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STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
PROOF that the housing market is struggling in the face of the current economic crisis was the release of figures yesterday that shows an almost 50 percent drop in property sales in January compared to the same period last year.

That figure compares with the 27.1 percent reduction in property sales in the whole of Spain.
In 2007, there were 2'738 sales registered in the Balearics.
Last January this figure was 1'487, a decrease of 45.6 percent. Of the total, 770 were new.
In January 2007, there were 3'553 property transactions in total. Of these 2'738 were sales, 26 were exchanges, 343 were inheritances and 417 were other transactions.

In January 2008, there were only 2'386 property transactions.
The number of property transactions per 100'000 people in the Balearics was 180 in January.
That compares with the national average of 169 transactions per 100'000.
While the 61'792 property sales in Spain that took place in January represents a decrease of 27.1 percent on the same period a year before, it was up 41.08 percent on December 2007.

The sale of secondhand houses in Spain, which represents 52.4 percent of the total, fell 35.6 percent, while the sale of new houses fell 14.6 percent.
Murcia was the region in Spain that saw the greatest number of house sales per 100'000 inhabitants during January (268), followed by La Rioja (258), Castilla-La Mancha (237), Valencia (217), Cantabria (212) and Andalusia (200).

At the other end, Galicia was at the other end of the list of property deals per 100'000 inhabitants with 113, followed by Madrid (124), the Basque Country (129), Navarre (138), Catalonia (139), Asturias (150), Castilla and Leon (157), Extramadura (159), Aragon (167), the Balearics (180) and the Canaries (190).

The total number of transactions that took place throughout Spain was 234'788, 15.3 percent less than a year before, but 37.8 percent more than December 2006.