Staff Reporter
THE Balearic property boom continues with a report by the government indicating that house prices rose nationwide by an estimated 18 percent in the first six months of this year.

Prices have settled at 1'691.8 euros per square metre, higher than the national average of 1'458.3 euros.
Average assessed house prices in Palma rose by 11 percent to reach 1'609.9 euros per square metre, an amount less than that which would have to be paid for a home in other areas of the region.

Discounting the capital, the price of housing rose by 23 percent over the last year to reach 1'751.4 euros a square metre, making the Balearics one of the regions laying claim to the most expensive apartments.

According to the Property Valuation Society, Tinsa, Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia are the regions of Spain where average house prices have risen most over the last 12 months, with increases of 26 percent in both cases.

Across the whole of Spain, the value of housing grew by 19 percent to reach 1'458.3 euros per square metre, said the report.
In Castilla-La Mancha, prices rose across the region by 26 percent but the effect was felt in a particularly sharp way in the province of Toledo where they grew by 35 percent, and in Guadalajara, where the increase registered at 31 percent.

In the region of Murcia, the growth was at its highest in the country areas where it touched 27 percent, in contrast to the 26 percent rise registered in the capital.

Following on behind these two regions, come Andalucia and Catalonia, both with increases of 22 percent, ahead of Valencia with 21 percent, and Aragón with 20 percent.

In contrast, Galicia and Navarra were the two regions where house prices have grown the least over the past 12 months, 10 percent in both cases, followed by Castilla y León and the Canary Islands (both 11 percent).

Although the increase in Madrid (19 percent) is equal to the figure for Spain as a whole, it is in this region where the highest prices per square metre were recorded (2'593.2 euros), which reached 3'063.1 euros in the capital.

After Madrid, the capital cities with the highest property prices are Barcelona (2'658.2 euros per square metre), Bilbao (2'370.3 euros) and Pamplona (1'946.8 euros), whilst those registering the lowest prices were Lugo (693.1 euros) and León (996.6 euros).

The highest price rise within the capital cities was recorded in Huesca and Guadalajara, with an increase of 33 percent in both, followed by Huelva and Toledo, with 31 percent in both, while in Orense, prices per square metre rose by only 5 percent.

In the regions, discounting the capitals, the highest average values were located in Vizcaya (2'020 euros per square metre); Madrid (1'968.2 euros); Barcelona (1'793.2 euros); and the Balearics (1'751.4 euros).

On the contrary, provinces with the lowest house pricing discounting the capital, were Teruel (430.7 euros), Albacete (511.3 euros); Badajoz (522.3 euros); Orense (541.8 euros) and Ciudad Real (548.1 euros).

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