Staff Reporter
THE Balearics has registered the highest increase of all of Spain's regions in the price of secondhand housing over the last 5 years, with a growth of 146.2 percent from the first quarter fo 1999 to the first quarter of 2004.

According to a report released yesterday by the Property Price Society (Tinsa), the rise is well above the national average increase of 109.7 percent. Its president, Idelfonso Ortega, signalled that this strong growth of house prices in the Balearics has emerged “very prematurely” in the early years and registered a significant “leap forward” in the years 2000 and 2001. Latterly, increases have been on a par with those experienced on a national level.

Average prices for secondhand housing in the Balearics grew by 19 percent in the first quarter of 2004 in comparison with the same period the previous year, to reach 1'624.7 euros per square metre of constructed area. This figure is higher than the national average (1'389.1 euros) and implies an increase greater than the joint figure for other regions of Spain (16.94 percent).

According to the data presented by Tinsa, the Balearics was one of the 3 provinces, along with Malaga and Alicante, where the average price of secondhand homes is higher in areas outside the regional capital. The growth in the average price of secondhand homes in Palma grew by 9 percent in the first quarter of 2004 to stand at 1'535.3 euros per constructed square metre, while in the rest of the province, growth registered at 26 percent, an increase to 1'688.8 euros.

Some good news is that this growth of the cost of second-owner homes in Palma (9 percent) is less than the national average of provincial capitals (15.89 percent) although the figure of 26 percent registered in the rest of the Balearics is considerably higher than the average for the rest of Spain (17.92 percent).

According to Ildefonso Ortega, at 31 March this year, the average price of new housing in Spain stood at 1'682.1 euros per square metre of constructed property, a growth of 17.31 percent that has been established over the last 12 months.

In the capital cities of the country's regions, the average price of new housing at the end of March had levelled out at 2'240.8 euros per constructed square metre, 18.47 percent more than the same month in 2003. In towns and villages away from the capitals, the increase registered at 16.20 percent to reach 1'377.3 euros.

In the light of these figures, Tinsa were able to report “a small deceleration” (1.2 percent) in the price of new housing in comparison with the last quarterly valuation, while the price of secondhand housing showed growth of 0.18 percent.

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