Spain's housing sales decrease by 15.4 pct in August


House sales in Spain fell by 15.4 percent in August compared with a year earlier, the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported on Monday.

INE said 23,552 operations were registered in August, an 8.4 percent decrease since July.

However, housing sales increased by 1.2 percent in the first eight months of the year because it included purchases made before 2012 ended.

The Spanish government implemented new fiscal measures in 2013: sales tax hike from 4 percent to 10 percent while tax deduction for home buyers ended. This made buyers rush their purchases before the year ended.

The INE reported 44.6 percent of the total purchases were new houses while 55.4 percent were second-hand houses, both suffering sales decreases of 24.8 percent and 5.9 percent in annual terms respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of non-subsidized houses fell by 15.3 percent in annual terms while purchases of subsidized houses fell by 16.5 percent.

Housing sales had increased by 11 percent in April but they have been decreasing for four consecutive months since then due to the crisis and new fiscal measures implemented by the government.