cent since the start of the year. In the capital cities, the average price per square metre of new housing is 183'000 pesetas. However, over the past year, the sharpest rises in house prices have been 23.53 per cent in La Rioja, 19.37 in the Canaries, 18.02 per cent in Aragon and 17.96 per cent in the Balearics. At the other end of the scale, house prices have remained more or less static in Extremadura, Galicia and Castilla-La Mancha. Best value for money can be found in Cuenca where on average a square metre will cost 56.675 pesetas .