SPANISH mortgage lending dropped in April, the second month of declines after a brief rise in February, as the squeeze on new credit continued to hit the housing market, the Statistics Institute said yesterday.

Mortgage lending for homes totalled 5.746 billion euros ($7.11 billion) in April, 1 percent down from a year earlier after a 0.3 percent drop in March, while February marked the first rise in nearly three years.

The data point to a sector still struggling to turn around after the housing bubble burst in 2008 and with banks reluctant to lend as non-performing loans rise and access to liquidity remains sluggish.

The average mortgage value fell by 10.6 percent to 129'734 euros after dropping 2.6 percent year on year in March.

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