THE Balearics is the region of Spain with the highest number of mortgages pro rata its population, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported yesterday.

For every 100'000 head of population living in the Islands, said the INE, there are 305 mortgages taken out. In this respect, the Balearics comes second only to the region of La Rioja which has 502.

The number of mortgages taken out on properties in July this year fell (by 6.8 percent) for the third consecutive month to settle at 55'570. The year-on-year accumulated figure for mortgages taken out on property between January and July also fell which means there were 1.5 percent less mortgages taken out in the first 7 months of this year than there were during the same period in 2009. The average amount of mortgages taken out in July this year rose to 122'238 euros, a year-on-year increase of 5.9 percent, and a 2.3 percent increase in comparison with figures for the previous month.

But in terms of the average figure for mortgages taken out during the first seven months of this year, there was a year-on-year downturn of 1.8 percent.

The amount of money borrowed in total for property mortgages in July this year was 6'792.76 million euros, the INE revealed. This is 1.3 percent less than a year ago but 3 percent more than in June. The accumulated figure for January to June experienced a year-on-year downturn of 3.3 percent.

Building societies lent the most money in July (52.1%), followed by banks (37.7%) and other financial institutions (10.2%).