Spanish home sales up 30 percent in August

Madrid, Oct 15 (IANS/EFE) Home sales in Spain grew 29.6 percent in August compared with the same month of 2009, the eighth-consecutive month that indicator has risen on an annual basis, although month-on-month sales were unchanged, the government said.

A total of 43,817 homes were sold in August 2010, with new homes accounting for 53 percent of the total, according to data published Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute, or INE.

Home sales were unchanged from July, bringing a halt to month-on-month increases that began in January 2010 following two years of declines.

The August figures were the first homes sales data in Spain since July 1, when the value-added tax on real-estate purchases rose from 7 percent to 8 percent.

The effects of the global recession were aggravated in Spain by the collapse of a long construction and property boom that made the country’s economy the envy of most of Madrid’s partners in the European Union.

The collapse of the real-estate sector contributed to an unemployment rate that currently stands at around 20 percent, with the immigrant population especially hard hit by the country’s economic woes.

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