Sales of homes in Italy could fall by up to 12 per cent by the end of the year, experts have warned.
As prices fall for the fourth year in a row, research institute Nomisma predicts that transactions could drop to just 529,306 in 2012, the lowest in 12 years. The grim forecast follows stats that show sales already dropped by 20 per cent in the first three months of the year, while prices of new homes dropped by 1.8 per cent to become 11 per cent lower than 2008.
Bloomberg notes that lending for homeowners plunged by 47 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 as banks raised rates, while the economy could contract by up to 2.4 per cent this year.
“The deteriorating economic context, coupled with more selective borrowing conditions and the widespread expectations of a wider depreciation than already recorded are the main reasons for the new halt to the real estate market,” said Nomisma