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Purchase of flats rose by 2.7% in 2012 after an upturn of 34% in December

The buying and selling of housing recovered by some 33.7% in the last month of 2012. The reason for this was the anticipated removal of the tax-deductible from regular housing and the increase of VAT from 4% to 10% on new buildings from 1st January, which allowed for the 2.7% growth in transactions to 366,225 properties for the whole year, according to Notarial Statistics.
Despite this stabilization in sales, the fall in prices which followed has become more and more profound.  Therefore the value of a square metre, although it registered a slight month on month increase, dropped 15.4% year on year in December, bringing the annual average price of a square metre to 11.8% costing €1,328/m².  The type of housing that sold the most in the month of December was flats (+34.2%), especially those that were pre-owned (+68.7%), ahead of detached housing (+31%).  Consequently, notaries point out that “the increase in VAT, which only affects the purchase of new housing, had a lesser effect compared to the end of the tax-deductible expenditure for the purchase.”
For the full year, growth in buying and selling was due to a rise in transactions of flats (+4.1%) – up to 15% in resale properties – which offsets the fall in acquisition of detached housing (-3.4%). In accordance with these results, the prices of pre-owned flats fell by 14.3% in December (-15.8% in the year as a whole) but to a lesser extent than new housing, which fell to 24.4%.

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