YEAR-on-year property sales in the Balearics were up by 12.4 percent in January this year compared to the same month in 2010, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported yesterday.

There were apparently 893 transactions completed during the first month of the year compared to 794 in January 2010.

However, said the Institute, the regional increase was not as impressive as the year-on-year national property market growth, which for the same period reached 19.6 percent with 45'013 transactions completed. The INE pointed out that property sales last year may well have been affected by taxation issues and the market needs to be watched carefully over the coming months to see if real growth is taking place.

Meanwhile, the Institute claimed that at a national level, the housing market was 43.1 percent more active in January this year than it was during the previous month of December.

The trend seems to be positive, said a spokesman yesterday because 2010 closed with an increase of 6.8 percent in house purchasing, signalling growth after two years of a downturn in the market. The increase in the second hand housing market was the most noticeable said the Institute, with a year-on-year gowth of 24.3 percent (23'168 transactions). New property sales were up but to a much lesser degree, by 14.9 percent. The gap between sales of private property and subsidised housing is closing, said the INE with figures for January showing that transactions were up 18.8 percent in the private sector but by 25.6 percent in public-funded developments.

Spain's property register showed that 90 percent of sales in January were in urban areas and the remainder on rural land. The same sources showed that 119 properties were sold for every 100'000 head of population and that it was in the region of Rioja where the most homes (166 for every 100'000) changed hands. Also well above average were Cantabria (161), Aragon (143) and Andalucia (140).

The Balearics, with 101 properties sold for every 100'000 head of population, joins the Canary Islands, Madrid and Asturias in the “below national average” property sales statistics for January.


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